NAO says that planning systems can’t cope with demand for new homes

With new homes peaking at 192,000 in recent months it is certainly a very busy time for energy assessors and air tightness testers. The good news is that government are adamant that the volume needs to reach 300,000 by the mid-2020s, to meet demand (50 percent up on today’s levels).

Unfortunately a report from the government’s own National Audit Office (NAO)  says that the current planning system is unable to demonstrate it is meeting housing demand effectively and needs to be reviewed to ensure that it doesn’t become a free for all.

Everyone in the housebuilding sector welcomes an increase in activity but if it were to become a “free for all”, we need to make sure that the mistakes of previous booms are not repeated. These new homes must be built to the highest standards of quality and energy efficiency to ensure that future tenants don’t become the fuel poor statistics of the future.

All new buildings should achieve at least the level of energy efficiency performance defined in the current Building Standards and Regulations. The Government should ensure the transition of new Building Regulations occurs swiftly to ensure that new homes are always built to current regulatory standards.

For more on the National Audit Office report visit

Article Published: 12th February 2019

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