SE9: Using local development orders to support sustainable energy deployment
Description and rationale for policy objective
Some ways in which a local authority can use LDOs to promote sustainable energy initiatives include:
- broadening the application of ‘permitted development’ rights in some or all of their area, to cover a wider range of householder and micro-renewable installations;
- providing an overall framework permission for the installation of district heating networks based on an existing generation station to serve existing housing;
- provide a framework permission for a decentralised area network for generating facilities to serve several development sites and/or existing housing
Some possible benefits are to:
- allow renewable development or heat network deployment without the need for planning applications, thereby reducing development risk, cost and time
- raise awareness and build knowledge about decentralised energy
Specifically, the local authority may wish to explore an LDO if, firstly, there is the opportunity to deliver a district heating network. In this case it is recommended that they explore the option of establishing an LDO in order to add certainty to the development process and potentially speed up delivery. Secondly, should the microgeneration technologies currently covered by nationally permitted development be excluded by sensitivities within the local authority area* they may wish to extend these rights under certain conditions, e.g. the use of solar panels in Conservation Areas.
*with certain exclusions. The DCLG Circular 1/2006 sets out that LDOs cannot be used for the following:
- developments affecting listed buildings;
- development likely to have a significant effect on European sites within the meaning of regulation 10 of The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 – “the Habitats Regulations; and
- developments specified in Schedule 1 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (“the EIA Regulations”).
Because there are not, at the time of writing this toolkit, any examples of adopted Climate Change PPS LDOs we have not attempted to set out the specific process, or tasks, that a local authority should follow. Instead we have provided a general process map, as shown below, which is adapted from the Entec research and DCLG Circular 1/2006 (see the links at the end of this page).
Planning authorities should give positive consideration to the use of local development orders (LDO) to secure renewable and low-carbon energy supply systems. LDOs could be used to provide additional permitted development rights across the whole of a planning authority’s area. LDOs could also be used to grant permission for certain types of development in parts of a planning authority’s area.
An LDO could also be development area or site specific to bring forward development of a particular site or sites. In practice, to ensure that such LDOs deliver the right type of development their use should be complemented by guidance, including design codes, produced by the planning authority and in line with this PPS.
A case study of the proposed London Development Agency LDO for heat networks for two boroughs from the Planning advisory Service
Energy Saving Trust guidance on permitted development at a national level
Research report into local development orders, by Entec, for IDEA, March 2009. See http://www.pas.gov.uk/pas/core/page.do?pageId=112066
DCLG Circular 01/2006