News and Events


Government led review of Housing Standards

NHBC has welcomed the recently announced review of housing standards. The Technical Housing Standards Review (as it is now called to differentiate it from the review of Planning Guidance being led by Lord Taylor) is taking forward the recommendations of the Standards Working Group which NHBC chaired, from the Harman report on Local Housing Delivery.

Ian Davis, NHBC Operations Director and a member of the review group said; "We are very pleased that the recommendations of the Harman Standards Working Group are being taken forward by Government and we look forward to working with the Review Group and Challenge Panel to develop a framework of standards and regulations that help support the Government's growth agenda and lead to homes that are sustainable and of high quality, and that the interests of the consumer are protected."

The Technical Standards Review is wider ranging than the Harman Standards Working Group. It will look at:

  • All standards that can be applied locally through the planning system (this was the remit of the Harman Standards Working Group)
  • the Building Regulations and the Approved Documents that sit underneath them
  • other regimes may also place a burden on the house building process such as sustainable drainage and energy performance certificates

The review will be carried out by two groups, the Local Housing Standards Review Group and the Contestable Policymaking Challenge Panel (known as the Challenge Panel).

The Standards Review Group will carry on where the Harman Standards Working Group left off and the aim is to produce a consolidated set of standards in areas such as energy, security, accessibility, water and possibly space that local authorities can apply locally through the planning process, if they are justified for their area.

The Challenge Panel will test the Review Group's findings and make sure they have an appropriate level of ambition. They will look at the whole regulatory framework and will be unconstrained by existing policy. They will also be given free rein to consider innovative methods to deliver demonstrable deregulation to make home building easier. They will report separately to the Minister.

News Date: 30/10/12