Cities and local authorities need more powers to deliver sustainable homes


A new paper published today calls for cities and local authorities to be given a greater role in helping to deliver sustainable new builds

The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) is calling for cities and local authorities to have more powers when it comes to sustainable building.

In a green paper, published today, the UK-GBC has proposed both cities and local authorities be given key leadership roles in this sector.

The sustainable homes industry has suffered a series of repeated blows in the past few years. The government scrapped its Zero Carbon Homes scheme as well as its flagship efficiency programme the Green Deal. Furthermore, the Code of Sustainable Homes (a tool that helps promote sustainable development in new build housing) was also wound down.

Green Paper

In its green paper, the UK-GBC examines the role of local authorities in delivering sustainable homes and investigates their current capabilities under existing powers. The organisation suggests by requiring higher building standards on their own land, local authorities can lead by example.

The paper also looks at what devolution deals could offer to the sector, including the potential for cities to develop spatial plans for the area and to work with industry to develop standards for higher quality homes.

Chief executive Julie Hirigoyen said: “In the current policy landscape, with ambition in sustainable housing at a national level falling short, it is vital we consider how local and city authorities can play a leadership role.

“This is the only way we will meet our stretching carbon reduction targets and deliver genuinely sustainable places.

“This paper proposes that cities should learn from existing best practices in respect of planning and design tools, and drive up sustainability standards for housing on their own land.

“It also suggests advocating for new powers under devolution, which would enable them to work in partnership with industry to raise the bar for new-build housing in their jurisdiction.

“We look forward to the views of stakeholders on our proposals.”

Members of the UK-GBC and other interested parties are currently consulting on the paper until 20 February.


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