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Housing Standards and the Performance Gap set to widen!

As the Department for Local Government (DCLG) is set to cap all housing standards and consolidate them within Building Regulations within the next year, it also intends to reduce the ability of Local Authorities to impose their own codes and standards.

Much of the criticism of this approach has involved the decision to axe the Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH).  The argument that loosing the Code and incorporating much of it’s content within Building Regulations has left many

wondering where the environmental standards within the Code, such as sustainable materials, day lighting , health , sound insulation, ecology and waste management, will be included with a local authorities control of development, especially after consultation documents have seemed to disclude them.

JB Comments- There do seem to be considerable gaps in the measures being taken to update and rationalise the government’s approach to new development. Arguably, the existing quality agenda for new homes in particular is steadily being dismantled.

The Code was seen by many, certainly in it’s initial days, as a costly imposition which constrained innovation, but what it has achieved over the last 8 or so years is a step up in the expectations of standards and the subsequent embracing of these standards by many builders. In fact, I would argue that many developers have had their own awareness, knowledge and understanding of sustainable development heightened which is core to the principles set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and this has actually invited innovation. 

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