Brownfield Land: The government has earmarked £1.8 billion for the redevelopment of brownfield land. This type of land has normally been used by utility companies from gasworks to waterworks and chemicals processing and is costly to redevelop. With the housing crisis and the market rates for property, brownfield land for the first time has become viable to redevelop. The government has added the bill to the already £11.5 billion for its Affordable Homes scheme. This is expected to unlock 160,000 new homes worth of space, or 2000 football pitches. £300 million will be allocated to local authorities to aid in the redevelopment of what is traditionally costly and difficult land to redevelop. £58 million of the Brownfield Land Release Fund has been further allocated.
Heat Pumps: The government acnnounced subsidies to developers and house builders for installation of new environmentally friendly alternative to gas boilers, which will no longer be sold by 2034. The technology is improving and there has been some hesitancy regarding the costs of installation and maintenance with developers reluctant to take the plunge. You can read more here.
Contributors’ opinion: The government should purchase a small batch of heat pumps and install them free of charge in new homes and cover the expense of maintenance for a short period and replace them with gas boilers if the heat pump provides unreliable. In other words, a super small scale trial.
Back to reality: Heat pumps would cut down on monthly energy bills and also save closet space that gas boilers normally take up that could be repurposed for personal storage. As with electric cars, it is a matter of time before the technology spreads wider, as it has done in North America and parts of Europe.
As an afterthought: As a landlord, building a garden outhouse can be cheaper than an extension as it stands unconnected to your property, costing a few thousand pounds as opposed to £25k plus for a full extension. If its purpose is ‘incidental to the house’ planning permission from the council would not be needed. They must also be 8ft 2 maximum height and single story to not require planning permission. Crane Garden Rooms sells a fully insulated double-glazed room from £9,835. Wi-fi extenders and some heating source is recommended if using it to work or relax especially in winter months.
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