SEPA seeks views on regulation changes from housing sector

Views are being sought from the housing sector as a Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) consultation nears its conclusion.

As part of “transformational changes needed to tackle today’s problems”, the environmental body is shifting its approach to regulation by moving focus from individual sites to working across whole sectors.

SEPA seeks views on regulation changes from housing sector

The regulator also wants to support businesses in each sector to become more resource efficient, innovative, and drive environmental performance by doing more than they are required to by law.

SEPA sees huge opportunities in the housing sector to go further by building and improving homes in ways that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, maximise resource efficiency, minimise environmental impacts and create high quality places, with benefits to health and well‑being.

The agency’s housing plan encompasses the entire life-cycle of homes (site selection through to reuse or demolition for redevelopment), including both existing stock and new builds. It is looking to engage with homebuilders, home owners, those who rent, the entire supply chain (including waste hauliers, industrial operators, construction companies and sub-contractors) and others that influence the sector.

According to SEPA, the environmental performance of social housing projects is varied and it would like to hear about users experiences. In particular, it wants to understand if there are barriers to complying with environmental law that it could resolve as a regulator and what support it could provide to help you go further.

The consultation states: “In the future, only those cities, towns and villages that provide for prosperous, thriving lives within the resources of the planet will be successful and resilient. Getting our housing stock right is perhaps the most crucial part of this endeavour. Compared to most other sectors in which SEPA has a regulatory role, there are more organisations and interests involved in the housing sector.

“We are just one of many regulatory and other government agencies with a role to play. We are determined to further develop our relationships in the sector and base our involvement on strong partnerships.

“We are at an early stage of developing ideas for how we can best play our specific role in the housing sector. In this draft plan, we explain our thoughts on how we should initially focus on securing environmental compliance and then quickly move to helping with beyond compliance in the sector, supporting efforts to create transformational change that will help the sector build prosperity.”

The consultation will close on February 15.

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