Proposed improvements to SAP 2012

The Building Research Establishment on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change has launched a public consultation on the latest proposed changes to SAP – the Standard Assessment Procedure for the Energy Rating of Dwellings.

The prrpose of the new SAP 2012 will be to underpin the 2013 update of Part L of the Building Regulations. Proposals cover the treatment of boiler systems, the use of regional weather data, default heat pump performance, pipe insulation and thermal bridging.The proposals also include amendments to CO2 emission factors so as to include the global warming impact of CH4 and N2O emissions as well as CO2.

Energy Bill includes new proposals for energy efficiency standards

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has announced plans to introduce regulations to ensure that all landlords will have to comply with minimum energy efficiency standards under the Green Deal.

Announced at Second Reading of the Energy Bill on 10th May, proposals put forward include:

• From April 2016 landlords will not be able to refuse reasonable requests from tenants, or local authorities acting on behalf of tenants, to improve their property;

• From April 2018 the government will make it unlawful to rent out a house or business premise which has less than an “E” energy efficiency rating, ensuring at least 682,000 properties will have to be improved.

Commencement order for parts of the Localism Act

Key measures from the Government’s Localism Act have come into force following a Parliamentary commencement order.

These include planning changes to the enforcement rules: a first step in the process to give councils the ability to take action against people who deliberately conceal unauthorised development in preparation for commencement of the substantive provisions in April 2012.

Also clarified are the rules on predetermination: these free councillors to express their opinions on issues of local importance without the fear of legal challenge. This had been a source of much concern for members sitting on planning committees.

Former Cadbury site earmarked for homes

Taylor Wimpey has signalled plans to build 700 new homes on the former Cadbury factory site at Keynsham near Bristol. The volume house builder also wants to develop 20,000 sq m of commercial floor space and other facilities at the 220-acre site. Following local consultation the developer hopes to submit a master plan later this year.