Sustainable Buildings SPD

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(6) 4.  The 10% Requirement

4.1 Policy DP13 of the Local Plan sets out the Councils requirement that 10% of the energy demand in new developments should be met by renewable sources.

DP13 Renewable Energy Developments

B. In appropriate residential and non residential developments, including conversions, the Council will require 10% of the predicted energy requirement to be produced on site, or in the locality from renewable energy resources

(2) 4.2 The 10% requirement will be applied to all developments unless the applicant can demonstrate it would not be appropriate. Development may not be appropriate because one or more of the following criteria can be met:

  1. It can be demonstrated that the site or building, character or scale of development would not be feasible for any type of renewable energy technology

(1) 4.3 In the case of smaller developments and in constrained sites (such as the town centre) it may not be technically possible to implement certain types of renewables. For example, the change of use of a ground floor unit where the upper floors are not in the same ownership is likely to prohibit the use of solar panels or wind turbines which need to be mounted on an unobstructed wall or roof. Similarly in the town centre there may not be the physical space to install certain technologies. In such cases the applicant must demonstrate that all possible renewable options have been fully explored. In addition the Council will expect all developments regardless of size or location to be designed to maximise energy efficiency.

  1. The installation of renewables would conflict with other planning objectives

(3) 4.4 There may be other planning objectives such as the preservation of the historic environment which make it difficult to install renewables. In conservation areas and in particular on listed buildings careful design is required to ensure that renewables are installed in a way that is sensitive to the historic and visual character of the building. There are however, some examples of where this has been successfully achieved. The applicant will therefore need to demonstrate that all options have been explored.

(1) 4.5 In rural areas, particularly land in the Green Belt, careful consideration is needed of the visual impact of renewables such as wind turbines on the open countryside.

  1. It can be demonstrated that implementing renewables would not be financially viable and would undermine the delivery of the development

(3) 4.6 It is recognised that in some developments the cost of implementing renewables may make the scheme unviable. This may be the case in small developments such as residential extensions or where the development involves other costs such as remediation works. The applicant will be required to clearly justify in the energy statement why the use of renewables would be unviable. This may take the form of a financial appraisal. The Council will in all instances expect the development to be designed to a high standard of energy efficiency.

4.7 In small scale developments the Council would encourage applicants to investigate any financial grants which may be available to support the implementation of renewable energy equipment (see sources of further information).

4.8 Where one of the above criteria can only be met in part, the Council will expect a reduced percentage to be met through renewables.

Combined Heat and Power

(1) 4.9 The Council may consider reducing the 10% requirement if a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit is implemented and the applicant can demonstrate that this will provide significant carbon savings. The percentage reduction will depend on the individual circumstances of the development and the size of the CHP plant. The Council would encourage all developments of 10 dwellings or 1000 sq m or over to consider the potential for a CHP unit.

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