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Delay to Part L revisions is ‘putting construction growth at risk’

The UK Green Building Council has made a plea for the government to push ahead with its zero-carbon policy to avoid ‘putting growth in the construction sector at risk’ as Part L revisions are delayed.

Part L regulations set out the energy efficiency requirements for buildings and are needed to help the UK meet its legally-binding carbon reduction targets by 2050.

As part of the budget in March, the government reaffirmed its commitment to building zero-carbon homes from 2016.

Chancellor George Osborne also confirmed that the government would publish a “detailed plan” setting out a response to the 2012 consultation on Part L of the building regulations by May 2013.

But two weeks into June, a plan has not yet been published.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman insisted “there is no delay” with the revisions to Part L regulations.

He told Construction News: “They will be out shortly. That’s all I can say.”

The government’s consultation on the energy efficiency requirements in building regulations closed in April 2012 and the implementation date for the revisions is October 2013.

But the UKGBC said it is concerned that the ongoing delay is causing further uncertainty for house builders, product manufacturers and the wider supply chain.

UKGBC chief executive Paul King said: “It’s been almost three months since the government restated its commitment to zero carbon, promising an announcement by May.

“Yet two weeks on from this date we are still in the dark about the future direction of this essential policy.

“While the Coalition continues to dither over zero carbon, product manufacturers and the supply chain are losing out, putting jobs and much needed growth in the construction sector at risk,” he added.

WSP sustainability David Brownass said: “Given the lack of ambition in the proposed Part L 2013 changes, particularly for dwellings, and the uncertainty in even implementing a small step towards the Fabric Energy Efficiency standard in 2013, the already ‘watered down’ zero carbon proposals in 2016 must be in jeopardy.”

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