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The Housing Standards Review - Water

Water scarcity is becoming more of a concern as our population rises and our lifestyles use more water. So the Housing Standards Review is looking to allow regulation of water use without heaping more paperwork on the developer.

The Consultation proposes that the current water efficiency calculator is removed from regulation and maximum flow rates are set for all new taps, showers and toilets being installed in our homes. For example, that all new showers must be limited to 10 litres a minute, all baths must hold no more than 185 litres. A water efficiency calculator would then only be required if one or more of the fittings exceeded the maximum regulated flow rate. The calculation would allow developers to offset the high flow rate with a smaller bath, or lower flow rate shower for example.

In addition to this national regulated standard, the consultation also proposes that Local Authorities can set lower targets if they can demonstrate that water scarcity is an issue in their area. Some planning departments already stipulate lower water targets, but this isn’t commonplace.

Here’s the important part: If Local Authorities choose to enforce a more stringent standard, it must be from a set of Government standard that have been assessed for viability and cost. A Local Authority will not be able to act outside of these National Standards, with regard to water efficiency.

The Government believes the proposed changes to water efficiency targets are unlikely to break the bank for developers. The consultation suggests a three bedroom house will cost just £68 more because of these changes.

So what are your thoughts? Check out the consultation and have your say before October 22nd.

Next we'll be looking at Topic 5 Energy.

Jon Ponting

Author: Jon Ponting

This article was published by Jon Ponting on 07.10.2013.