Local authorities have too few staff with design skills, according to a report by CABE.
The CABE Local Government Design Survey showed that of the 222 local authorities surveyed, 38% employed a registered architect and 23% used a design panel in assessing planning applications.

CABE's head of design review, Peter Stewart, said local authorities needed better design advice.

He said: "Many of the respondents openly bemoaned the decline in the importance of design issues within their local authority, despite the fact that there seemed to be a high level of design consciousness."

CABE added that it was concerned that 44% of the local authorities contacted decided not to respond.

The commission is concerned that these authorities may not have had qualified personnel to complete the survey.

CABE said councils should appoint more design staff and consider appointing design champions for quality projects.