Overhaul includes minimum space standards promise, as well as discarding requirments for rainwater harvesting

istock housing

Regulation nation: will the government’s review help cure the housing crisis?

The government has said it has cut the amount of red tape needed to build homes to a high standard.

Among the standards being discarded are requirements for rainwater harvesting in places that don’t suffer from water shortages and the requirement for compost bins and secure sheds in gardens.

It also announced that it would develop a national space standard to be available to councils where there was a need and where this would not stop development. This would replace the variety of different space standards which are currently required by councils.

RIBA head of external affairs Anna Scott-Marshall said: “We are delighted that the government has listened to consumer concerns and is taking steps  to address the problems we have identified with the small size of new homes.

“We need to build hundreds of thousands of new homes in the coming years, today’s announcement takes us one step closer to ensuring these will be well designed, flexible homes with the space people want and need.”

Communities minister Stephen Williams said house builders faced too many different standards to implement each time they build new homes in an area – with the standards imposed varying between areas, and often leading to duplication and even contradiction

He added: “That’s why we’re planning to make the whole system easier to understand and follow, consolidating housing standards so that all the requirements are in one place.

“This will enable councils and developers to better work together to build high-quality, sustainable and secure homes in communities across the country.”

The measures will reduce 100 standards to fewer than 10, bringing down the numbers of remaining pages of guidance from 1,000 to fewer than 100, which Williams said would save councils and developers both time and money.

Under the changes, the new system will include “optional building regulations”, which will only apply where it is right to do so, with councils deciding whether they apply to developments being built in their areas.

This story first appeared on Building Design