Bricks and water: recommendations for building homes and managing water

The Westminster Sustainable Business Forum issued six recommendations for housebuilding and sustainable water management in a report, Bricks & Water, launched in parliament on Tuesday, follows a year long work programme bringing together the water, planning and housing sectors and an inquiry co-chaired by Baroness McIntosh of Pickering and Angela Smith MP.

The recommendations were:

  • A “fairer, tougher and simpler planning framework, supported by building regulations” to level the playing field to industry best practice, introduced through a mandatory “Bricks and Water Sustainability Code”.

  • The new green body mooted by Michael Gove must be strong and provide leadership on water management, and face both the housing and environment departments.

  • The new environmental body could also deliver catchment scale cooperation on key issues studied in the report including flooding and water management.

  • Property resilience certificates and water labelling for fixtures and fittings should be mandatory.

  • Green infrastructure must become the norm, supported by a national register of sustainable drainage systems and with maintenance responsibilities firmed up.

  • Water management should be prioritised as a public good as DEFRA decides on post-CAP incentives.

The report also sets out the challenges and barriers, and flags up future work needs.

For full coverage, see the July issue of THE WATER REPORT.