The Government has announced that it is to begin a search for a person to fill a brand new role for ‘Head of Architecture’. The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government wants the new person to begin in an advisory role that covers the policy and practice of all architecture in the UK.
The role comes with a salary of £61,083, and will be focused on the policy and practice of architecture as it relates to the building of new homes, and specifically the quality of design of new build homes. The Government is hoping to employ an individual in the role that has experience within the industry, a ‘proven track record of delivering quality housing schemes’. The idea is that the role will be utilised to help with the establishment of the department as a recognised centre of knowledge and expertise. The long-term plan is that the department will be on hand to offer expert advice on all design matters regarding the architectural plans of new homes and developments in the UK.
It is an important role as the design is a section of new home development policy that is not necessarily overlooked, but might not be given the weight of importance that it actually deserves. With a department championing the importance of design, this should hopefully translate across the government as a whole when discussing housing policy planning and issues.
The role will report directly to the chief planner, with the chosen architect becoming a central figure that can offer expert advice and guidance on all design matters, and help to implement the ‘wider delivery and policy agenda of the department’.
So, what are the reasons that the government has begun the search for a new Head of Architecture for the Ministry of Housing?
There are several sticking points when discussing the implementation of brand new housing developments throughout the UK. For many housing development projects there are stumbling blocks relating to planning permissions from local authorities or with a lack of public support in that area. When new housing is a requirement in certain areas, it is vital that these stumbling blocks are reduced to a minimal level, or removed altogether, and one area where there can be immediate improvement is that of design.
With the experience of an architect within the Ministry of Housing it is believed that the quality of design on these projects can be vastly improved at the initial stages, negating the worry about planning permission blockages and delays, whilst ensuring that government targets and markers on design, environmental awareness and other factors are all met.
The successful candidate will be responsible for the effective implementation of Ministry objectives, working on the delivery of action plans and advising the design teams. All of this will be achieved with the aim of improving design quality of housing, in line with commercial expectations. The deadline for applications is 23rd December 2013, with a view to a start in 2019 that helps the Ministry of Housing to achieve policy aims and targets for new housing developments.