Councillors back net zero carbon policy for the Warwick district aimed at introducing new standards for property developers
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The development planning document (DPD) was approved at the full council meeting on September 7 and will now be submitted to the Secretary of State for final approval.
Cllr Alan Rhead, the climate change portfolio holder, said urgent action was needed and urged members to back the policy.
He said: “I have long held the view that we need to urgently address this matter and I ask that, as for the declaring a climate emergency before, we present a united position in approving this DPD as set out without amendment being submitted for examination in public.
“This DPD aims to focus on minimising carbon emissions from existing and new buildings within the district to support the achievement of national and local carbon reduction targets.
“To work towards this aim, the DPD is designed to ensure that new developments’ contribution to the district’s carbon deficit is minimised and that new homes do not add to the significant number of existing buildings that will need costly and disruptive retrofit as part of the local and national transition to achieve net zero carbon.
“Members, time is not on our side. How often have we all passed current new developments where no consideration has been given to the carbon emissions, all of which will later require those retrofits?
“By bringing forward now performance standards equivalent to the Future Homes Standard – two years in advance of its national introduction – new homes should not need future retrofit and, by collecting carbon offset payments, the DPD will also raise funds to deliver other vital, but currently underfunded, actions necessary for the national and local transition to net zero such as additional renewable energy and retrofit of other existing buildings.”
Cllr John Cooke added: “This is a DPD that addresses a major planning issue which I think can lead to an improvement in various aspects of life in Warwick District Council.
“We are going above and beyond the Government’s attempts at improving building regulations. I suspect, and hope, that other councils will be looking to see what happens and I hope other councils will do exactly the same as what we are doing.”