The new housing growth programme planned for England and Wales between now and 2016 could provide the government with an opportunity to build housing to significantly higher environmental performance (EP) standards. Equally, if the government continues with its current strategy a great opportunity could be missed. This paper considers and critically analyses the government's approach to ensuring higher EP standards in new housing. Using Greenwich Millennium Village as a case study it assesses the likely outcomes of the approach. It suggests how regulation, fiscal incentives and educational programmes could help to deliver better EP amongst housing and households in the growth region.