Wednesday, 29 June 2022
The Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, Manchester
Following the release of our Green Homes Report – What Buyers Want, we held a roundtable at Housing 2022 where 18 experts from across the sector joined forces to discuss how we can make green homes for everyone, including what needs to change to support the industry.
As part of the event, we captured the ideas and innovations from specialists in residential development, social housing, MMC, finance and law to come up with solutions and discuss the challenges that need to be overcome.
The discussion focused on what can be done to encourage developers to build more green homes that go above and beyond existing standards, how we can make green homes accessible to everyone and not just the able to pay market, and the tactics that should be prioritised for increasing adoption.
The roundtable also heard about the barriers to buying, challenges of the planning process, the impact skills shortages have on retrofitting properties, and the need to educate consumers.
Key Thoughts From The Participants
Former England and Premier League footballer
“I have been working with Wirral Council for a few years now and for me, a big problem is getting planning permission, especially from a private developer point of view. We know there is a housing shortage, but then so many restrictions are placed at a planning level. The criteria for securing permission differs depending on each local authority – there should be a more holistic approach from a governmental level to put pressure on councils to be more consistent when it comes to planning policy.
“We are told there is a housing shortage, yet there are numerous restrictions and blockers in planning that prevent the development of new homes. There are very affluent areas on the Wirral, but in certain places, like Birkenhead, for example, there is a huge need for affordable housing. However, an affordable house means nothing if you then cannot afford heating bills. There definitely isn’t a simple quick fix – we need a situation were lots of people, including housing associations, councils, government and contractors, come together with a harmonious solution.”
Winter of discontent
“One problem we have is as human beings, until something hurts us and we experience personal pain, we never think it will happen. Take a look at the Ukraine situation – we were warned, but we didn’t take notice until Russia invaded. As a football analogy – Liverpool had been in the doldrums for quite a long time and Man U kept winning. Man U were warned to be careful but nothing happened and they kept on winning. Now look at Man U in comparison to Liverpool. I believe it will take a winter of discontent for us to see real change.”