Net Zero Carbon Development Plan Document - Regulation 19

Ended on the 8 June 2022
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3 The Planning Policy Context

(1) 3.1 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), July 2021

3.1.1 The NPPF originally published in 2012 and revised in 2018 and 2019, was updated in July 2021 and addresses the issue of sustainability by promoting sustainable development and encouraging sustainable transport. The NPPF addresses climate change and directs meeting the challenge of flooding and coastal change and adapting accordingly. It also directs that plans should include policies that move toward a low carbon economy.

3.1.2 It goes on to say in paragraph 9, that "These objectives should be delivered through the preparation and implementation of plans and the application of the policies in this Framework; they are not criteria against which every decision can or should be judged. Planning policies and decisions should play an active role in guiding development towards sustainable solutions, but in doing so should take local circumstances into account to reflect the character, needs and opportunities of each area.

3.1.3 The NPPF addresses the need for the planning system to address climate change through Chapter 14, notably paragraphs 152, 153, 154 and 157. Local requirements for sustainability of buildings should reflect Government policy for national technical standards in accordance with Paragraph 154.


(1) 3.2 Planning Practice Guidance updated in 2019

3.2.1 The Planning Practice Guidance states that: "Addressing climate change is one of the core land use planning principles which the National Planning Policy Framework expects to underpin both plan-making and decision-taking. To be found sound, Local Plans will need to reflect this principle and enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the NPPF. These include the requirements for local authorities to adopt proactive strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change in line with the provisions and objectives of the Climate Change Act 2008, and co-operate to deliver strategic priorities which include climate change."


(1) 3.3 Warwick District Local Plan 2011-2029, adopted September 2017

3.3.1 The adopted Local Plan was prepared at a time when the NPPF was a recently published document which directed planning authorities to prepare plans for sustainable development. Policies were therefore written with this very much in mind. One of the policy areas considered was "climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the conservation and enhancement of the natural and historic environment, including landscape."

3.3.2 Identified issues included:

  • The threat of flooding to homes and businesses in some areas, and the concern that flooding events will increase because of climate change
  • Pressure for new development and climate change threatening the high-quality built and natural environments in the district, particularly in historic areas.

3.3.3 These policies aim to protect those elements of the environment that support and generate climate change resilience and include the more strategic objectives that are expected to contribute towards sustainable development and adaptation.

3.3.4 There are policies on climate change and water conservation. However, it should be noted that the Examination of the adopted Local Plan took place within the context of a Written Ministerial Statement setting out an expectation that local planning authorities should not set energy efficiency standards for new homes higher than the energy requirements of Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. This meant that the draft policy relating to sustainable homes was removed from the Plan prior to adoption. Following adoption, restriction on the ability of local authorities to prepare local building standards policies was lifted and thus provides the opportunity to prepare a DPD to do this. This DPD replaces and expands on the Warwick District Local Plan 2011-2029 policies and introduces standards for development which will positively contribute to the new targets set by both local and central government since the Local Plan was adopted.

3.3.5 The Warwick District Local Plan 2011 -2029 forms the framework within which developments are expected to conform. The Local Plan already contains policies which deal with aspects of climate change such as adaptation. This DPD should be used alongside the Local Plan and forms part of the development plan for the area. It carries equal weight and where policies set higher standards, these will take precedence and will further meet the Local Plan Objectives.

3.3.6 There is an adopted Sustainable Buildings SPD, dated December 2008. This is now very much in need of updating and the DPD will supersede it upon adoption.


(1) 3.4 Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDPs)

3.4.1 NDPs become part of the local development framework when they are 'made' and policies carry the weight of those in the Local Plan. Sustainable development and climate change issues can and should also be addressed in policies in NDPs and any relevant adopted policies will need to be complied with when planning applications are submitted. There are currently 9 made Neighbourhood Plans within Warwick District. Policy NZC1 set out below is a Strategic Development Plan Policy with which new and updated Neighbourhood Plans are expected to conform.

3.5 Information and reference for further relevant international, national and local policy are set out at Appendix 1.


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