Climate Change SPD

Ended on the 4 October 2023
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Chapter 10: Conclusion

As the Climate Change Committee report: Net Zero – The UK's contribution to stopping global warming says, a major ramp up in policy effort is required. Climate change affects us all and we should all play our part in mitigating and adapting to climate change. This SPD sets out how the development industry can play its part.

Paragraph 8 of the NPPF makes clear that mitigating and adapting to climate change is a core planning objective. New development should be planned for in ways that avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change (through adaptation measures including the planning of green infrastructure), and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through location, orientation, and design.

The Essex Climate Action Commission recognise that the natural world is our best ally in reversing climate change – it is key to absorbing and storing carbon. Risks from already changing weather systems – more flooding, over-heating, soil degradation, subsidence and water shortage can be tackled by making space for green infrastructure and nurturing our natural world. By transforming Essex into a net zero county, it can become a sustainable, thriving place to live, work and play and many of the measures proposed have multiple benefits.

Through declaring a climate emergency, it has become a priority of Colchester City Council to spur urgent action to reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainable urban environments and economies.

It is everyone's duty to do what they can to stop this existential threat to our planet.

This SPD is ambitious – it recommends that development proposals go further than adopted planning policies. The SPD sets out how applicants can successfully integrate a best-practice approach towards the climate emergency in their development proposals. The Council recommends that applicants follow the good practice set out in the Net Zero Carbon Toolkit. The Toolkit contains the very latest design approach and good practice within the field of net zero buildings. With the advent of extremely high energy costs the ongoing, relatively low running costs of net zero homes may become a sales point.

The Council's ambition is that all development should achieve an energy balance on-site and should seek to achieve LETI's Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Achieving an energy balance on-site means that renewable energy generation should be equal to or greater than the development's energy consumption (or energy use intensity) over the course of a year. The aim should be to provide renewable or low carbon heating systems for heating and hot water so that new development does not connect to the gas grid. Rather than a focus on carbon reduction, the Council supports the metric of energy use rather than a carbon reduction target. The Council supports the LETI approach, which is best practice and is inline with climate change targets.

This SPD sets out the direction we need to take to build sustainable, future proofed buildings. New buildings in Colchester city should reflect the direction of travel and be future proofed so that people and businesses can save money and people can live, work, and play in more liveable and comfortable buildings. LETI believes that to meet our national climate change targets, by 2025 all new buildings must be designed to deliver net zero carbon.

Climate change affects us all and we should all play our part in mitigating and adapting to climate change and creating communities and buildings that are resilient.

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