A Conservative Party review group today called for sweeping changes to the UK’s built environment in order to address the problem of climate change.
The Quality of Life Committee, chaired by former Tory environment secretary John Gummer and Conservative party donor and environmental campaigner Zac Goldsmith, produced a 549 page report putting forward proposals for how to make Britain greener.
The 79-page section on the built environment covered building standards, land use, planning, housing and finance.
Tory leader David Cameron will asses the report and decide if the recommendations are to become party policy
The key recommendations of the report include:
• Combining the roles of Defra, DCLG and DfT in one new government body, the Department for Sustainable Growth.
• The abolition of HIPs, and enforcement of EU provisions on energy performance standards.
• The scrapping of plans for a planning gain supplement and retention of the current section 106 system.
• Reduction of the VAT levy on brownfield land development, increase of the VAT levy on Greenfield land development.
• The introduction of a National Building Standard specifying a maximum carbon output for new buildings to replace current building regulations.
• The abolition of land use classifications, and to increase the amount of mixed-use development.
• A reduction in the level of stamp duty, council tax and VAT for low-carbon homes, and a reduction in business rates for low-carbon commercial premises.
• Encouraging banks to offer green mortgages for customers buying high energy performance homes.
• The wider adoption of Planning Timetable Agreements, to give developers a clearer idea of when decisions will be reached on the various aspects of complex planning applications.
• The creation of Intermediate Housing Trusts to increase levels of shared ownership of affordable housing and help people move from renting to owning their own homes.