The government is expected to announce a plan for the future of design quango Cabe before Christmas following a series of high-level discussions in recent days

Cabe’s funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was withdrawn in the Comprehensive Spending Review. Officials from its joint funder, the communities department, have now sent housing minister Grant Shapps two options on how the quango might continue to function.

A source close to the government said: “There are a couple of different options of what elements might be retained. We hope to have an indication of what the front runner is before Christmas.”

It is understood the communities department is willing to provide some funding for a limited range of services, including design review.

A separate source said there was a chance some of Cabe’s role in providing design consultancy for councils could also be supported.

However, it is unclear whether Cabe itself would continue to carry out these functions - the RIBA has thrown its hat in the ring to take on the design review role, and Cabe’s constitution as a quango is thought likely to change.

Cabe’s board of commissioners was due to meet yesterday to take a provisional decision on the options.

However, the changes will be subject to ministerial approval.