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Minister highlights the benefits of good design

We respond positively to buildings and places which are visually attractive and efficient in use, says Culture Minister Nelson McCausland.
Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Minister was speaking after discussions with Arthur Acheson, the new Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG) for Architecture and the Built Environment in Northern Ireland.

The Minister said: “We must promote investment in visually attractive, well designed buildings, as they can impact dramatically on social, economic and environmental standards. Parks and landscaped spaces, which are attractive and safe, also enhance the built environment and encourage healthy outdoor activity.

“It is equally important that we protect and preserve our natural heritage from insensitive development. Our unique countryside and coastline which make Northern Ireland so attractive is irreplaceable and must be protected."

The primary role of the MAG is to advise the Minister on the implementation of the Architecture and Built Environment in Northern Ireland policy, which was published in June 2006.

The Minister added: “Since the MAG was established it has made a significant impact through tackling difficult issues relating to design quality, conservation, planning policies and sustainability. However there are many challenges facing the quality of the built environment relating to sustainable development, the built and natural heritage and creativity.

“I am committed to promoting the highest quality of design in the built environment and am looking forward to working with Arthur and the MAG Members to build on the progress that has been made to date.”

Notes to editors:

  1. In June 2006 the former Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister, Maria Eagle MP, announced the publication of Architecture and the Built Environment for Northern Ireland.
  2. This policy made provision for the creation of a Ministerial Advisory Group to advise on policy implementation and to champion good design in the built environment in Northern Ireland.
  3. Mr Acheson was appointed as Chair of the MAG to serve in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice for a term of three years will take effect from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2013.
  4. Media enquires should be addressed to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure communications Office. Tel (028) 9051 5047. Out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.