Petition to Don Foster and B&NES Council to request them to support the building of sustainable homes in Bath

Sign the petition here:

Petition to B&NES council and Don Foster to retain sustainable homes in the Core Strategy

This petition is now closed.

End date: Jun 01, 2014

Signatures collected: 187

187 signatures

Only your names will be passed onto the council and Don Foster, we will not publish your email addresses and optional postcodes.

If you need further information and the background to why we are asking for your help, see below. If you have any questions please contact us at consultation@transitionbath.org


Further information:

Transition Bath would really appreciate it if you could sign this petition and help Bath save up to 27,000 tonnes of CO2 per year – equivalent to 60 MW of solar PV or 10 large wind turbines.

The petition requests that B&NES council’s requirements for Code for Sustainable Homes level 5 or its equivalent – following the recent amendment to the Government’s Deregulation Bill, be retained within its Core Strategy. It also asks Don Foster to support the amendment to the Deregulation Bill currently going through parliament which would allow the council the right to continue to specify higher standards in new home building.

In our recent survey of 167 residents, 98% of you backed B&NES council in their requirement that new homes are to be built to higher standards and stated that the government was wrong to attempt to remove this ability from councils.

If the council is successful in arguing its case with the Planning Inspector and the amendment goes through parliament then this will mean new homes in Bath will be built to the highest sustainability standards, reducing their carbon emissions by 55% and energy bills by up to 80%. Further background information is presented below.

We plan on presenting the petition to the council and Don Foster before the end of May 2014.

Please pass this request onto any friends, family and colleagues who you think might also be prepared to sign this petition?

Many Thanks,

Transition Bath


Background

We have posted a significant amount of detailed information on the website already:

  1. The impacts of the Deregulation Bill 2013/2014 on Bath’s future homes
  2. The cost and benefits of building new homes to Code for Sustainable Homes level 5
  3.  Why more sustainable homes in Bath should not be more expensive to buy?
  4.  Update May 2014: the state of sustainable building standards in B&NES
  5. Results of our housing survey: 98% of respondents supported higher standards 

But in summary:

  1. Under B&NES’s proposed Core Strategy the majority of the 12,700 homes to be built in Bath over the next 15 years will be built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 (CfSH 5), a significantly higher standard than the minimum required by Building Regulations – leading to 55% lower CO2 emissions and up to 80% reduction in energy bills
  2. The Deregulation Bill 2013/2014 which is going through parliament at the moment, proposes removing local authorities ability to specify higher housing standards
  3. But, an amendment from April 2nd, may allow local authorities to continue to specify higher standards until the government announces its future zero carbon homes plan
  4. The bill will be going to day 2 of its  ‘Reporting Stage’ and the ‘third reading’, soon after June 4th when the parliament returns from the recess – at which point the amendment will be debated. The bill will then go to the House of Lords and probably be enacted in July
  5. On April 9th at the Core Strategy hearing the Inspector, Simon Emerson, said he was minded, because of ‘government trajectory’ to remove B&NES’s Code for Sustainable Homes requirements from the Core Strategy, at the hearing no one was aware of the amendment. If the amendment to the Deregulation Bill goes through then his striking out of the CfSH 5 requirements would be inconsistent with government regulation
  6. The Inspector was planning on getting back to the council in late May, privately providing his amended Core Strategy for comment before it is made public a 2 weeks later – the council will have the opportunity in these 2 weeks to insist based on the amendment that the Code for Sustainable Homes 5 requirement is put back in
  7. The watering down of the sustainability regulations for new homes has largely been pushed by large builders on the basis that the additional ‘red tape of regulation’ is restricting the supply for housing – we can find absolutely no evidence of this in Bath. The large builders have no interest in building, comfortable, low energy homes and no interest in the legacy they leave Bath – their priority is to their shareholders to maximise their profit. Regulation can be a good thing; the one area of housing which is not regulated in the UK is ‘Space Standards’ and as a result we have the smallest new homes in Europe!
  8. However, the additional cost of building higher standard homes will not make those homes more expensive and less affordable. The additional cost of about £8,000 per home  is typically born by the land owner, reducing their land values by about 7%, which is still 100 times the value of the land if it is retained for agriculture and not an impediment to land being brought forward for building development
  9. By signing this petition, we can
    1. put pressure on Don Foster to support the amendment
    2. support the council in its efforts to deliver more sustainable housing in Bath
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