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Chris Medland's comments

  • Transport minister rubbishes calls for Garden Bridge inquiry

    Chris Medland's comment 18 March, 2019 1:32 pm

    Paul Finch highlights a view shared by many politicians and people in high society who see a wider picture of progress but perhaps not the detail. I do understand this view, however, I know that if I had applied for £7m of funding from TfL based on a simple friendly letter with lots of conjecture and warm words about meeting conditions that were never met it would have been rightly and immediately refused. The GBT did it in January 2016 and it was waved through and ultimately led to a further £22m loss of public transport money - the entire cost of the millennium bridge. We either have a fair and open society or we don't - unless due diligence is applied to all projects we simply don't. When serious failings in protocol and process are exposed they must be resolved properly and publically, without this happening we are not and cant claim to be an open and fair society.

  • Black to basics: Studio Bark house in rural Suffolk

    Chris Medland's comment 15 March, 2019 8:18 am

    very nice. good stuff

  • Spring statement: return of scrapped zero carbon policy?

    Chris Medland's comment 14 March, 2019 10:23 am

    its a positive step forward, granted. However over a million homes will be built before this comes into effect and the vast majority of those just, just, meet the minimum standards set by building regulations. The other related story that broke yesterday was that Persimmon have admitted lobbying government strongly and successfully to ditch the carbon zero (and cfsh) standards which, along with help to buy, has led them to record profits for them and the infamous £75m bonus to their CEO. Yes we need new homes, and yes we need them to be affordable but we cannot afford to let 1,000,000 or more new houses be built in a way that we know will make climate change worse than it otherwise would be if those homes were designed and built to higher energy performance standards. Its literally a matter of life and death and yet due to lobbying, due to volume house builders profit margins and some poor planning policy (building 1000's of homes in areas 100% reliant on car travel) this continues apace and the can has been kicked down the road again.

  • MPs’ outrage after Charity Commission refuses Garden Bridge investigation

    Chris Medland's comment 1 March, 2019 8:13 am

    with all the evidence you have compiled is it time for you to report it to the police AJ - particularly the decision to apply for funding when they were running out of money and the only way they could carry on was to sign the construction contract early and apply for funding despite not meeting the conditions, as minutes of jan 16 etc?

  • Why architects need to wake up to the carbon emergency

    Chris Medland's comment 28 February, 2019 2:28 pm

    why lawmakers need to wake up to climate emergency...and why they should ask architects what to do.... a more fitting title perhaps.

  • Levitt Bernstein completes music centre for King’s Bruton school

    Chris Medland's comment 26 February, 2019 6:47 pm

    Literally the whole of Bruton is built in the local stone... not sure I understand the logic here although it is clearly well executed

  • Who got what? How was £53m squandered on the doomed Garden Bridge?

    Chris Medland's comment 14 February, 2019 7:29 am

    the city can be open for business and be closed to exploitation Mr Finch. I will happily do a compare and contrast on progress and costs of another bridge across the Thames and would be interested in anyone trying t justify the garden bridge figures now exposed. The Diamond Jubilee bridge website. less than £500 and no cost to public compared to over £160,000 of public money in the GB case for example.....In each instance costs are any multiples of what would be considered competitive and given that the contract signed was D&B I would expect that a lot of that 'construction cost' has gone to the designers who were probably novated - worth taking a look at.

  • Astragal: Garden Bridge has died and gone to Devon

    Chris Medland's comment 13 February, 2019 10:15 am

    best headline of the year...

  • Scrapping zero-carbon policy costs new homeowners £200 a year, says report

    Chris Medland's comment 12 February, 2019 2:19 pm

    Kit Malthouse is being slippery here, i'm not sure if its deliberate or a lack of understanding.

    Yes building regulation were tightened a bit but government policy has reduced local councils ability to condition energy performance which has had the net effect of reducing standards overall. He needs to be asked to respond to this directly.

    It is planning policy and building regulations that form the framework for standards within which the vast majority of new homes are built. This framework was severely weakened by the abolition of the Code for Sustainable Homes and further undermined by the scrapping of the Zero Carbon Homes plan. Further, the Written Ministerial Statement (25 March, 2015) stated that ‘Local Authorities would only be able to require energy performance standards higher than Building Regulations up to the equivalent of Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4’. This was implemented at a time when there were plans for Part L 2016 and an
    update to the Planning and Energy Act 2008. Either statute may have brought forward stronger regulations, but neither has happened.

    Since 2015, in districts outside London, house builders have successfully challenged both local planning policies and planning conditions related to energy standards in new homes. The net result
    is that in practice, due to councils not being able to condition code 5 as they used to do, the current performance requirement on new homes is typically less that it was six years ago. Even in areas that were envisaged as Eco Towns, such as Whitehill Bordon, under the most progressive of councils, can only legally condition that: ‘new build residential development should achieve reductions in CO2 emissions of 19% below the Target Emission Rate of the 2013 Edition of the 2010 Building Regulations (Part L)’. This represents what are currently the most stringent council requirements, as noted by the UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) Driving Sustainability in New Homes: A resource for local authorities VERSION 1.2: Sept 2018.

    This national‐level under achievement has been exacerbated at Parliament when the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, was asked whether local authorities can set energy efficiency standards higher than Level 4 of the former Code for Sustainable Homes. The response was: “Local authorities may include in their local plans policies which set reasonable requirements
    for new development to meet higher energy performance standards than those required in building regulations. Policies must not be inconsistent with relevant national policies. The Written Ministerial Statement of 25 March 2015 set out relevant national policy.”

    This question was asked in order to clarify the July 2018 Statement by the Government on Building Regulations:
    “Local Authorities are not restricted in their ability to require energy efficiency standards above building regulations. The Government remains committed to delivering the clean growth mission to halve the energy usage of new buildings by 2030”. There has not been an updated Part L and the legal context explained above establishes Code 4 as the maximum improvement that Local Authorities (outside London) can demand of developers.

    What was previously set as a minimum standard from which to progress towards Carbon Zero has in reality become the maximum standard enforceable. Sadly some councils, such as Waverley in Surrey,
    don’t even advocate this low ambition.

    Considering the Government’s target of constructing 300,000 new homes a year and at least 1 million new homes in England by 2022 we are at the start of house building boom and, unless things change quickly, a worsened environmental disaster.

  • Sarah Wigglesworth and CF Møller shortlisted in Letchworth Garden City contest

    Chris Medland's comment 5 February, 2019 10:09 am

    really interesting comp and i'm sure the shortlist is great. Interesting that notes from judges issued today says 'Whilst applauding schemes which sought to reduce the dominance of private vehicles, the Panel questioned whether the utopian goal of a car-free development would be achievable – in the foreseeable future - given the development’s location on the edge of Letchworth and the relatively poor current public transport links?' this begs the question - is this the right place to build 900 new homes then?

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