The Central Lincolnshire Draft Local Plan consultation is now live for eight week’s of feedback, up to August 24 2021. Each week we will give a short overview of an area of the plan which has been subject to update or change.
This week the policy area in focus is Energy, Climate Change and Flooding which covers 15 policies in total. They help to set the tone and provide context for Central Lincolnshire Local Plan’s response to climate change across the 820 square mile area of Lincoln city, North Kesteven and West Lindsey.
The policies have been developed and drafted in the context of current National guidance which in places is quite conflicted and has presented some challenges.
It is considered, given recent announcements by National Government, that this area of Planning Policy is set to change nationally very soon and is likely to significantly change the development industry’s approach to carbon neutrality and align more readily with changing public opinion on renewables.
Cllr Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council which is one of the three district authorities making up the Central Lincolnshire partnership, said: “Our Local Plan is one of only a few across the Country that is seeking an early position on climate change and drafting policies accordingly, to meet the challenges climate change presents. The Local Plan must not therefore be viewed as the ‘end game’ but as a first step.
“Our climate change policies are drafted in a way as to encourage engagement from the public at this ‘consultation draft’ stage. This will help the joint committee get a better understanding of public opinion across a range of issues and shape the final draft which will be consulted on again in early 2022.”
This suite of policies ultimately aims to deliver, as far as possible through planning policy & development, 5 key themes. These were drawn out by evidence developed by climate change consultants and are as follows:
- The need to reduce energy consumption in new build (Policies S6 –S12)
- The need to generate energy from renewable sources (Policies S13 –S15)
- The need to protect or enhance natural ‘carbon sinks’ (Policies S16)
- The need to facilitate a transition to net-zero carbon lifestyles (Policies S17 – S18)
- The need to adapt to a changing climate (Policies S19 – S20)
Key policy areas to consider in this suite of policies are those in theme 1 which look at reducing a building’s energy consumption. Policies S6 and S7 provide details on how this can be achieved in new build residential and non-residential developments.
Whilst these measures may initially increase build cost, it is acknowledged it is easier to include energy efficiency measures during a build than retro-fit them and as such it is felt important to ensure as many new buildings in Central Lincolnshire achieve these high standards sooner rather than later.
The Government’s own Future Homes/Building Standards which mirror these policy requirements will be implemented incrementally during the life of this Local Plan, adding further weight to this position.
Theme 2 deals with renewables, both existing and future developments. S13 is the Renewable Energy Policy. The public perception on renewables has not, in recent years, been tested in Central Lincolnshire; as such this is an important policy inclusion in this Consultation Draft.
The other three themes consider opportunities around carbon sinks, protection of peat areas and tree planting; electric car charging points and associated infrastructure; and finally encouraging resilience to the impacts of climate change, including flood risk and water scarcity and resilience through design.
The full consultation, including the Draft Local Plan, evidence documents and the response form can be accessed by following this link Local Plan consultation. Please do take the time to have a look.
There is also now an additional link specifically to enable Parish Councils to navigate and access key information - Local Plan Consultation Parish Information. This has been done to support and encourage as many Parish Councils to engage in the process and give their views.