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Govt unveils Future Homes Standard and consults on revamp of Part L and Part F

Standard seeks to embed technology such as air-source heat pumps and solar PV in new-build homes

The government has published its ‘routemap’ for the Future Homes Standard that former Chancellor Philip Hammond promised in his Spring Statement.  This consultation document will outline the latest generation of clean technology – such as air source heat pumps and solar panels - that should be used in new-build housing. 

As part of the process of developing the new standard, Whitehall has also launched consultations for Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations, while promising a ’new blueprint to overhaul the planning system in order to create a simpler, fairer system that works for everyone.’

The standard, unveiled by the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, promised to bring ’an environmental revolution to home building: tackling climate change while keeping household bills low.’ 

The news will prove a talking point for panellists at tomorrow’s H&V News Summit in London (for details see here).

One of the key elements of the new standard will see “polluting fossil fuel heating systems such as gas boilers banned from new homes by 2025”. 

The government has also announced plans for a new national design code, saying: ”In the coming months, every single local authority across the country will be expected to produce their own design guide which reflects their unique setting, character and history, while meeting the expected national standard.”

Announcing the launch of the Standard, Mr Jenrick said: ”Building new homes isn’t just about bricks and mortar, I want to ensure everyone – including developers – do 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 per cent 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.”

At the same time, the government has launched a consultation on ’stronger’ building regulations that will pave the way for the Future Homes Standard.

The said: ”The 2020 changes aim to improve the environment by cutting carbon emissions in new homes by almost a third, while keeping bills low. Using new technologies such as air source heat pumps and the latest generation of solar panels, developers will need to ensure they are doing their bit to tackle the threat of climate change. Views are being sought on how changes to building regulations can drive down the carbon footprint of homes built after 2025 – including changes to the ventilation and efficiency requirements as well as the role of councils in getting the best energy standards from developers. The consultation will run until January 2020. Homeowners could potentially save on their energy bills as developments in the fabric of buildings, such as wall insulation and heating, help drive down the cost of keeping homes warm.”

The government has confirmed proposals to speed up the planning system, including the potential for more fees to be refunded if councils take too long to decide on specific planning applications. The accelerated planning green paper will be published in November 2019. Government has also set out its ambition to reduce planning conditions by a third, and will take forward proposals to allow homes to be built above existing properties as well as seeking views on demolishing old commercial buildings for new housing, revitalising high streets in the process.

A new National Design Guide has also been published, setting out a blueprint for how local authorities can achieve quality and great design, and recommends what developers need to deliver to help win the support of communities – ensuring new homes are built quicker and better. The document also asks councils to prepare and implement their own design codes, in line with the national standard, which can reflect their unique setting and character.

timetable for implementation

timetable for implementation

 

Further updates will be added shortly.

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