Housing Secretary Michael Gove has assured that revised timetables for energy efficiency targets in the private rental sector will be published soon. During a Q&A session in London after his speech on housebuilding, Gove acknowledged concerns about the current timetable for EPC targets for landlords and stated that further details would be released shortly.
In a recent newspaper article, Gove expressed that the government may have been demanding too much too quickly from landlords, considering the proposed 2028 deadline for new EPC regulations. The new regulations require landlords to ensure their rented properties achieve a minimum EPC rating of C within five years, or they may face substantial fines.
During the Q&A session, Gove firmly pledged against the introduction of rent controls, citing past instances where such controls had negative repercussions.
While Gove’s speech mainly focused on the necessity of building new homes, the emphasis was placed on urban areas rather than rural ones.
He stated that the key lies in constructing the right homes in appropriate locations with community backing, eschewing excessive urbanization and prioritizing community involvement in the development process.
Gove assured that he would address the hindrances in the planning system that impede development and hinder growth and investment.
To tackle this, a £24 million Planning Skills Delivery Fund will be allocated to clear backlogs and ensure skilled personnel are available. Additionally, a “super-squad” team of top planners and experts will collaborate across the planning system to unblock major housing projects, starting in Cambridge to accelerate city plans.
Developers will be requested to contribute more through fees to enhance the planning service’s quality and efficiency.
The introduction of fresh flexibilities to transform shops, takeaways, and betting shops into residential properties is aimed at revitalizing the high street. In addition, bureaucratic barriers will be reduced to facilitate barn conversions, repurpose agricultural buildings, and transform disused warehouses.
The newfound liberties to extend homes, convert lofts, and renovate new structures will aid in repurposing existing properties into new living spaces. Furthermore, a review of Permitted Development Rights will streamline the process for homeowners to expand upwards and outwards, incorporating new extensions and loft conversions while safeguarding the interests of their neighbors.
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