Net Zero Carbon Development Plan Document - Regulation 19

Ended on the 8 June 2022
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APPENDIX 1: Policy Context


The Paris Agreement:

The Paris Agreement ( under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also called Paris Climate Agreement or COP21, international treaty, was adopted in December 2015, and aimed to reduce the emission of gases that contribute to global warming.

The Paris Agreement continued the process started at the 1992 Earth Summit ( where countries joined the international treaty, the 'United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change' ( The objective of this treaty was to 'stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human) interference with the climate system'.

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive:

Both the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010/31/EU (EPBD) ( and the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU (, were amended, as part of the Clean energy for all Europeans package, in 2018 and 2019 ( The European Union (EU) Directive on the energy performance of buildings was intended to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, reduce carbon emissions and the impact of climate change.


In December 2006, the then Labour government committed that from 2016 all new homes would be 'zero carbon'. This introduced the Code for Sustainable Homes (

The 'Building a Greener Future: Policy Statement' ( in 2007 proposed tightening of the building regulations to achieve the 2016 goal, first by 25% in 2010 and then by 44% in 2013. The Labour budget in 2008 announced a further intention that all new non-domestic buildings should also be zero carbon from 2019.

The current Regulations are the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 ( which were last amended in 2018.

The future of all such directives for the UK and therefore the regulations, is currently unknown as a result of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit).

Climate Change Act 2008:


The act originally set up a national target for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for the year 2050. The target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% compared to 1990 levels by 2050, with a reduction of at least 34% by 2020 was supported by a strategy to achieve it set out in The Carbon Plan published in December 2011. The Act also set up the independent statutory Committee on Climate Change, an advisory body to government.

The Decarbonisation and Economic Strategy Bill:

( 21/decarbonisationandeconomicstrategy.html)

Published in September 2019 was expected to provide a framework to decarbonise the UK economy. This bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session which means the Bill will make no further progress.

The Infrastructure Bill, 2014:


The Infrastructure Bill, published by the Department for Transport, proposed re-setting the zero-carbon home standard at Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, but allowing developers to build to Level 4 by using allowable solutions to achieve Level 5, but controversially making small sites of fewer than 10 dwellings exempt from the allowable solutions option. This bill received royal assent and became law in 2015 as the Infrastructure Act 2015.

Fixing the Foundations, creating a more prosperous nation, 2015:


The report stated, "The government does not intend to proceed with the zero carbon Allowable Solutions carbon offsetting scheme, or the proposed 2016 increase in on-site energy efficiency standards, but will keep energy efficiency standards under review, recognising that existing measures to increase energy efficiency of new buildings should be allowed time to become established."

The industry viewed this as a massively retrograde step, putting at risk the government's commitment to controlling climate change and ending the zero carbon homes project.

Housing and Planning Bill, 2015:


The Bill scrapped the zero carbon homes initiative and in spite of attempts by the House of Lords to reintroduce it in 2016, the requirement was dropped. The Chancellor's budget speech in March 2019 however, stated that from 2025, new homes may not be connected to the gas grid for the purposes of heating. This bill received royal assent and became law in 2016 as the Housing and Planning Act 2015.

The National Adaptation Programme and the third strategy for climate adaptation reporting, published 19 July 2018:


Looking at the role of local authorities in the resilience agenda, the report states "Local government has obligations that contribute to resilience. These include flood risk management, under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, and commitments to prepare and plan for emergencies under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) are also required under the Planning Act 2008 to adopt proactive strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change." The stated vision being, "Local Government plays a central role in leading and supporting local places to become more resilient to a range of future risks and to be prepared for the opportunities from a changing climate".

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), July 2021: The NPPF originally published in 2012 and revised in July 2018, February 2019 and 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.

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."

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.

This DPD aims to address that local element and deliver at a local level while contributing to national targets.

Planning Practice Guidance, published in 2014 and updated in 2019 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."

Latest Supporting Information

In June 2019, the Prime Minister, committed the government to reducing UK greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, in a review of the Climate Change Act of 2008 (, to tackle climate change. This introduces tougher measures to the UK's current target to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.

This proposal is designed to help meet an international target of not exceeding a 0.5˚C temperature rise by 2100; the rise considered to be the dangerous climate threshold.

The Building Regulations (as updated at 2016):


Part L: Conservation of fuel and power, The Building Regulations, sets out how the regulations will control aspects of new buildings in relation to carbon indexing.

Part L also sets requirements for Carbon Index ratings.

The Future Homes Standard:


The Future Homes Standard updated Building Regulations Part L (conservation of fuel and power), Part F (ventilation) and introduced Part O (overheating) to ensure that all new homes built from 2025 will produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes delivered under 2013 Building Regulations. The updated regulations also sets an interim uplift in Building Regulations to reduce carbon emissions in new houses by 30% and new buildings by 27% from June 2022

Environment Act 2021:


The Environment Act was enacted in November 2021 and sets clear regulatory targets for the recovery of nature in four priority areas: air quality, biodiversity, water and waste, and a target to reverse the decline in species abundance by 2030. The Act creates the requirement for a statutory Environmental Improvement Plan, as set out in 'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment'. The legislation also establishes an Office for Environmental Protection which will have scrutiny, advice and enforcement functions.

The National Design Guide;Planning practice guidance for beautiful, enduring and successful places, 2021:


Published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that "creating high quality buildings and places is fundamental to what the planning and development process should achieve". The National Design Guide, and the National Model Design Code and Guidance Notes for Design Codes "illustrate how well-designed places that are beautiful, healthy, greener, enduring and successful can be achieved in practice. It forms part of the Government's collection of planning practice guidance and should be read alongside the separate planning practice guidance on design process and tools".


Warwick District Local Plan 2011-2029 (adopted Sept 2017):


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."

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

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. There are policies on climate change and water conservation. This DPD will expand on Local Plan policies and introduce standards in development which will positively contribute to the new targets set by central government since the Local Plan was adopted.

There is an adopted Sustainable Buildings SPD, dated December 2008. This is now very much in need of updating and the DPD will replace it in due course.

Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDP):


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.

Relevant Local Plan Objectives:

The objectives of the Local Plan have sustainability at their heart. The objectives provide the framework to deliver sustainable development by balancing social, economic and environmental imperatives and where possible enhancing all three.

a) Providing sustainable levels of growth in the District.

b) Providing well-designed new developments that are in the right location and address climate change

c) Enabling the District's infrastructure to improve and support growth


Related Supplementary Planning Documents and Guidance

The following supplementary planning documents and guidance are related to this DPD:

Climate Emergency Action Programme – Main Report

Air Quality SPD:

Public Open Space SPD:

Residential Design Guide:

Biodiversity Offsetting:

Climate Emergency Action programme

4.30 Details of the Council's CEAP are available here:

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