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Zero-carbon homes blow

A senior figure at top-three house builder Persimmon has admitted the cost of building a zero-carbon house puts it out of reach of average buyers.

The Government wants all new homes built from 2016 to the reach the level 6 zero-carbon rating. But Persimmon’s head of public sector housing Dr Ashley Lane, who came to the group when the firm snapped up rival Westbury three years ago, said to build a home to level 3 or 4 would cost up to Ł14,000 more than a normal home at current prices.

He said it would cost £30,000 to hit the level 5 target while “the cost of a level six home would be way north of that”.

He added that the benefits of living in a sustainable home were falling on deaf ears.

He said: “The majority of people are most interested in the location, the facilities, the size of a home and how much it costs.”