Beattie: step change needed to reach eco-goals
House builders must achieve a ‘big step change' in development to comply with new demands on environmental standards, the government's regeneration agency has warned .
Trevor Beattie, corporate strategy director at English Partnerships, said that all EP-backed developments would have to be carbon neutral by 2013. ‘It requires a big step change, it is a massive ask,' he said.
Mr Beattie made the announcement as the agency this week unveiled its ‘carbon challenge', which is designed to encourage councils, housing associations and house builders to bring forward sites and proposals for new eco-friendly homes.
The challenge will see successful bidders handed accreditation to use the ‘carbon challenge' logo.
English Partnerships has put forward two sites, in Bristol and Peterborough, for use under the challenge. Hanham Hall, in Bristol, includes a grade II listed building.
Mr Beattie said part of the reason for the challenge was to drive down costs inbuilding eco-friendly homes. ‘Yes, it does cost more but that is what this challenge is about,' he said. ‘If this brings established supply chains and new set-ups then it will no longer be more expensive.'
Housing minister Yvette Cooper told English Partnerships that she expected around half of the homes developed on each site would be affordable. But the final amount on each site would be negotiable.
The agency expects to take forward around five sites over the next year under the initiative. Schemes put forward must be completed by the end of 2012.
Chancellor Gordon Brown's pre-Budget report decreed that all new homes must be carbon neutral by 2016 (Inside Housing,8 December).