Policy update from CE National – December 1st 2023
COP28 Climate Conference starts
On Thursday (30 November), COP28, the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, began in Dubai. It will run until 12 December with the aim to coordinate international action to reduce climate change and its impact. Built Environment Day will be on 6th December. The target to limit global temperature increases due to human activity to as close to 1.5C as possible, as agreed in COP21, is not currently on track to be met. This has been confirmed recently by a UN report.
Department for Energy Security and Net Zero announces £19 million councils pilot net zero projects
On Thursday (30 November), the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero announced the £19m Local Net Zero Accelerator. The fund will help selected combined authorities unlock private investment, speed up their efforts to tackle climate change and help the UK reach its net zero target. The Local Net Zero Accelerator pilots will be in, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the West Midlands Combined Authority, York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority. The combined authorities will decide how to allocate their share of the funding, selecting projects that will benefit their communities. These could include, housing retrofit, renewable energy projects, and green transport projects.
Department for Energy Security and Net Zero announce an increase in heat pump applications after the increase in the government grant
On Thursday (30 November) the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero announced that weekly applications for heat pumps since the government grant was increased to £7,500 are 60% higher than they were before the rise. In the first week after the announcement, applications rose by over three times to 1,150. Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho is quoted saying, ‘Today’s new figures show our pragmatic approach to net zero is working. In the first week after our 50% increase to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, applications tripled. We are supporting hardworking families who want to make the switch and replace their boiler in a way that’s within their budgets.’
Government responds to report on reforms to national planning policy
On Wednesday (29 November), the Department for Levelling Up. Housing and Communities released the Government’s response to a report by the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee on reforms to national planning policy. Included in this is a commitment to undertake further consultation and engagement on the topic of an infrastructure levy and a refusal to undertake a national review of the Green Belt.
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities allocates £148.4 million for 1,230 new homes for rough sleepers
On Tuesday (28 November), the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced new funding for the building of new homes in 46 local authorities as part of the Government’s Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme. The accommodation will be provided with 24/7 support services and specialist teams to address substance abuse, domestic violence and other abuse.
Building Safety Regulator Strategic Plan 2023 – 2026
The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) has published its strategic plan for the period 2023 to 2026. The plan sets out how the BSR will carry out its building safety functions in the first three years of operation (April 2023 to March 2026). The plan describes the work the BSR has been established to deliver, how it will go about it and what it aims to achieve. It includes a roadmap of activity for each year. More information can be found here.
Safer and Greener Buildings Portfolio Market Engagement Survey
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) is undertaking research to understand supply chain capacity and capability, constraints, and opportunities in the remediation sector. This follows a similar survey completed back in Quarter 4 2022 which provided DLUHC with invaluable insights which they are now seeking to refresh. The findings from the survey will help DLUHC to try to address any challenges facing the remediation sector to ensure successful delivery of the Safer and Greener Buildings Portfolio.
The survey can be found here. Closing date is 15 December 2023.