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Housing Standards Review Scraps Code for Sustainable Homes

March 30, 2015

The long awaited Housing Standards Review was given royal ascent on the final day of parliament.

The document, which forms part of the government’s promise to reduce housing regulation by 90%, was subject to extensive consultation. One major change now sees all energy requirements for new homes contained within the Building Regulations.

Planning authorities had previously used the Code for Sustainable Homes, this code has since been scrapped; the Building Regulations are now set to be amended to produce a minimum energy requirement which would have been equivalent to code level 4.

Legacy schemes and those already in progress, including existing contractual agreements with Registered Social Landlords under the Affordable Funding Programme, can continue to use the code, and the Building Research Establishment (BRE) will continue to certify works.

Gwyn Roberts, who is responsible for Housing Standards at BRE, said: “The code has been a catalyst for significant positive change in house building – it created a step change in standards, knowledge, products and skills within the sector. However, the code as a Government standard, hasn’t resonated with consumers as this is key to really driving the market further forward. BRE is now working with the industry to do this.”

The review will also require planning authorities to use the new National Technical Standards, which provide specifications for accessible homes, with the base line largely aligned with part M of the Building Regulations. Anything other than the base line standard will only be permitted where a planning authority has demonstrated that they “address a clearly evidenced need, and where their impact on viability has been considered, in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Guidance”.

 You can find more information on the Housing Standards Review HERE