Your news report on the Liverpool demolitions (4 August, page 19) misses the point. The significance of this story is that after weeks of intense negotiation the council has accepted its responsibility for ensuring good design.

At CABE’s insistence, we now have in place a legally binding agreement that puts design at the forefront of delivery. And through this agreement we expect Liverpool and its partners to deliver high-quality development.

CABE recognises that some demolition may be necessary in housing market renewal areas. But what is planned as a replacement must be better than what will be lost. That is one of the key principles we have to maintain. In Liverpool, the local authority had no means of passing this test, given their willingness to grant outline consent to the Anfield, Picton and Edge Hill schemes with little or no supporting material by which to bind the developers. And that was why we objected.

Selina Mason, director of design review, CABE