UCL News


UCL in the News: Government house building programme could be 'environmental disaster'

30 January 2008

'Building & Engineer' The Government's massive housing growth programme for the South East will be an "environmental disaster" without more stringent standards for new homes and adequate investment in infrastructure and technology, a report has warned.

Expansion planned in the Thames Gateway, Ashford and Milton Keynes, could be a "marvellous opportunity" to tackle climate change, Jo Williams [UCL Bartlett School] said. …

Dr Williams argues that environmental performance standards set by the government for new housing are not stringent enough, and that there has not been adequate investment in the technologies, support services and infrastructure needed to deliver green housing for the growth regions. …

Dr Williams said: "Contrary to popular belief, cost is not the key barrier to developing higher environmental standards in housing. Insufficient regulatory standards and poor technological, infrastructural and knowledge capacity are the key barriers to overcome."

"The housing programme provides government with an excellent opportunity to move towards its carbon reduction targets, but to do so will require higher performance standards becoming mandatory for all new housing.

"The government needs to address this urgently and provide the investment to ensure that environmentally sustainable housing does not come at the price of exacerbating the housing shortage."