SE2: Develop specific energy carbon policies and targets for strategic sites
Description and rationale for policy objective
This policy is intended to be used where there are particular and demonstrable opportunities for greater use of decentralised and renewable or low-carbon energy on strategic sites or areas. Strategic development sites will contribute to and suffer from the effects of climate change. Certain sites, by virtue of their size or proximity to renewable or low carbon energy resources, will be better able to produce their energy more cleanly than others.
Although the zero carbon requirement of future Building Regulations (see Policy Context) is likely to drive the use of low carbon energy networks for large sites after 2016, there are many sites that are currently being master planned and will be submitted for outline planning consent prior to 2016 where strategic opportunities may be missed without this evidence base and targets being in place.
Also, without the clarity of a specific target in place, it may be harder to engage developers in a strategic discussion about the delivery of low carbon opportunities, particularly ones that may require considerable partnership working.
The Climate Change PPS makes clear that well-founded site specific targets drawn up in line with its guidance may expect significant proportions of the energy supply of new development to be secured from decentralised and renewable or low carbon energy sources. You could set carbon or energy targets for these areas that exceeded any area wide target that may be in place (see SE1).
You may also wish to use the policy option to help ensure the delivery of a wider district heating network, which could have wider benefits and potential carbon savings for the area. Setting this sort of target is one way of encouraging developers on these sites to incorporate an energy centre into their development, that could then feed a wider network. Alternatively it could encourage them to connect up to an existing or proposed heat network that may be adjacent to their site.
Where there is the opportunity to encourage district heating, either because of the density of development or nearby anchor loads, the local authority may also wish to consider Policy Option SE8, to require the connection to a DHN. The advantage of this approach would be to encourage DHNs which may connect to existing buildings, and in so doing tackle the important and hard to address area of existing building carbon emissions and fuel poverty.
This policy objective can also be used in combination with a Sustainable Energy Infrastructure Fund, see Policy Option SE7. Otherwise the Local authority may wish to be less prescriptive and simply ask for improvement on regulated carbon emissions levels.
Paragraph 26: Planning authorities should have an evidence-based understanding of the local feasibility and potential for renewable and low-carbon technologies, including microgeneration, to supply new development in their area. This may require them, working closely with industry and drawing in other appropriate expertise, to make their own assessments.
Drawing from this evidence-base, and ensuring consistency with housing and economic objectives, planning authorities should:
26(ii) where there are particular and demonstrable opportunities for greater use of decentralised and renewable or low-carbon energy than the target percentage, bring forward development area or site-specific targets to secure this potential;
26(iv) ensure there is a clear rationale for the target and it is properly tested.
Paragraph 29: Well-founded development area and site-specific targets drawn up in line with this PPS may expect significant proportions of the energy supply of new development to be secured from decentralised and renewable or low-carbon energy sources
The Planning Advisory Service, “Setting council-wide and site-specific or development area requirements”
Barking and Dagenham town centre Area Action Plan (AAP).
The Council has adopted in Policy BR1 of the Borough wide Development Policies a target of reducing the carbon emissions of new developments in the AAP area by 32% more than would be achieved by only following the Building Regulations requirements. The 32% reduction target is derived from a10% reduction from requiring new developments to provide some on-site energy generation such as solar panels and wind turbines, and a further 22% savings that can be achieved using waste heat from Barking Power Station to fuel a combined heat and power system for the AAP area. Because this is a vital element of achieving the low carbon targets for the AAP area, policy BR2 of the Borough wide Development Policies requires all major developments in the AAP area to be compatible with the community heating network.