The second largest house-builder in the UK, Persimmon has pledged to support the government’s plans for low carbon emission housing. The company has said it wants to help build the 3 million houses needed by 2020. They have agreed to introduce environmental measures in the new homes to try to get the zero carbon emissions standard the government wants. They are currently testing things like wind turbines and photovoltaic solar cell roof tiles. The company in return wants the government to change the planning laws to speed up the planning application process and make it easier for them to buy land to build on.
This may appear to be a worthwhile move by a building company, but is it? Building new homes with renewable energy technologies is a great idea and needs to be a statutory requirement for all new houses, not a marketing ploy by builders. The worrying element of this deal is the relaxation of the planning application law that could allow builders to use precious greenbelt land to build on. They are in effect holding the government to ransom. The government knows the country needs 3 million new homes, so they will have to cave-in to house-builders demands to ease planning and building restrictions.