John Alker, Director of Policy and Places at UKGBC said:

“We welcome the focus on good design, greener homes and sustainable placemaking in today’s statement. As we have seen from the recent Housing Audit project, sadly the majority of new housing does not achieve the standards required to address the environmental or social challenges we face. It is vital that quantity goes hand in hand with quality, a point which appears to have been acknowledged in today’s announcement.

“The focus on involving communities in the design process is positive. However, this must be a genuinely collaborative process between developers, designers and communities – drawing on the expertise of professionals, and meeting the needs of all parts of local communities in order to create greater social value. We await further details with interest.

“It is encouraging to see the recognition that new homes are vital to meeting our net zero carbon target. However, the more ambitious carbon reduction requirements need to be accompanied with minimum energy efficiency standards, ensuring we reduce the amount of energy used in the first place.

“We also welcome the strong emphasis on the role of nature in good design, including the promotion of tree-lined streets. Nature-based, good quality design is a win-win – addressing biodiversity decline and ensuring we have beautiful places that are future-proofed against a changing climate. To that end, measures to review building on flood plains are also extremely important.”

The Government’s press release related to today’s statement is available here. 

Details of the 2020 Housing Design Audit for England are available here.