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Zero-carbon homes set to be reintroduced after House of Lords housing bill defeat

The House of Lords has overthrown the government’s decision to scrap zero-carbon homes requirements. 

The move was made on Monday in the final session of the report stage of the Housing and Planning Bill and will see the reintroduction of the zero-carbon homes standard, which was scrapped by the government last July.

Plans to row back on the government’s pledge to make new homes carbon-neutral from 2016 were first mooted in the Infrastructure Bill in 2014.

Yet at the time a survey carried out by National Building Specification suggested that 48 per cent of architects, consultants, contractors and clients thought that zero-carbon standards should be made compulsory.

The backlash by the Lords, which saw the government defeated by 48 votes, could mean that all new homes built from April 2018 will now have to achieve the carbon compliance standard.

The House of Lords also backed an amendment that would see local authorities require developers to build affordable housing on small-scale developments, and another that would require all new schemes to include sustainable drainage systems.

Commenting on the House of Lords defeat, UK Green Building Council CEO Julie Hirigoyen said: ”During the 10 years prior to July 2015, the leading players spanning the housebuilding industry – developers, product manufacturers, contractors and engineers – got behind zero-carbon homes, investing heavily and innovating to make it a reality.

“The unexpected and unwanted scrapping of the policy made a mockery of the government’s green credentials, and demonstrated complete disdain for the quality of the nation’s new homes and the industry’s investment.”

She added: “Having supported the Paris climate agreement with much fanfare, cutting carbon from new homes and buildings will be vital to achieving our commitments.

“Reintroducing the zero-carbon homes standard would be a clear next step on this journey, and would provide the certainty the industry needs to continue investing in new skills and technologies.”

 

 

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