BPF: Lords report right to warn against short-term view on housing

19 Feb 2016

Policy area: Residential, Planning

The British Property Federation (BPF) has praised a House of Lords report which warns that good placemaking and sustainability must not be pushed aside in the rush to create new homes.

The House of Lords Built Environment Select Committee Report outlines concerns that the short-term approach to building new homes is being carried out at the expense of long-term considerations, and criticises the removal of initiatives such as zero carbon homes.

The BPF has similarly criticised the Government for the lack of clarity surrounding carbon regulation, following the scrapping of policies such as allowable solutions and the removal of the zero carbon target. It has urged Government to provide a clear policy trajectory for the build environment, in order to meet the European Union's obligations for nearly-zero energy buildings from 2020.

The BPF has welcomed the report’s recognition of the fact that there needs to be a diverse supply base in order to deliver a sufficient amount of new homes, but was disappointed to see that it has not better recognised the contribution of build to rent. In its evidence to the committee, the BPF highlighted the role that build to rent can play in creating high quality places that people want to work and live, offering density, affordability and high quality homes, that come with long-term investment. 

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, commented: “Today’s report is right to highlight the need to future-proof the creation of new homes and communities, and to warn against taking a short-term approach to delivery. Although there is a pressing need to deliver new homes, this must not be done at the expense of quality and great placemaking. Policies such as the removal of the zero carbon target by the Government have been concerning, and it is of vital importance that we consider future generations when creating new places. 

“It was perhaps an oversight that the report did not put more emphasis on build to rent, and the role it can play in supporting changing demographics and contributing to communities, but there was a lot to cover and the current inquiry by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee is focusing far more on the Private Rented Sector.”