Government should have brought back Cabe rather than man ‘who wants to take us back two centuries’
Sir Stuart Lipton, who was the first chairman of Cabe when it was set up in 1999, has said the government should have revived the architecture watchdog – rather than bring in Roger Scruton to head up its new housing commission.
Asked about the appointment of the philosopher and writer to the commission called Building Better, Building Beautiful, the developer (pictured) behind the City’s tallest tower, the PLP-designed 22 Bishopsgate building going up in the Square Mile, said: “I don’t welcome it. I welcome the government sponsoring quality, not style.”
Cabe was merged into the Design Council in 2011 as part of the government’s so-called Bonfire of the Quangos but Lipton, widely regarded as an architecture patron, said it should have been revived instead of calling in Scruton, a long-standing critic of modern architecture.
“I think the government interest is great but why on earth can’t they reincarnate Cabe? Instead they go and hire a Georgian revivalist. If I’d been in government I’d have looked for somebody who was really skilled. Ask the clients, the architects. This is typical government. Somebody comes along, they want to win votes and they [hire someone who] want[s] to take us back two centuries.”
Scruton, who has previously called modern architecture “pretentious gobbledegook” will appoint four commissioners and eight second-tier advisors by the end of the month.
The commission was announced by housing secretary James Brokenshire to “to tackle the challenge of poor quality design and build of homes and places”.
Scruton will be expected to meet Brokenshire every quarter before issuing his final report in a year’s time.