A package of measures are being published today which will save housebuilders and councils £114 million a year by cutting red tape while ensuring homes are still built to a high standard.
These new measures land particularly on security, wheelchair accessibility and space which will make a huge difference to many people in the UK.
The rules in place in the current system on how new homes can be built encourages wide differences across the country as councils are able to pick from a range of standards which causes an unlimited number of permutations in local rules. This approach unfortunately creates cost, uncertainty, bureaucracy and duplication for housebuilders. The Government is now consulting today on the details of how it will consolidate the mass of standards into a core range of five standards.
Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “It’s now time to go further by freeing up housebuilders from unnecessary red tape and let them get on with the real job building the right homes, in the right places, to help families and first time buyers onto the property ladder.
“The current system of housing standards creates a labyrinth of bureaucratic rules for housebuilders to try and navigate, often of little benefit and significant cost. We are now slashing this mass of unnecessary rules down to just 5 core standards saving housebuilders and councils £114 million a year whilst making new homes safer, more accessible to older and disabled people and more sustainable.”
Benefits to a core range of housebuilding standards
Current housing standards required of new development can be unworkable, including demands for solar and wind energy sources that can’t physically fit onto the roofs of apartment buildings, or unnecessary including compliance regimes which add thousands to the cost of building a new home without any benefit.
In order to eliminate this, the remaining core of 5 standards will cover:
- security: introducing a national regulation on security standards in all new homes to protect families from burglary
- space: for the first time ever, a national, cross tenure space standard that local authorities and communities can choose to use to influence the size of new homes in their local area
- age friendly housing: new optional building regulations for accessible and adaptable mainstream housing to meet the needs of older and disabled people
- wheelchair user housing: the introduction for the first time of an optional building regulation setting standards for wheelchair housing.
- water efficiency: the ability to set higher water efficiency standards in areas of water shortage
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