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2.1 - Sustainable Development, Climate Change, Water and Flood Risk

What the Government say:

Planning for Sustainable Development, Climate Change, Water and Flood Risk“Local planning authorities should adopt proactive strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change, taking full account of flood risk and water supply and demand considerations”[1]

“To help increase the use and supply of renewable and low carbon energy, local planning authorities should recognise the responsibility on all communities to contribute to energy generation from renewable or low carbon sources”[2]

“Local Plans should take account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as flood risk, coastal change, water supply and changes to biodiversity and landscape”[3]

“Inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be avoided by directing development away from areas at highest risk, but where development is necessary, making it safe without increasing flood risk elsewhere”[4]

What the Borough’ Local Plan needs to do:

The Local Plan needs to plan for new development in locations and ways which reduce greenhouse gas emissions; support energy efficient improvements to existing buildings; and, ensure that any local requirement for a building’s sustainability is consistent with Government requirements.

The Local Plan needs to promote energy from renewable and low carbon sources and include policies to maximise these forms of development subject to satisfactorily addressing any negative impacts.

The Local Plan must take account of climate change over the longer term, including flood risk, water supply and changes to biodiversity and landscape, and plan new development so as to avoid increased vulnerability to impacts arising from climate change.

The Local Plan needs to contribute towards meeting the Government target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Current Situation:

Since 2010, national policy and guidance on sustainable development and climate change has moved on. Whilst we currently set polices on climate change, sustainable construction, flood risk and carbon reduction changes to legislation and new evidence will require these to be updated.

We currently require all new development to demonstrate how it reflects nationally prescribed sustainable building standards for energy efficiency and that a Sustainability Statement is submitted alongside planning applications to demonstrate how potential carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced and by how much. We also requires that construction methods contribute towards the aims of sustainable development.

The Core Strategy seeks to avoid development in areas at risk of flooding or ensure that appropriate mitigation is put in place. It requires a detailed flood risk assessment for larger developments and that surface water run-off is proactively managed.


[1] National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 94), March 2012

[2] National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 97), March 2012

[3] National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 99), March 2012

[4] National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 100), March 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

The Challenges for the Future

Quick Question

Detailed Questions

We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced from the use of energy to provide the heating, cooling, lighting and other building services that keep occupiers comfortable and healthy.

It is important to ensure that new development is designed and constructed to minimise the impact on climate change.

Climate change is expected to lead to warmer temperate and increased quantity and intensity of rainfall which is likely to increase the risk of flooding in the borough from rivers, sewers and surface water run-off.

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