The government has launched a proposal to change building regulations in order to reduce the carbon footprint of homes built after 2025, in a raft of housing policy proposals put forward by the housing secretary.
The plan, unveiled by Robert Jenrick today, will see the creation of a ‘Future Homes Standard’ that aims to see fossil fuel heating systems, such as gas boilers, banned from new homes by 2025 and replaced with clean technology such as air source heat pumps and cutting-edge solar panels.
As part of a newly released consultation, which will run until January 2020, the government is asking how changes to building regulations can drive down the carbon footprint of homes built after 2025, including changes to the ventilation and efficiency requirements.
Views are also being sought on what role councils could play in ensuring the best energy standards from developers.
The new ‘green standard’ comes as a part of a wave of housing policy proposals put forward by Mr Jenrick. The housing secretary also confirmed plans to speed up the planning system.
These proposals include the potential for fees to be refunded by councils if planning departments take too long to pass applications, a simplification of planning guidance and a review of application fees to ensure that planning departments are properly resourced.
The government has also set out plans to reduce planning conditions by a third, take forward plans to build homes above existing buildings as well as seeking views on demolishing old commercial buildings for new housing.
More details of the plans will be published in an ‘Accelerated Planning Green Paper’, which will be published in November.
Plans for a new a new national design guide that aims to ensure “beautifully designed homes” are delivered across the country was also published, as trailed by Inside Housing yesterday.
The new 64-page guide sets out the blueprint for how local authorities can achieve good design, and will recommend what developers need to do to secure support from communities.
It also calls on local authorities to develop their own design codes in line with the specific region’s character.
Mr Jenrick said: “Building new homes isn’t just about bricks and mortar. I want to ensure everyone – including developers – does their bit to protect the environment and give the next generation beautiful, environmentally friendly homes that local communities can support.
“That’s why I am requiring carbon emissions are cut by up to 80% from 2025 for all new homes and have published a national design guide, setting out simply what we expect from new development.
“We are also reforming the planning system, making it faster and more efficient for everyone, from households to large developers, alongside giving families greater freedom to extend their homes to meet their changing needs.”