Plans for a judicial review of the implementation of Home Information Packs (HIPs) have been dismissed as a "groundless challenge" by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) yesterday confirmed it has started Judicial Review proceedings against the DCLG over its failure to carry out proper consultation before implementing legislation for the introduction of HIPs.
Teresa Graham, chairman of RICS’ Regulatory Board, says: “RICS has not made the decision to commence Judicial Review proceedings lightly. We have exhausted all the alternatives and greatly regret we were left with no other option if we are to protect the public's property interests.”
However, a spokesman for the DCLG, says: "This challenge is groundless, and we will proceed as planned with the packs being introduced on June 1. It is a shocking example of a vested interest wanting to water down important environmental information."
Stephen Callaghan, director of energy-assessors.com, says the decision is "nothing more than the latest knee-jerk reaction from the politically-motivated anti-HIPs brigade".
He points out it is "a strange call" from an organisation that has been given status as one of five accreditation bodies for the training of Domestic Energy Assessors.
He adds: "To take this step at the eleventh hour is not going to benefit the energy efficiency of the UK's housing stock, which is in a sad state of inefficiency, but is instead just another move in a game of political point-scoring."
Callaghan argues the move is an attempt to cover up the fact RICS has "done very little to prepare for the arrival of HIPs" in spite of government legislation. He adds with just 11 working days until the HIPs deadline "the industry should be focusing its efforts on ensuring consumers will receive a seamless service come June 1."
RICS' announcement that it is pursuing legal action comes ahead of a Parliamentary motion on HIPs later today, when the Conservative Party is expected to express its strong opposition to the scheme.
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