Local planning authority policies on environmental standards for new homes vary in terms of their scope, specific requirement and degree of prescription. There is also variation as to when, and how, local planning authorities seek to apply such policies. Some local planning authorities have identifiable policies on environmental standards in their adopted development plan, or are proposing such policies in draft plans. Others rely on supplementary planning guidance which does not form part of the plan.
In October 2006 Arup's, on behalf of English Partnerships, undertook a survey of 61 authorities in England (including regional planning bodies) in order to identify the prevalence of policies relating to the use of on-site renewable energy, waste recycling, use of sustainable materials or the use of specific standards like EcoHomes. This identified a wide variation of approaches across the sample. The report is available on English Partnerships' website.