222942 - Buildings: Carbon Emissions (Answered)

Mrs Anne Main
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the contribution of the hon. Member for St Albans of 26 January 2015, Official Report, column 648, if he will make it his policy to issue new guidance during the planning process that will put an obligation on commercial buildings to have zero-carbon or low-carbon emissions.

Stephen Williams

The National Planning Policy Framework already states that to support the move to a low carbon future local planning authorities when setting any local requirements for a building’s sustainability should do so in a way consistent with the Government’s zero carbon buildings policy. The Government is committed to progressively strengthening the national regulatory requirements for new non-domestic buildings, enabling them to be zero carbon from 2019. To that end the minimum energy performance requirements in the Building Regulations have been twice strengthened under this Administration resulting in an average energy performance improvement of over 30%.