Builders warned yesterday that government plans for new homes to be 'age-friendly' would saddle the industry with additional costs as it appeared to be facing its biggest slowdown for years. Financial Times

Every new home in Britain will have to meet 'age-friendly' criteria, with features such as downstairs bathrooms and wider doorways to make them suitable for elderly people, the government said yesterday.

But house builders said the 16 standards, which will become enforceable by 2013, would push up costs.

'Putting requirements on builders at a time like this could have a big impact on affordability,' said the Home Builders Federation, which criticised ministers’ 'one size-fits-all' approach.