Peter Aldous welcomes the Government’s commitments to review carbon compliance for new homes and sustainable drainage systems

3rd May 2016
Speaking in a debate on the Lords amendments to the Housing and Planning Bill, Peter Aldous supports the Government’s commitments to review carbon compliance for new homes and sustainable drainage systems.
 
I shall speak briefly to Lords amendments 108 on carbon compliance for new homes and 110 on sustainable drainage systems. Both have considerable merit, and I would be inclined to support them both if the Government were not already committed to reviews on both matters. It is best to bring in such measures after full consideration of all the evidence, having weighed up and carefully assessed the pros and cons.

An understandable concern with both amendments is that they might have a disproportionate negative impact on smaller buildings. While there is a concern that a carbon compliance standard is an additional regulatory burden that could add to building costs, evidence shows that such a target incentivises innovation, leading to cost reductions and the achievement of its objective of increasing energy efficiency in new buildings.

On sustainable urban drainage systems, I have in mind my own Waveney constituency. As in many places, much new housing is proposed there in the next few years, and it saw devastating flooding of homes last year, caused partially by large new developments that did not have sustainable drainage systems.

I find it significant that Anglian Water, the statutory drainage authority for the area, is backing this amendment. It pointed to the following merits: a reduction in occurrences of surface water flooding; a reduction in the £2 billion cost of flood damage in England each year; the creation of additional drainage capacity that will help to deliver more new homes; lower bills to customers, as SUDS are cheaper than conventional drainage systems; and bringing the system in England in line with the rest of the UK.

I welcome the Government’s reviews of those two issues. The reviews should be wide-ranging, should be conducted in a timely fashion—both should certainly be completed by this time next year—and should be subject to full debate and scrutiny in the House and its Committees.

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