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House Building and Planning

Volume 664: debated on Tuesday 1 October 2019

Building new homes is not just about bricks and mortar, it is about ensuring everyone, including developers, does their bit, to make swift progress, protect the environment, and give the next generation well designed, environmentally friendly houses that they can be proud to call home.

That is why, today, I have announced the publication of new guidance, including the “National Design Guide”, to drive up the quality of new homes. I have set out more detail on this guidance in the statement I also made today titled “National Design Guide”. “The National Design Guide” can be found at

The Government have also launched a consultation on stronger building regulations that will pave the way for the future homes standard. These 2020 changes aim to improve the environment by cutting carbon emissions in new homes by almost a third, while keeping household bills low. The Future Homes Standard consultation can be found at:

Using new technologies such as air source heat pumps and the latest generation of solar panels, developers will need to ensure they are doing their bit to tackle the threat of climate change.

Views are being sought on how changes to building regulations can drive down the carbon footprint of homes built after 2025, including changes to the ventilation and efficiency requirements, as well as the role of councils in getting the best energy standards from developers. The consultation will run until January 2020.

The Government will consult on a new accelerated planning Green Paper that will provide the blueprint to overhaul the planning system to create a simpler, fairer system that works for everyone—from home owners to small and medium businesses, local communities to larger housing developers—ensuring councils work at pace to decide proposals.

Local residents will no longer have to contend with a complicated and outdated planning system, but a more user-friendly approach designed to simplify the process. Small developers will similarly benefit from the simplification of guidance, with the introduction of a new tiered planning system.

Application fees will also be reviewed to ensure council planning departments are properly resourced, providing more qualified planners to process applications for new homes and other proposals, but if councils fail to meet their targets then sanctions could be applied, including the potential for consumers’ fees to be refunded.

The Government have also set out its ambition to reduce planning conditions by a third, and will take forward proposals to allow homes to be built above existing properties as well as seeking views on demolishing old commercial buildings for new housing, revitalising high streets in the process.

The accelerated planning Green Paper will be published in the autumn.