New housing minister Grant Shapps has re-affirmed the coalition government’s commitment to ensuring all new homes are ‘zero carbon’ by 2016
Speaking at a ‘sod turning’ event to launch Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud new housing scheme in Swindon, Shapps (pictured) pledged to stick by targets initially set out during former housing minister Yvette Cooper stewardship in 2006 and reiterated in last year’s UK Low Carbon Transition Plan white paper. The document requires the UK to cut emissions from 1990 levels by 34 per cent.
Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council said the confirmation was ‘timely and right’.
He said: ‘Over the last three years, this target has galvanised the construction sector and led to an unprecedented amount of innovation.
‘Zero carbon homes are an appropriate fit with the new government’s agenda.’
He added: ‘In an age of spending cuts, the job of government is one of enabler. It can set the goals for sustainable development, for industry to deliver, but only if it has the clarity and certainty it needs to invest and innovate. For this reason, we warmly welcome the Housing Minister’s commitment and his desire to finalise the definition of a zero carbon home to make it clear how developers should meet that target, and how the people who will live in these new homes and neighbouring communities will benefit.’
Shapps also revealed that he would announce this summer the government’s long-awaited official definition of zero carbon development.
McCloud’s sustainable housing scheme is being developed by Hab Oakus and Willmott Dixon and has been designed by Glenn Howells.