SE6: Inform the selection of land for new development in relation to the potential for renewable and low carbon energy supply
Description and rationale for policy objective
This policy option involves using making use of the information in an Energy Opportunity Plan to inform the selection of land for development by identifying any potential opportunities for renewable or low carbon energy on or close to those sites. Note that this policy objective is not meant to cover the allocation of land for stand-alone renewable energy developments. This is covered separately under policy objective SE3.
Clearly, the potential for sustainable energy is only one of a multitude of different factors to be assessed and weighed when selecting land. The relative weight that you as a local authority should give to the sustainable energy criterion is for you to decide, based on your own priorities and political context.
You can also use this method to inform the nature of allocations that you choose to make in particular areas (i.e. the use class, or density, or whether mixed, residential only or commercial only) and how different sites may be grouped together, in order to increase the viability of an energy opportunity. For example, in areas of opportunity for district heating, you may look to set higher densities, or look for mixed development, as this will provide complementary heat loads. For areas with potential wind power opportunities, you may want to focus on commercial use classes, as this will avoid any possible issues with wind turbine noise impacting on residential amenity, as well as providing potentially large electricity base loads. Again, we recognise that energy is only one of many issues and criteria that you will need to consider in making allocations.
In deciding which areas and sites are suitable, and for what type and intensity of development, planning authorities should assess their consistency with the policies in this PPS.
In doing so, planning authorities should take into account:
- the extent to which existing or planned opportunities for decentralised and renewable or low-carbon energy could contribute to the energy supply of development;
- the capacity of existing and potential infrastructure (including for water supply, sewage and sewerage, waste management and community infrastructure such as schools and hospitals) to service the site or area in ways consistent with cutting carbon dioxide emissions and successfully adapting to likely changes in the local climate;
In deciding on areas and sites to identify for development, priority should be given to those that will perform well against the criteria set out in paragraph 24. Where areas and sites perform poorly, planning authorities should consider whether their performance could be improved.
A number of the Climate Change PPS studies that have been carried out in the region, and in England, have made use of energy opportunities maps to assess candidate sites. In particular, we suggest you refer to the Dover, Waveney, Eastbourne and Bristol City climate change PPS studies which are listed under Good Practice & Case Studies.