The Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has unveiled a new green standard for building homes, which the Government says: “will bring an environmental revolution to home building – tackling climate change while keeping household bills low.”
The Future Homes Standard will see polluting fossil fuel heating systems such as gas boilers banned from new homes by 2025, as part of a move to cut carbon emissions by 80%. MHCLG has launched the first stage of a two-part consultation that sets out plans for the standard and seeks views on proposed changes to the Building Regulations.
Alongside this, the Housing Secretary has announced plans to extend rules of its permitted development rights for householders. Owners of residential blocks will now be able to add up to two storeys without planning permission under the proposed new housing policy. This builds on a notion first suggested in the Housing white paper, published by MHCLG in 2017.
However, councils have warned that the plans would prevent them from ensuring that new homes are affordable and supported by the correct infrastructure, moves that could go against the Government’s commitments to building safety.
Proposed changes will also make it easier for developers to build homes in place of commercial buildings and give tenants in new Housing Association properties the right to shared ownership. This is paired with the Government’s new national design guide, which will require every single local authority across the country to produce their own design guide “which reflects their unique setting, character and history, while meeting the expected national standard” in the coming months.
All this is in accordance with Jenrick’s mission to “get Britain building”, which he declared as he welcomed new data that has revealed a surge in the number of new homes completed by developers in the year ending June 2019. The number of new homes built during this period rose to over 170,000—the highest number built over this period in the last 11 years.
The Heritage Alliance has warned against these proposals in the submitted consultation response in January 2019. We have also raised these concerns in September in a meeting with the MHCLG Secretary of State.