Testing policies and targets
Your evidence base should give sufficient information to draft and test appropriate policies and targets. You should draft these with reference to national and regional requirements and within the context of different opportunities, risks and scales. Your viability and feasibility assessments should include information on design, cost, market readiness of technologies, economic implications, potential land take, land ownership, funding and operational issues.
For sustainable energy, you should give consideration to the likely environmental implications of any targets you might be considering. You should think about CO2 emissions, the localised impact on air quality, visual impact, transport issues and any other environmental impacts which might be relevant in the local context. This information can be gained through:
- Review of success of existing policies
- Regional and sub-regional studies and climate projections
- Review of independent research
- Strategic housing market assessments and affordability viability studies
- Infrastructure studies
- Illustrative development appraisals (although these are not always necessary as part of an evidence base)
- Review of technical literature and case studies
- Consultation with developers and stakeholders
- Linking planning with delivery
Considering these issues may not result in an entirely clear cut case for or against a particular policy objective or target and in these instances it will be necessary for you to apply professional judgement. You should do this in conjunction with other stakeholders to ensure that a broad approach is taken in assessing the pros and cons of particular approach. Refer to the stakeholder engagement page for more information about this process.
Where development is uncertain, such as unallocated SHLAA sites, you might develop ‘character areas’ which can be based on the sustainable energy technology being considered, climatic risk or land use characteristics. The examination of these issues is likely to suggest an area within which the policy is most viable or / and feasible.
Where development is more certain, such as where areas are earmarked as strategic sites, you can carry out or commission a more detailed assessment which will lead to much more robust policy.