The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has called for sustainable construction and future-proofed housing policy to be at the forefront of the agenda for the 2019 General Election. 

The RICS launched its own manifesto on Thursday advocating its aspirations for the UK to be carbon-neutral and for this to be reflected within the homebuilding industry.

The RICS manifesto, titled A new approach for the built and natural environment has warned the future government that to go green, policies affecting the built environment must be overhauled. 

It has made more than 35 recommendations for the future government to consider for the built and natural environment, focusing on housing supply and climate change. 

The manifesto says: “Local authorities and the communities they legislate for must start looking at planning in terms of building a community and adding value to the existing community. 

“Government must regard housing development as vital to the continued quality of the community and not just meeting top down, numerical targets. We can no longer sustain a one track idea of building to meet housing targets by building houses for people to live in, but start building communities and homes for people to live.”

This pledge aligns with a study from Eurocell this week which revealed two-thirds of Brits believe the homebuilding industry is not considering community growth enough. 

Innovation

Additionally, RICS has targeted driving low carbon innovation in the development of new builds. “We believe the next government, regardless of configuration, needs to provide a holistic approach to monetary policy and support for the built environment. This will range from internationally significant issues, such as driving low carbon innovation and future infrastructure investment.”

Self build homes have already shown how environmentally-friendly builds can lower running costs and be more sustainable in the long term. 

Hew Edgar, head of UK government relations and city strategy at RICS, said: “Failure to address the issues highlighted within the manifesto in a planned, cohesive way will have a serious impact on the wider economy, which will exacerbate existing housing and infrastructure deficit, and hinder any aspirations to be one of the greenest countries in the world.”

RICS also stated its intention to review the use of Permitted Development (PD) rights, noting that “evidence shows that removing planning oversight and control in this way can lead to inappropriate development and poor outcomes”. 

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