In your leader “Rouse … to Simmons” (15 October, page 3), CABE’s views of the proposals for the Royal London Hospital are criticised as “ill-judged” and “ill-timed”.

This shows a lack of understanding of the resources and effort that CABE has put into trying to make one of the largest building projects in the country work, not only for its staff and patients, but the wider community of east London.

A £1bn inner-city hospital development is a project of great significance that rightly deserves the attention that CABE’s Design Review Committee has afforded it over the last couple of years.

The fact remains, however, that the designs submitted for planning application – the point at which CABE’s comments can become public – fall a long way short of what ought to be expected for a project of this magnitude. As the committee pointed out, if the design were to be built in its present form, it would be a mistake that would come to be regretted, perhaps quite soon.

Poor designs are unacceptable wherever they may be found, whether in new homes, in public spaces or in multimillion pound hospital schemes. It is the duty of CABE to point out when we think these things are not up to the standard that could and should be achieved.

Peter Stewart, director of design review, CABE, via email