Media Alert: Budget Response – Greener Homes and Offices
Whilst Alastair Darling may have wanted this budget to be seen as ‘The Green Budget’, and ZEDHomes salutes his intentions for a greener Britain, the company, one of the few genuine ‘green developers’ in the country, would have liked to have seen the Chancellor being more environmentally friendly: an opportunity has been missed to encourage greener developments.
Last year Chancellor Brown exempted ‘zero carbon homes’ (up to £500,000) from stamp duty until 2012. In reality, this affected a miniscule proportion of home owners. Alastair Darling has missed the opportunity to introduce a sliding scale of stamp duty that creates the incentive to reduce carbon emissions where possible and proportionately reward all initiatives from solar panels and turbines at one end through to zero emission developments at the other.
If planned levels of development continues without reference to ensuring minimal levels of sustainability (for example Code for Sustainable Homes, Level Three), the inevitable cost of retrofitting will exceed £2 billion. Funding of £26 million towards insulating existing properties will scarcely scratch the surface.
We do, however, welcome the spotlight on commercial properties and their carbon emissions. However, if the government genuinely wants to address green issues at the same time as encouraging development, it will need to educate councils about planning initiatives. Too many genuinely green developments are meeting objections, not from planners but from councillors to whom guidance and policy has not filtered through./ends
Notes to Editors
For the past five years, ZEDHomes has been combining innovative design with existing technology to build homes and workplaces that require a fraction of the energy required to run a traditionally built development of the same size. ZEDHomes’ aims to ensure that the energy required for its developments is met by on-site energy sources that will make no demands on the earth’s precious natural resources. The company has recently seen its first developments approved in Harrow.