12th May 2015

Housing Standards review

I promised to keep you updated with the latest legislation and regulations, so here goes – although I cannot promise it will be the most riveting email I have written!

There were a series of government announcements made just before Parliament was dissolved. Where this leaves us, of course, is a bit up in the air because there may be an entirely new government or governments in place in a month’s time to implement them.

The outcome of the Housing Standards Review technical consultation leaves the future of Merton-style planning policies uncertain. The Merton Rule – which allows local authorities to specify a higher standard of on-site renewable energy than the Regs require – is to stay in place but cannot be used to impose a higher “technical” standard. What does this mean for energy sources – aren’t they always technical?

Then there was the outcome of the zero carbon homes small sites consultation which confirmed the exemption from the Allowable Solutions element for developments up to 10 units. These homes will still need to meet the Building Regulations though – which have been set a little above Code Level for Sustainable Homes Level 4.

Lastly they confirmed through the new Infrastructure Act that Allowable Solutions will be enforceable through Building Regulations from 2016 although the detail remains to be proposed and will be subject to public consultation after the election.

And after the election, it could all change…..

If you would like more detail, please free to get in touch by replying to this email.

Kind regards

Paul Hutchens

Managing Director

Eco2 Solar Ltd, Worcestershire, England