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The Housing Standards Review - Security

So what is the current standard of security in new build homes? Well the consultation considers that most new homes (80%) do provide basic security measures, in line with the NHBC warranty requirements. In addition the Housing Communities Agency recommended that social housing achieves Secured by Design certification.

The next question, is what does the Government propose to alter given all of the above? The consultation states that whilst there is a desire to ensure houses are safe and secure, any measures taken must be in proportion to the risk, to avoid unnecessary cost.

As a result we’re now looking at the potential for two standards to be implemented in new build housing:

Level 1 :– a Baseline standard: broadly in line with current good practice in the private sector housing and the requirements of the current NHBC Warranty. The exception being window standards which are slightly higher than the NHBC Standard.

Level 2: - an Enhanced standard: based around the levels set out in Secured By Design Section 2. However this standard should only be applied in areas where there is an increased risk of burglary (otherwise the standard cannot be justified in terms of cost accordingly to DCLG).

There are two proposed options on how these standards could be applied:

Option 1: through Planning Policy – Local Planning Authorities could apply either standard, depending on the security risk of a particular area, through a planning condition. The use of this condition would have to be justifiable. If the LPA didn't apply either security standard, a developer could incorporate whatever security standards they see fit.

Option 2: Apply only the Enhanced Standard through planning policy, where there is a justifiable risk. This approach would lower the cost for developers on site with a low security risk (by removing a lower tier requirement), but only gives one, more stringent, option available to LPA's when there are security concerns. The consultation does ask whether Security requirements should form part of the Building Regulations, but believes to do this would be a long process. It looks like option 1 above, is the Government’s preferred route at the moment.

So what do you think? You have a few weeks to to get your consultation response in before the deadline of October 22nd!

So what do you think? Have a look at the Technical Standards and have your say on the consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/housing-standards-review-consultation

Next week we’ll be looking at Part 4 – Water Efficiency. If you would like to catch up then please see our previous blog on Space.

Jon Ponting

Author: Jon Ponting

This article was published by Jon Ponting on 27.09.2013.