Report cites zero-carbon drive as reason housing output may fall short of 2016 target

The government’s drive towards zero-carbon homes has made it unlikely that it will hit its parallel target of building 2 million homes by 2016, according to a new industry report.

The Construction Products Association (CPA) report, entitled The Long Term Prospects for the UK New Housing Market up to 2017, finds that just 165,000 homes will be built each year by 2017, compared with the government’s target of 240,000 homes.

The finding comes as further reports suggest that consumers are unlikely to accept zero-carbon homes, and that the government should focus on improving existing homes.

The CPA report cites the main reasons that the 2016 target will be missed as: problems accessing land through the planning system, the move away from building flats and the drive for zero-carbon homes by 2016.

Michael Ankers, chief executive of the CPA, said: “The construction products industry will only make the necessary investment if there is a realistic prospect of the targets being met.”

Other reports on zero-carbon homes this week included:

  • An NHBC Foundation survey that said house buyers were unlikely to accept many features of zero-carbon homes
  • A Commons committee report that said that without a code for existing housing the government would not meet its carbon targets
  • A report by environmental charity WWF that said “a radical shift in policy” for dealing with existing homes was needed.

Meanwhile, as Building went to press, the government was due to announce a long-awaited consultation detailing 15 potential locations for eco-towns.