Lib Dem Leader announces plans for 1,000 zero carbon homes per year pledge

On a visit to Somerset the Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has announced a flagship manifesto commitment from the Somerset Lib Dems to build 1,000 new low and zero carbon council and social rent houses per year.

On a visit to Somerset the Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has announced a flagship manifesto commitment from the Somerset Lib Dems to build 1,000 new low and zero carbon council and social rent houses per year.

The new homes under the Liberal Democrats in Somerset would be neutral or net zero in carbon emissions, achieved through enhanced insulation, supported wherever possible by renewables such as solar panels, which will also reduce energy bills amid the cost of living crisis.

Lib Dem run Somerset West and Taunton Council [SWT], which will be absorbed into the new authority after this May’s elections, still owns 5.700 council houses  and flats despite years of government policy aimed at selling off social housing without any funding for their replacement. Under the Lib Dems the area is now seeing new low and zero carbon council houses being built, in the west of the district for the first time in 30 years.

The new Somerset Lib Dem manifesto will also prioritise “social housing to meet local rural needs”  and will “focus on eco-friendly, truly affordable housing options to both rent and buy”. The party says that new builds should be “zero carbon, insulated and with water harvesting, heating and energy systems based on renewable technologies”. The manifesto also commits a Lib Dem administration to “Work with other authorities and national governments to make new homes carbon neutral as standard”.

The Liberal Democrats have said that the move would help young families across the county.

Visiting the former cattle market site at Firepool, Taunton today [18/03/22], to see the Lib Dem council’s contractors start groundworks for a mixed use and affordable housing development, party leader Sir Ed Davey unveiled the new policy saying:

“The Conservatives’ cost of living crisis means more young families find themselves in a generation of renting, unable to buy their own home.

“Somerset Liberal Democrats have a plan for young families trying to get onto the housing market, and today they’re announcing green council housing. By building thousands more homes, the Lib Dem team will work to give families an affordable home and doing so in a greener, cleaner way.

“Families deserve a fair deal, they’re not being given one by the Conservatives in Government, Liberal Democrats in Somerset are working hard to stop them taking people for granted.” 

Gideon Amos, who was awarded an OBE following his work on the Ministerial Taskforce for Zero Carbon Homes, now Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Taunton Deane, said:

“Lib Dem councils are delivering where the Conservative government has worryingly failed. Following years of good progress towards making all new homes zero carbon, the Conservative government abandoned the zero carbon homes drive as soon as they were able, abolishing our Task Force.

“The Conservative party is on the side of private developers, lining their pockets and taking local people for granted.  Conservative government rules mean private housebuilders still can’t be required even to provide new homes with solar panels. It’s time we protected our own energy supply and got positive about protecting our planet.”

Executive councillor for housing on Lib Dem-run SWT Council Francesca Smith said:

“All our new council housing is to the highest insulation standards and we are now pioneering net zero carbon housing developments in our area. Our aim is a decent home in a good environment for all, at a cost that residents and the council can afford. I’m delighted we are delivering on the commitment to ensure our council housing not just survives but thrives. It’s our way of putting the heart back into Somerset''.

Share this post on social media: