Red tape on the building of new houses could be slashed
Many of the regulations relating to new house builds could be scrapped as the government tries to encourage the continuing growth of the housing market.
Currently, builders of new houses must meet numerous specifications on how new homes should be built and what facilities they must include.
Each local council is able to select the regulations they feel most suited to them, and apply them to new builds in their area.
This system has been criticised for creating wide variations from one region to another, which can leave builders unsure of what they can and can’t do on any given project.
The government has proposed a simplified set of regulations, which will be consolidated into five core standards:
• security: introducing a national regulation on security standards in all new homes to protect families from burglary
• space: a national, cross tenure space standard that local authorities and communities can choose to use to influence the size of new homes in their local area
• age friendly housing: new optional building regulations for accessible and adaptable mainstream housing to meet the needs of older and disabled people
• wheelchair user housing: the introduction of an optional building regulation setting standards for wheelchair housing
• water efficiency: the ability to set higher water efficiency standards in areas of water shortage.
Every new house built would be subject to the security standards, with the other regulations being optional for local councils.
Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “We need to build more homes and better quality homes and this government is delivering on both. It’s now time to go further by freeing up house builders from unnecessary red tape and let them get on with the real job building the right homes, in the right places, to help families and first time buyers onto the property ladder.”
The government claims the change could save house builders and local councils up to £114m per year. The proposal was published in September 2014. We will keep our clients informed of any developments.
Please contact Dipak Odedra if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article.