Sustainable Buildings SPD
10. Appendix 1 – Local Plan Policies
Development will be encouraged to incorporate sustainable drainage systems which provide for the disposal of surface water. Where this is not possible, it will be necessary to demonstrate:-
- why it is not possible to incorporate sustainable drainage systems, and
- that an acceptable means of surface water disposal is provided which does not increase the risk of flooding or give rise to environmental problems.
The re-use and recycling of surface water and domestic waste water within new development will be encouraged.
4.67 The conservation and management of water is an increasingly important issue in light of the increased incidence of flooding, the increasing demand for water supplies and the importance of watercourses and wetlands to nature conservation. Development throughout a river catchment, including locations outside of the flood plain, can have a significant impact on the risk of flooding simply by increasing run off through extending the area of impermeable ground. Further, government guidance states that the potential effects of climate change may be a 20% increase in peak flows.
4.68 Government guidance requires consideration of drainage and flooding issues in all locations, not just within the floodplain. It encourages reduction and restriction of surface water run off from new developments by the provision of sustainable drainage systems. This guidance is reflected in the Structure Plan which requires development to meet water conservation and flood control requirements. The views expressed through the Community Plan identified reducing the risk of flooding as a key aim.
4.69 The objective of this policy is to incorporate sustainable drainage systems into new developments as an integral part of their layout and design. Sustainable drainage systems aim to use a variety of techniques to control surface water run-off as close to its origin as possible by engineering solutions that seek to mimic natural drainage processes. These will help to protect against flooding and pollution of water resources as well as enabling opportunities for benefits in terms of nature conservation and the landscape value of the site and surrounds.
4.70 The Environment Agency can give further information on sustainable drainage systems and water recycling. The Council will work closely with them and other sewerage undertakers to enable surface water drainage to be controlled as near to the source as possible by encouraging such systems.
4.71 Applicants will need to demonstrate how they comply with the objective of this policy. It is recognised that some developments, e.g. changes of use, may have little or no impact on drainage and therefore such information will not be required where this is the case.
DP12 Energy Efficiency
The layout and design of development will be encouraged to promote energy efficient buildings. Where appropriate, development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that they have considered:-
- opportunities to maximise passive solar gain, minimise heat loss and wind tunnelling and eddying;
- opportunities to limit overshadowing of buildings to minimise loss of useful solar gain;
- opportunities for landscaping to provide shelter belts to improve energy conservation;
- the use of materials with a reduced energy input, such as recycled products; and
- the use of sustainable and renewable forms of heating such as solar panels and CHP (Combined Heat and Power) schemes.
4.72 The prudent use of natural resources is a key objective of the UK Sustainable Development Framework. The layout and design of development can have a significant effect on reducing energy consumption by ensuring maximum use is made of passive solar gains and reducing the unnecessary loss of energy.
4.73 Government guidance states that energy conservation and efficient use of energy are considerations for Local Plans. This is reflected within Regional Planning Guidance which requires development plans to include measures to minimise energy demands from development. Furthermore, an aim of the Community Strategy is to promote energy efficiency. Other policies within the Local Plan will also contribute towards energy efficiency, such as ensuring that developments are located in areas which reduce peoples need to travel and encouraging renewable energy developments.
4.74 The objective of this policy is to design new developments which make the most of opportunities to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Consideration should be given to maximising solar gain through orientation of the principal façade of buildings southwards, configuring the internal layout accordingly and providing appropriate spacing between buildings to avoid overshadowing. The ability to avoid exposing external walls through windbreaks should also be considered.
4.75 It may also be appropriate for large scale developments to consider the ability to incorporate sustainable forms of energy production within the overall design, for example combined heat and power systems.
4.76 Applicants will be required to demonstrate how they comply with the objective of this policy. It is recognised that minor developments and changes of use may have little or no impact on energy conservation and therefore such information will not be required where this is the case.
4.77 The Council will welcome applications for development that have embraced the adoption of recognised environmental design standards such as Breeam (The Building Research Establishments Environmental Assessment Method). This audit system considers a set of environmental issues and gives accreditation for designs that successfully incorporate an appropriate range of environmental criteria.
4.78 It is acknowledged that the most appropriate layout and design for promoting energy efficient buildings may not accord with other policy objectives, such as achieving good design or making the best use of land. The Council will expect applicants to demonstrate how they have sought to balance these competing objectives and where they have made clear choices between policies.
DP13 Renewable Energy Developments
- Planning permission will be granted for developments which generate energy from renewable resources where they do not have an unacceptable impact on:-
- local amenity including visual appearance, noise, dust, odour, and traffic generation;
- public health and safety;
- townscape and/or landscape character;
- the natural environment; or
- interests of archaeological or historic importance
- the wider environmental and economic benefits of the proposals will be a significant material planning consideration; and
- provision should be made for the removal of the facilities and the reinstatement of the site should it cease to be operational.
- In appropriate residential and non-residential developments, including conversions, the Council will require 10% of the predicted energy requirements to be produced on site, or in the locality, from renewable energy resources.
4.79 The Government’s energy policy is set out in the Energy White Paper. This aims to put the UK on a path to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by some 60% by 2050, with real progress by 2020, and to maintain reliable and competitive energy supplies. The development of renewable energy, alongside the improvements in energy efficiency and the development of combined heat and power, will make a vital contribution to these aims. The Government has already set a target to generate 10% of UK electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010. The Government’s planning policy in PPS22 (Renewable Energy) states that local development documents, such as local plans, should include policies to promote and encourage the development of renewable energy resources. Further guidance is given in the Companion Guide to PPS22.
4.80 The West Midlands Energy Strategy sets a target of at least 5% of electricity to be generated from renewable means by 2010. This lower target reflects the lower baseline in the region and the potential. Regional Planning Guidance recognises the fact that if energy targets are to be met it is important that development plans incorporate policies to help facilitate the realisation of the energy generation potential of renewable resources. The Structure Plan promotes the maximum use of renewable energy resources.
4.81 Warwick District Council is a signatory to the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change and as such is committed to encouraging all sectors of the community to achieve a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and to provide opportunities for the development of renewable energy developments.
4.82 The objective of this policy is to provide clear criteria for consideration of development proposals for renewable energy developments and to promote the use of small scale, on-site, renewable energy technology in developments. For the purposes of this policy, renewable energy covers those energy flows that occur naturally and repeatedly in the environment – from the wind, the fall of water, the sun and also from biomass. In Warwick District, the energy sources which have most potential include solar energy, wind and biomass.
4.83 Development proposals for renewable energy projects may include both large scale, commercial plant supplying to the local distribution network, or “micro-generation scale” plants supplying a specific building, site or community. The nature and significance of developments will vary according to the scale, the primary source of renewable fuel, the technology used and the location. Commercial scale plants are likely to use wind or biomass. Micro-generation scale plants may make use of a variety of fuels and technologies.
4.84 Where appropriate, Environmental Assessment will be used to determine the effect of any proposal on amenity, public health and safety, townscape and/or landscape character, the natural and historic environment, climate and other factors. Applications should include arrangements for the reinstatement of the site, should the operation cease, and in the case of large scale projects should engage in active consultation with local communities before any planning application is submitted.
4.85 Many renewable energy projects will be inappropriate development in the green belt. Careful consideration will be given to the visual impact of the scheme on the openness of the green belt and developers will need to demonstrate very special circumstances that clearly outweigh any harm by reason of inappropriateness and any other harm if the project is to proceed.
4.86 Government guidance allows local plans to require some new developments to provide a percentage of their energy requirements from on-site renewable energy developments. In Warwick District this requirement will be applied to “appropriate” developments which will include those developments where the installation of micro generation equipment is viable given the type of development proposed, its location and design. Such equipment could include photovoltaic cells, solar panels, solar powered water heating, energy from wind turbines in small clusters and energy from biomass. Where, in the case of an appropriate development, it is claimed that micro generation equipment is not viable, developers will be required to demonstrate why this is the case. Further guidance on the implementation of this policy will be set out in a Supplementary Planning Document.