In a bid to tackle climate change and keep household bills low, the government is to introduce new initiatives to aid the creation of more environmentally-friendly homes, in what has been dubbed a green revolution, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
Under the Future Homes Standard, polluting heating systems based on fossil fuels, such as gas boilers, will be banned from newly-constructed homes by 2025. They will be replaced with state-of-the-art alternatives that depend on cleaner fuel sources such as air source heat pumps and solar panels.
Planning rules are also expected to be revised, to help create what the MHCLG described as a simpler system that would work for all.
The government’s green housing agenda comes after it announced plans to boost the construction of homes in March’s spring statement. They set a target for 300,000 new homes to be built each year in England by the mid-2020s.
Ambitious targets set
The MHCLG unveiled a series of ambitious environmental targets, with a consultation on the Future Homes Standard set to run until January 2020. Local authorities will be expected to produce their own design guides, laying out the requirements for new homes in the coming years.
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick explained: “Building new homes isn’t just about bricks and mortar. I want to ensure everyone – including developers – do their bit to protect the environment and give the next generation beautiful, environmentally-friendly homes that local communities can support.”
The government intends to ensure that carbon emissions are cut by 80 per cent from 2025 onwards for all new homes built under the green proposals. A new National Design Guide was also unveiled, setting a blueprint for local authorities to use as they set about developing new housing projects.
New builds will be required to blend into existing communities, ensuring that these new homes are produced to a standard that is also satisfactory to residents, as well as more environmentally-friendly.
Funding for more green space
Another aspect of the government’s proposals is the desire to support the funding of a pocket parks programme, helping transform derelict urban areas into reimagined green spaces that can be used by local communities for recreational use.
An increasing number of new pocket parks would have the benefit of allowing community groups and local authorities to organise activities, and create a greater community identity, the MHCLG added.
Demand for more green spaces is supported by the fact that a significant proportion of those looking for a new home revealed earlier this year that access to green spaces, such as gardens, was a key consideration, when moving from place to place, according to research by Rightmove.
Mr Jenrick concluded: “We are also reforming the planning system, making it faster and more efficient for everyone, from households to large developers, alongside giving families greater freedom to extend their homes to meet their changing needs.”