The government has now concluded the Housing Standards Review and has set out a new approach through the planning system for sustainability standards in housing. From 27th March 15 the Code for Sustainable Homes has been withdrawn, transitional arrangements will continue to allow for code assessments on existing schemes to be progressed where there is a planning or funding requirement.
A government ministerial statement setting out performance standards for new housing is available to local planning authorities. In relation to specific energy performance issues, local authorities will most likely still request that energy performance standards exceed Building Regulations, until such time as the national zero carbon homes policy in introduced at the back end of 2016. Until the introduction of this new policy local planning authorities should not request that energy standards higher than a code level 4 or equivalent be achieved on developments.
The BRE have recently launched a voluntary sustainability standard “Home Quality Mark” which they will release full details of in the summer.
The changes only apply to housing which will mean local authorities will still be able to ask for BREEAM standards on non-residential developments.
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