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Zero Carbon “light” Policy comes through Commons untouched

The government’s recent commitment to watering down the zero carbon homes policy moved another step closer after the coalition government’s Infrastructure Bill passed through the House of Commons with no amendments. 

MPs voted to leave unamended the exemption clause which exempts new build developments of 10 homes or more from funding “allowable Solutions”. As the government’s preferred method of delivering a top up CO2 emissions reduction for developments which can not meet zero carbon on site, Allowable Solutions enables developers to fund offsite renewables schemes to make up their short fall.

Commenting on the situation, the UK Green Buildings Council stated that the original standard required a minimum CO2 reduction over 2006 Regulations of between 56% and 60% for houses and 44% for flats. The government’s proposal now represents a meager 44% reduction across all housing types.

JB Comments The exemption of smaller sites, which accounts for over a fifth of all new development, could mean developers  making applications for bigger sites, will strive to out-maneouvre the legislation  by splitting up these sites into plots of 10 or fewer homes. This may well reduce the speed at which new homes are delivered  and will make achieving the overall targets for green house gas emissions reductions  across the UK more difficult to deliver. 

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