Commenting on the unveiling of the Housing White Paper, AHR director David de Sousa said:
“A number of elements in the housing system are broken, and we understand the restraints that both developers and councils face with regards to planning for new homes. However, we want to see architects and building consultants given more freedom to do our job at arms-length. At the moment there is little consistency between local authorities throughout the planning process, and too often projects are caught up within red-tape. Thankfully it looks like this a key area that the white paper aims to address.
“Sustainability and energy efficiency should be a key component of any housing development. It’s no secret that other European countries are ahead of Britain when it comes to energy efficiency, but we should see this white paper as the spark to make changes, to aspire to Passivhaus and Carbon Neutral homes.
“The government is recognising the benefits of good quality architecture and we agree with the recommendations for creative and innovative designs for new housing stock, particularly for SME housebuilders. Using modern construction techniques and design technologies we can go beyond traditional building and future proof Britain’s new homes.
“We are facing a very real shortage of affordable housing and the bottom line is that we want to put people in homes and give them sustainable communities to live in.
“The recommendations in the white paper will help at the front end by encouraging councils to free up land and supporting developers to meet planning timescales. There is no magic bullet or quick solution, but we hope that the government, local authorities and developers follow up the paper with positive actions.”
12 JANUARY 2015