Gov housing proposals ‘exclude key sustainability requirements’

The Government's proposals to simplify and streamline housing standards for the construction sector "fail to present a vision for sustainable homes", the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has warned.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) yesterday published its long-awaited consultation on Housing Standards, which sets out a number of planned changes to Housing Standards.

Those in the green construction sector have picked up on the consultations clarification that it will phase out the Code for Sustainable Homes and a requirement for minimum space standards for new homes.

According to the DCLG, the new proposals would “help free up the industry, support growth and get high quality homes built.”

However, the UK-GBC suggests that the consultation excludes key sustainability requirements such as the responsible sourcing of materials and ecology.

UK-GBC chief executive, Paul King, said: “What we need is a vision for national housing standards that provides industry with the clarity and certainty it needs to build homes that are fit for the needs of people in the future. It therefore makes sense to rationalise a set of standards that has proliferated over time and, in some places, become confusing and counterproductive.

“However, with the demise of the Code for Sustainable Homes and big omissions around materials and ecology, we risk losing a momentum that has transformed the way homes have been built over the last seven years.

“Government claims its plans will take off the bureaucratic handbrake that holds back house building, but it is in danger of letting key sustainability considerations roll away completely,” he added.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie