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Housing: Environmental Standards

Volume 678: debated on Monday 20 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that new housing is of the highest standard of environmental sustainability. (904958)

Our proposed future homes standard will ensure all new homes from 2025 result in at least 75% lower carbon emissions than those built to the current standard. Earlier this month, the Chancellor announced £8.8 billion of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects, including a £3 billion green investment package, which could help support around 140,000 green jobs, and upgrade buildings and reduce emissions.

Can I urge the Secretary of State to look at the letter from 18 conservation groups, deeply worried this morning by the fact that they believe that the planning system is going to be radically deregulated? Does he not agree that we want sustainably built homes in sustainable locations? Will he talk to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and get his act together over this suggestion that there will be no more environmental impact assessments worthy of that name?

I can give this assurance to the hon. Gentleman: the planning reforms that we intend to bring forward in the weeks ahead will not row back on any of our commitments to the environment. This Government want to bring forward homes that are truly fit for the future. We do not want to see homes being built in the years ahead that will need to be retrofitted at huge expense either to the state or to individuals in time. We want to ensure that we meet our obligations to the environment, to biodiversity and to the climate change challenge, and that is exactly what the proposals that I intend to publish later this month, or at the beginning of August, will do.