The Scottish executive is setting up a design watchdog similar to CABE, known as Architecture and Design Scotland.

The aim of the public body, which will replace the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland from next April, is to be “the national champion for good architecture and design in the built environment”.

It will be chaired by housing expert Raymond Young with urban designer Brian Evans and architect Malcolm Fraser as deputy chairmen.

The executive says the body will have “a proactive role in advocating the benefits of good design and architecture to a wide range of organisations at national, regional and local level”.

A qualified architect, Young made his mark as research director of Scottish Homes, the Scottish equivalent of the Housing Corporation. Since 1997 he has been a housing and regeneration consultant. Young said his ambition at Architecture and Design Scotland was to “open people’s eyes to good design”. He said: “Too many have put up with second-class buildings right across the board.”

Young identified key challenges as dealing with small towns, which he claimed had been “mucked about” by people with no understanding of design issues. Young’s other bugbears include poorly designed streets and footpaths, and poor-quality construction.

The Scottish executive is planning to appoint a chief executive for the body, which will take on some staff and commissioners from the defunct RFACS.