Delivering for Sustainability in Future Planning Developments.

On the 13th of January 2020 Nottingham Labour proposed and approved the Carbon Neutral Charter and Action Plan. It was then agreed to declare a climate and ecological emergency, to adopt the Carbon Neutral Charter and to consult on the Action Plan. A strategic step was made, setting our ambitions for carbon neutrality by 2028.

In the 19th of July this year a motion was moved reiterating our ambition for carbon neutrality. As part of that motion we committed to specific actions, including to “introduce a Planning Department Sustainability Checklist as a matter of urgency …” We are now delivering on this commitment;

Buildings have an important role to play in Nottingham’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality. That’s why the draft informal planning sustainability checklist that went out in consultation on the 18th of October is so significant. It’s the first step in holding the development community accountable to higher ecological standards.

This guidance requires planning applications made for major developments to demonstrate how they help the city meet its ambitions for carbon neutrality. The policy proposes that new applications for development of 10 or more residential or commercial units of 1000 m2 and above will need a Carbon Reduction/Energy Statement to be submitted. On that statement the developers will be asked to explain their proposed energy efficiency measures, their use of renewable energy, sustainable design and construction features etc.

The document is intended when possible, to encourage the use of technologies such as air source, ground source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels for the generation of energy/electricity on site reducing the reliance of future developments on the national grid.  It’s also intended to encourage the use of LED lighting, which uses 90% less energy than conventional bulbs, to increase the provision of cycle spaces and EV charging points and to promote high fabric standards protecting future buildings from energy loss.

On the 6th of November it was the global day of action for climate justice. Climate activists, residents and democratic representatives marched in Nottingham to demand justice for the environment whilst at the same time talks were taking place at the United Nations’s COP 26 summit. 

We want to encourage Nottingham residents to help us get our policy-making right. The informal sustainability planning guidance Nottingham City Council is consulting upon can be viewed here

This draft paper will be in consultation up until the 29th of November 2021 at 5pm. Do you have ideas on how to improve/strengthen this policy document? Is there anything we missed? We ask our communities to directly participate in planning policy formation by sending comments and opinions by email to localplan@nottinghamcity.gov.uk 

Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis, Executive Assistant for Planning and Heritage