Environmental Regulations Pushing Welsh Property Costs
Latest environmental guidelines relevant to all new-build properties in Wales could increase the price of development by as much as 10%, research has claimed.
From 1 September, all new build homes in Wales now need to comply with the strict requirements of Level 3 of The Code for Sustainable Homes, controversially announced by the Welsh Assembly last year.
The legislation makes the country’s property greener than those in England and will be implemented in stages. Tight legislation on developments of five or more homes was introduced last September.
While the green building community views the move as a step forward, some have questioned the consequences.
Gareth Hooper of the Cardiff office of planning consultancy DPP said: “The property market in Wales remains particularly fragile and this step to increase the environmental credentials of new homes in Wales has been widely criticised as political one-upmanship on Westminster, and likely to further slow down the delivery of much needed new homes.
“These requirements will add considerably to the level of detail required at the planning application stage. This will have a time and cost implication for developers in preparing applications. In practice this means developers and self-builders will need to consider the environmental requirements of the Code from the outset, incorporating measures into the design.”
The new regulations require all residential developments to be at least 25% more energy efficient than those built, to comply with 2006 Building Regulation standards. Such gains could be made by improving thermal efficiency of walls, windows and the roof; reducing air permeability or ventilation, or carefully designing the fabric of homes to reduce heat loss between inner and outer walls.