The nation goes to the polls today to bring an end to a turbulent General Election campaign which saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson steal a journalist’s phone, a Labour minister recorded pooh-poohing his party’s chances, the Lib Dems – the neglected middle-child of Westminster – adhering to their classically anonymous election form, and all the other parties struggling to be heard in a cacophony of soundbites and loud, angry voters telling each other they’re wrong. Shame it has to end, really.
But buried within the bluster exist very serious proposals pertaining to the self build and wider homebuilding industry. And if your vote is still yet to be cast at the time of reading this, and your decision could still be swayed by promises that may affect your project, whether you are renovating a house, planning a new build or building an extension, here’s a brief guide to what the major parties are offering.
Self build isn’t directly mentioned in Labour’s manifesto, but the party’s pledges to improve energy efficiency in UK homes and introduce a zero-carbon standard for all new homes will significantly influence homebuilding.
Labour will also build more low-cost homes reserved for first-time buyers and improve energy efficiency in homes across the UK.
The Conservative’s manifesto is the only one to have directly addressed self build, vowing to help first-time self builders access the Help to Buy scheme using 5% deposit mortgages.
The Tories will also continue with the struggling pledge to build 300,000 new houses per year, and committed to building at least a million more homes over the next Parliament.
The Lib Dems will also adopt a zero-carbon standard on new homes, plus Jo Swinson’s party has announced it will invest more than £6bn a year on home insulation and zero-carbon heating by the fifth year of parliament, which will reportedly end fuel poverty by 2025, reduce emissions and cut energy bills.
The Lib Dems will also require all new homes and non-domestic buildings to be built to a zero-carbon standard by 2021, rising to Passivhaus standard by 2025.
Could this be the year the Greens finally get a majority? Probably not. But the Greens are unsurprisingly leading the way for making sure all new and renovated homes meet the highest possible energy standards, and pledged to build homes that shift to a net zero carbon economy.
The Greens will also improve home efficiency by reducing the use of natural gas for heating homes through a programme that will replace gas boilers with renewable heat, from heat pumps and stored heat technologies.
Stay tuned for more news as the election results come in.