CABE has performed well in meeting performance targets set for it by the Department of Culture Media and Sport and the ODPM.

CABE’s annual report and accounts for 2004/05 revealed that the architectural watchdog carried out 494 design reviews in 175 local authority areas achieving 71% satisfaction, against a performance target of 450 design reviews in 180 areas at 87% satisfaction.

It published two full good-practice guides and two mini-guides, which hit their performance targets. When it came to research projects, it published five with another eight in progress, against a target of six completed projects and three commissioned.

The strong results come despite a DCMS audit last year that criticised CABE for not protecting its required stance of impartiality against perceptions of potential conflicts of interest, even though no actual wrongdoing was alleged.

CABE has implemented all the recommendations made in the audit during the past year.

Introducing the annual report, John Sorrell, CABE’s incoming chairman, called for “a new kind of local icon”, which he defined as buildings or spaces that communities feel have been genuinely created for them.

He said: “If these local icons are to be of lasting worth, however, rather than a flash in the pan, they must represent a belief or an idea.”