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Sustainable Construction and Retrofitting Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) - public consultation

Introduction and policy background

This consultation is now closed

The Energy Efficiency Retrofitting and Sustainable Construction Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) gives developers, homeowners and construction professionals guidance on how to make new buildings, or repairs and updates to existing buildings (also called retrofitting), more environmentally friendly.

This collection of web pages is designed to help you to gain an understanding of how the SPD may affect you or your planned development, to help you to respond to the proposed policy in the document through a public consultation.

The wider council policy context

As a council, we declared a Climate Emergency in March 2019, and an Ecological Emergency in July 2019, with an Emergency Action Plan designed to achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2030. We found that the main source of greenhouse gases, accounting for 66% of emissions, is energy use in buildings.

We have therefore made more environmentally friendly construction a high priority, and are reflecting this in our policy. We are aiming to achieve the following:

  • 'Zero carbon' new building (meaning that new construction should not increase carbon emissions at all)

  • To make existing buildings (both homes and commercial buildings) more environmentally friendly, through the use of retrofitting measures (improvements which will make them more energy efficient)

  • To give homeowners and professionals the tools, knowledge and support to make it easier to choose more sustainable options when planning developments

The Planning policy context

We already have existing guidance in relation on sustainable construction, retrofitting, energy efficiency and renewable energy in homes. This is set out in two separate Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) which were published in 2013:

Both documents aim to set out how you can make environmentally-focused changes and adaptations in line with Planning legislation. However, the first SPD deals just with homes and other buildings without historic or heritage importance, while the second is limited to buildings with particular architectural or cultural importance (a large category, with an enormous number of excellent examples in our district).

Following our Climate Emergency declaration, we have decided to review, update and combine these two SPDS into one clear policy document. This aims to reflect and achieve our environmental aims by providing advice which is positive, practical and up-to-date.

Other current Planning consultations 

We are also currently in the process of a Local Plan Partial Update (LPPU). Part of this review has involved strengthening Local Plan policies which relate to construction and the environment:

  • Policy CP1 on Retrofitting
  • Policy CP2 on Sustainable Construction
  • Policy CP3 on Renewable Energy

This SPD supports the updated Local Plan by building on these policies, providing guidance and advice to ensure that our policy framework and development better address the Climate Emergency. 

As part of the LPPU, we are also consulting on Supplementary Planning Documents on Transport and Development and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)