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Housing: Sustainable Development

Question for Department for Communities and Local Government

UIN 204645, tabled on 8 July 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in which instances the Planning Inspectorate has (a) removed and (b) amended to weaken (i) the code for sustainable homes and (ii) BREEAM standards from a development plan document prepared by a local planning authority since 13 March 2014; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

15 July 2014

There has been one instance, in relation to draft Bath and North East Somerset Core Strategy.

The Written Ministerial Statement of 13 March 2014, Official Report, Column 32WS, sets out the Government's clear policy to rationalise and simplify the many overlapping and confusing housing standards currently in operation. This will enable quality and sustainable housing developments to be brought forward more easily but without compromising essential safety and accessibility protections. The outcome of the Review means that many of the requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes will be consolidated into Building Regulations, which would require substantial changes to the content of the current Code, as well as a reconsideration of its role. In the light of this, the Government thinks that the current Code will need to be wound down to coincide with the changes incorporating the new standards coming into force. The Government will make further announcements soon on the transitional arrangements, and the handling of legacy developments being built out to current Code requirements.

For a Local Plan to be "sound" it must be consistent with national policy. In this context, Bath and North East Somerset's proposals to place the Code for Sustainable Homes into planning policy was contrary to the direction of the new national policy of consolidating these standards into the building regulation regime.