Confused about changes to the Code?? You're not alone!

A number of clients have asked us recently about the Government's scrapping of the Code for Sustainable Homes. So....we thought it would be useful to summarise the key changes for you:

  • The Code was officially withdrawn on the 25th March 2015.
  • From this date, the Government's policy is that planning permission should not require compliance with any technical standards (i.e Code level) other than where there are existing policies for access, internal space and water efficiency.
  • Energy performance standards: local authorities can still require minimum energy targets up to the equivalent of Code level 4 up until late 2016 when the planning and energy act 2008 will be amended. This means that local authorities can still set a target of 19% reduction in CO2 emissions over Part L 2013.
  • Any development that is legally contracted to apply a Code Standard (e.g affordable housing) or where a development has been granted planning permission subject to a target Code level will still need to comply with the requirements of the Code.
  • Some elements of the Code (e.g. access, internal space and water efficiency standards) will now be incorporated into building regulations, which will be retitled as “the new national technical standards”.
  • The changes are the culmination of the Housing Standards Review, which aims to reduce the cost and complexity of building homes in England and stop the ‘pick and mix’ approach to housing standards by different local authorities in England.
  • The Building Research Establishment (BRE) is developing a voluntary replacement for Code called 'the Home Quality Mark'. The standard will enable housing developers to showcase the quality of their new homes, and identify them as having the added benefits of being likely to need less maintenance, cheaper to run, better located, and more able to cope with the demands of a changing climate.

If you need advice on designing and delivering beautifically engineered sustainable homes, Twin and Earth are here to help. For more information on our services, please contact us at