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Housing: Sustainable Development

Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent steps he has taken to encourage sustainable housing development in the West Midlands. (324279)

Budget 2009 and our £1.5 billion Housing Pledge in June 2009, has to date meant I have been able to release to the west midlands £80 million for the Kickstart Housing Delivery programme targeted at currently stalled house building sites, to support construction of high quality housing; and £21 million for new energy efficient local authority house building. Also, from June 2009 to January 2010 west midlands has been allocated £170 million of grant from the National Affordable Housing Programme (NAHP). Homes supported under NAHP are expected to be Code level 3 or above.

More generally, this Department has worked with a wide range of stakeholders in developing the Code for Sustainable Homes (the Code) policy to help improve the sustainability of homes both during construction as well as occupation. The Code is the national voluntary standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes. The Code aims to reduce carbon emissions and encourage homes that are more sustainable.

Under the Planning Policy Statement on climate change PPS 1 Local Authorities can specify levels of the Code as a planning condition as long as they have specified local circumstances that warrant and allow any local requirement.