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Parliamentary Group asks: how can new build housing be improved?

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment is calling on organisations, businesses and individuals to submit evidence on how the quality of new build housing in England could be improved.  

The group will look at the potential for improving every aspect of the new build house handed over to new homeowners.

This subject is of special significance in the wake of the Government’s recently-published National Productivity Plan, which includes the ambition to build more than one million homes in England by 2020.

To bridge the huge gap between supply and demand in order to achieve this pledge, radical new thinking will be required from government, local authorities, homebuilders, housing associations, institutional investors and the financial community. However, there is concern that the drive towards vastly increased output of new homes, especially when matched to the skills capacity within the building industry, could lead to an ever-diminishing spiral in the quality of the product.

The Parliamentary Group has established its 4th Commission of Inquiry to address this important subject and is particularly looking for evidence of practical strategies, for example, that improve design quality and spatial standards, both at the level of individual new homes and estates of new housing; ensure better quality workmanship; ensure the effective control and implementation of regulations impacting on the construction of new homes; have the potential for implementing smart housing with interoperable services and the provision of better and smarter information to new homeowners; bring forward the opportunities afforded by offsite manufacturing, 3D printing, BIM and other new technologies; provide new innovative ideas for design quality improvement; cut operational and maintenance costs for the homeowner; and improve new home owner experience and improved customer service.

The Commission is also looking for evidence that will exemplify effective coordination for bringing together organisations that have a part to play in any aspect of improving the quality of new-build housing.

The APPG for EBE Commission of Inquiry comprises members of both Houses of Parliament, senior members of the construction professions and key influencers and decision makers in other aspects of society.

Written submissions are requested to be received no later than Friday 30 October. There is no prescribed format for written submissions but they should be of reasonable length and possess a clear conclusion and recommendations for action and must be accompanied by all relevant appendices. Though the committee encourage submissions to include an outline of problems to do with housing quality, it is looking for submissions that go beyond outlining issues to be addressed or the scope of the problem in terms of the quality of new housing. It will prioritise submissions that present potential solutions and innovations that will provide practical opportunities to raise the quality of new homes.

Written submissions should be sent electronically to the APPGEBE Secretary, Graham Watts OBE c/o The Construction Industry Council acts as Secretariat to the Group.

The findings of the Inquiry into the Quality of New Build Housing will be published in early 2016.


5 October 2015


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