Tag Archives: housing

We need a fair heat deal to overcome all the hot air about green homes

This post was originally published by Business Green.

The government is right. The way we heat our homes needs to change if we are to reach net zero.

Over 85 per cent of UK homes are currently heated using fossil gas and this accounts for around 16 per cent of total UK emissions. But getting those emissions down to zero is shaping up to be one of the most politically difficult parts of the government’s decarbonisation agenda.

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Net zero: an update from the housing, communities and local government committee

Green Alliance is tracking the UK’s net zero policy progress in key areas of government throughout this year. This week we are featuring a series of daily blogs in which we hear from the chairs of five parliamentary select committees, who answer our questions about the progress being made in their committee’s area of interest. This post is by Clive Betts MP, chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee.

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The government should rethink the Planning Bill

This post is by Dame Fiona Reynolds, master of Emmanuel College, former director-general of the National Trust, vice president of CPRE, the Countryside Charity, and trustee of Green Alliance. She writes here in a personal capacity.

Last summer the government consulted on what it described as radical reform of the land use planning system.  In intemperate language, it blamed planning for much that is wrong in our society: for failing to deliver new housing (even though one million houses with planning permission are not being built); for failing to allow businesses to grow; for failing to deliver infrastructure; and for failing to involve people in decisions. It promised “a whole new planning system for England”.

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Key points from the Committee on Climate Change’s report on the Clean Growth Strategy

34851742134_66b6b7b0e1_bThe Committee on Climate Change (CCC) today published its analysis of the Clean Growth Strategy (CGS), the government’s blueprint for meeting the targets it is legally bound to achieve under the Climate Change Act.

The analysis highlights a worrying gap (of 10-65 MTCO2e) between the government’s existing policies and commitments and the requirements set under the fourth and fifth carbon budgets. To bridge this gap and minimise delivery risks, the CCC says, the government must urgently firm up the policies, proposals and intentions laid out in the Clean Growth

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How much do we care about owning the products we use?

lotRecent research has shown that the number of people who own their own homes is at a 30 year low and, with growing anxiety about young people being unable to get on the property ladder, the government has started to act. In the budget, Philip Hammond aimed to revive “the dream of home ownership” by abolishing the stamp duty for homes up to £300,000, designed to appeal to the group increasingly known as ‘generation rent’.

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What the government should do with the housing white paper

Newly built homesThis post is by Shaun Spiers, chief executive of CPRE. It first appeared on CPRE’s blog.

There will be much to welcome in this month’s housing white paper. We expect a big emphasis on brownfield development and more support to enable local authority planning departments to do their job. Best of all, it looks set to address the main cause of the housing shortage: not planning or a lack of land, but the system’s over dependence on a dozen big companies to deliver the new homes the country needs. Read more

Why aren’t we tackling energy efficiency in buildings when it’s so simple to solve?

5905213394_77ab6664ca_z.jpgThis post is by Andy Ford, director of the Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings (CEREB) at London South Bank University and Bruce Tofield, associate consultant with the Adapt Low Carbon Group at the Passivhaus Enterprise Centre, University of East Anglia.

What’s the easiest thing that we could do to reduce energy use, tackle climate change and make life healthier, more affordable and more comfortable for millions of people in the UK; something that will also promote higher productivity, quality and skills?

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How to build garden cities for the 21st century

Garden_City2This post is by Hugh Ellis, chief planner at the Town and Country Planning Association. It is taken from the collection of essays, published last week by Green Alliance, Green social democracy: better homes in better places.  This pamphlet, alongside similar collections on ‘Green liberalism’ and ‘Green conservatism’ (to be published this week), are part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This essay has also been posted on Labour List.

It is clear that the housing crisis is having a desperate impact on British people’s lives. It is also clear that the next government will have to face an acute economic and environmental crisis. The current national response to these complex challenges won’t secure the lasting progress we need. Welfare benefit reform is driving a whole new set of housing needs and new patterns of migration, and it’s increasing inequality and social division. Our deregulated planning system with no strategic teeth is at a low ebb and the ideologies of nudge theory and neoliberalism, although practically ineffective, still dominate the zeitgeist. Read more

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