This week a reader calls for uniform standards for measuring sustainable development
Cracking the planning code
Regarding your story ‘Planning changes need ‘significant reform’ (www.building.co.uk, 21 December), surely there is already an existing framework/system for measuring the definition of sustainable development called ‘The Code for Sustainable Homes’?
In Wales all new build dwellings need to meet a minimum code level 3 standard as a condition of planning approval. In England this is only the case for developments over a certain size/number of units and these requirements and their details vary between local authorities.
The proposed changes to the planning laws are an opportunity to adopt, and refine if necessary, the Code for Sustainable Homes as the primary tool in assessing the suitability of residential development.
Universal requirement to meet a minimum code level standard would give developers a level playing field across the country as well as the clear framework/predictability that they desire. The code requirements can be slowly cranked up, or down, as required over time. Uniform standards will allow house builders and developers to take account of the new requirements and proceed with the increased level of house building. This will provide the economic stimulus developers bring to the local, and national economy, while at the same time providing much needed good quality sustainable housing.
Jonathan Braddick, via www.building.co.uk