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Philip Hammond’s grand design… cut the gas off in new homes

ALL new homes will have be heated without gas, the chancellor promised — four years after the government was forced to scrap similar rules.

Philip Hammond said he accepted a report last month recommending that no new-builds should be connected to the gas grid by 2025, with low-carbon energy used instead to help create ‘super-efficient’ properties.

He said the strict regulations — recommended by the government’s advisory committee on climate change — would bring about ‘the end of fossil fuel heating systems in new homes from 2025, delivering lower carbon and lower fuel bills too’.

But campaigners pointed out that, in 2015, his predecessor George Osborne scrapped plans to make all new homes carbon neutral, saying the U-turn would help get developments approved more quickly.

Mel Evans, senior campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the plan to end fossil fuels in new homes was ‘vital’ but warned more ‘emergency’ climate action was needed.

Other environmental measures announced included protecting waters around Ascension Island in the Atlantic, where no fishing would be allowed. The government will also be investigating whether travel providers should offer ‘genuine carbon offsets’ to make up for the pollution they cause.

£3bn for affordable homes ‘falls short’

MEASURES to increase building of affordable homes in the Spring Statement don’t do enough, experts have said.

The government will let housing associations borrow up to £3billion to support delivery of 30,000 affordable homes, as part of wider efforts to boost property supply.

But Polly Neate, of Shelter, said: ‘We can’t deliver social housing on the scale we need on borrowing alone.’

And the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ Hew Edgar said the government would fail to meet its target of 300,000 new homes a year.