Approximately 50 per cent of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions can be attributed to buildings, of which over 27 per cent originate from residential housing.
For local authorities with planning responsibilities, the land use planning system will be a highly powerful tool in ensuring new build developments are built to minimise their impact on the environment, contribute to carbon dioxide emissions reduction and are supportive to the development of a decentralised sustainable energy supply.
There is clear direction from Government in planning policy statements that local planning authorities can set bespoke planning policy that suits the needs and requirements of the area.
In light of this, as local planning authorities develop their new local development frameworks, strong consideration should be given to the type of policies required to ensure that all new development is fit for purpose. It is therefore imperative that local planning authorities have the knowledge and expertise to help them move to zero carbon development.
With the population growing and the average household size decreasing, significant numbers of new homes will be required. There is therefore a continuing challenge for local authorities and housing associations to ensure that minimum energy efficiency standards are met or exceeded. They can do this through:
Planning policies and development management procedures that positively encourage low carbon building are key to tackling climate change.
The technical requirements for energy efficiency in each of the UK nations’ Building Regulations may differ, but the overall aim is the same: to cut home energy use and carbon dioxideemissions. As a local authority you could require thorough planning policy energy efficiency requirements beyond building regualtions.
The Energy Saving Trust’s Housing Programme has developed a number of technical guides and case studies which you can use as inspiration for innovative sustainable energy projects in your own housing. To find out more refer to our pages for Housing Professionals.