The All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment is pleased to announce its 4th Inquiry, which will look at the Quality of New Build Housing in England and examine the potential for improving every aspect of the product handed over to new home-owners.

This subject is of special significance in the wake of the government’s recently-published National Productivity Plan, which includes the ambition to build more than one million homes in England by 2020.

To bridge the huge gap between supply and demand in order to achieve this pledge, radical new thinking will be required from government, local authorities, homebuilders, housing associations, institutional investors and the financial community. But, will the drive towards vastly increased output of new homes – especially when matched to the skills capacity within the building industry – lead to an ever-diminishing spiral in the quality of the product?

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment has established its 4th Commission of Inquiry to address this important subject; and now calls upon organisations, businesses and individuals to submit evidence on how the quality of new build housing might be improved.

The Commission is particularly looking for evidence of practical strategies for example, that:

•             improve design quality and spatial standards, both at the level of individual new homes and estates of new housing;

•             ensure better quality workmanship;

•             ensure the effective control and implementation of regulations impacting on the construction of new homes;

•             have the potential for implementing smart housing with interoperable services and the provision of better and smarter information to new homeowners;

•             bring forward the opportunities afforded by offsite manufacturing, 3D printing, BIM and other new technologies;

•             provide new innovative ideas for design quality improvement;

•             cut operational and maintenance costs for the homeowner; and

•             improve new home owner experience and improved customer service.

 The Commission is also looking for evidence that will exemplify effective coordination for bringing together organisations that have a part to play in any aspect of improving the quality of new-build housing.

The APPG for EBE Commission of Inquiry comprises members of both Houses of Parliament, senior members of the construction professions and key influencers and decision makers in other aspects of society.

Written submissions are requested to be received no later than Friday, 30th October, 2015. There is no prescribed format for written submissions but they should be of reasonable length and possess a clear conclusion and recommendations for action and must be accompanied by all relevant appendices. Though the committee encourage submissions to include an outline of problems to do with housing quality, it is looking for submissions that go beyond outlining issues to be addressed or the scope of the problem in terms of the quality of new housing. We will prioritise submissions that present potential solutions and innovations that will provide practical opportunities to raise the quality of new homes.  Written submissions should be sent electronically to the APPGEBE Secretary, Graham Watts OBE c/o APPGInquiry@cic.org.uk. The Construction Industry Council acts as Secretariat to the Group.

The Commission of Inquiry will examine written submissions and will set up roundtable sessions, at which oral evidence will be presented to the Commission directly. It is hoped that these will give an opportunity for a candid and open discussion, exploring alternative viewpoints and leading to a pragmatic consensus.  These formal sessions are likely to be held on Mondays (late afternoons/early evenings) in the Houses of Parliament or Portcullis House in November and December 2015 and those submitting evidence should be prepared to give evidence on one of these dates:

Monday, 16 November 2015

Monday, 23 November 2015

Monday, 7 December 2015

Monday, 14 December 2015

The Commission will invite selected organisations to present oral evidence in support of their submissions as soon as possible after 30th October 2015. This will be the Committee’s fourth report. It has previously published the following reports:

“A better deal for public building”, “Re-energising the green agenda” and “Living with water”.

Oliver Colvile MP, chair of the APPG for EBE said of the inquiry;  “With the Government’s plan to build over one million new homes over the next five years, the quality of new-build housing is more important than ever. Having spoken to a number of my colleagues, I am very aware that this is an issue which is affecting families across England. I am looking forward to hearing evidence from a large range of businesses, organisations and individuals over the course of the inquiry”.

The findings of the Inquiry into the Quality of New Build Housing will be published in early 2016.  Further information about the All Party Parliamentary Group and its work can be found on www.appgebe/org.uk.

Please address any queries regarding the Inquiry to Graham Watts OBE at APPGInquiry@cic.org.uk or on 020 7399 7402

Author: Construction Industry Council

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of The Institute of Demolition Engineers.