Bath & North East Somerset Council are currently consulting on an update the the area’s ‘Local Plan’ and 2 ‘Supplementary Planning Documents’, on Sustainable Construction and Transport. The council needs community backing for these proposals to help make Bath more sustainable and to avoid large housing developers and the ‘car lobby’ having the proposals squashed. Therefore, can you help us make Bath more sustainable by responding to the council’s consultations. The deadline for all consultations is Friday 8th October 2021. We have prepared some background information below to help you support the council be responding to the consultation. Supporting the council in this way will not only make B&NES more sustainable, but these new standards are nationally ground-breaking and other councils are likely to copy and replicate them elsewhere in the England and Wales.
Local Plan Update
The most important proposal is the update to the ‘Local Plan’, this proposes:
- All new large housing developments to be net zero carbon
- Homes designed to deal with future climate change overheating risk
- Non-residential, commercial buildings to minimise energy use and maximise use of renewable energy
- Minimise the (embodied energy) carbon emissions of buildings during construction
- Encourage local renewable energy production, including wind turbines and solar farms, along with local battery storage
- Encourage the retrofitting of existing buildings to higher energy performance standards, particularly private rented and HMOs
Completing a consultation response will take about 15 to 20 minutes, but it will be time very well spent and might be your biggest contribution to mitigating climate change in the next decade!!! Because the process is formal, following Planning Inspectorate rules, we have provided information on how to respond in this document: https://transitionbath.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Consultation-Response-Bath-Local-Plan-Partial-Update-v4.pdf . Additionally we are looking for a few speakers to speak at the Planning Inspectorate meeting next Spring, please let us know by emailing email@example.com if you can volunteer to help us?
We need your help on this to counteract the large developers who are going to plead poverty, claiming they can’t afford to meeting these higher standards, despite making healthy 25% profits this year and in the case of 1 housing developer paying their CEO £75 million a year.
Sustainable Construction and Retrofitting Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)
The SPD provides guidance around making homes more energy efficient, and in particularly historic, listed buildings. The SPD will replace a previous SPD, and although it is more in favour of energy conservation measures, we feel it doesn’t go far enough and presents barriers to residents trying to reduce the carbon emissions of their homes:
- the consultation is here: Sustainable Construction and Retrofitting Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) – public consultation | Bath and North East Somerset Council (bathnes.gov.uk)
- responding to the SPD is much more straightforward than the Local Plan. Complete your feedback here: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/sustainable-construction-and-retrofitting-supplementary-planning-document-spd-public-consultation-5
- Transition Bath’s formal response is here: https://transitionbath.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Transition-Bath-comments-on-Sustainable-Construction-Retrofitting-SPD.pdf including why we feel the guidance still favours fabric conservation too much over energy conservation and climate change mitigation; tin the last 7 years there is little evidence under the previous SPD that any progress was made in reducing the emissions of Bath’s 5000+ listed buildings
Transport and Development Supplementary Planning Document
This SPD aims to reduce car travel by 25% in favour of walking and cycling, and promote/support electric cars. In particular is aims to make better use of land by restricting the space allocated for cars on new developments (car spend 97% of their life not parked), in favour of car clubs, public transport, walking and cycling. Our comments on how to provide feedback to the council are available https://transitionbath.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Transition-Bath-Comments-on-Transport-and-Development-SPD.pdf