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New planning guidance focusses on climate change

Last Modified October 03, 2022

Have your say on new guidance aimed at helping Hertsmere to lower its carbon emissions and achieve net zero by 2050 from today.

We've published three draft Supplementary Planning Documents, which provide detailed advice or guidance on our current planning policies. They include details on how we intend to promote sustainable transport and parking through changes to off-street parking requirements for new developments, including electric car charging points, and the provision of electric car clubs and bike hire schemes; how we intend to collect payments for carbon emissions and use the money for carbon reduction projects; and how we intend to ensure developments over a certain size result in an increase in biodiversity.

In 2019, we declared a climate emergency and committed to achieving net-zero emissions no later than 2050. The guidance, which is open to public consultation until Tuesday 15 November, is already being used by our planning officers to help assess development proposals and when deciding whether to grant permission.

Councillor Harvey Cohen, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: “While we’re working hard on the next version of our draft Local Plan for Hertsmere, we can use these Supplementary Planning Documents to ensure development has a positive effect on the environment, and doesn’t add to the pressures on our climate.

“This new guidance sets out in a transparent, consistent way what we expect from developers and landowners looking to build in the borough, and the demands we will be making on the sustainability of their projects.

“Our carbon offset fund guidance, for example, makes it clear that we expect developers to achieve net-zero emissions on site but if that isn’t achieved, we will be charging them so the impact of their activities can be mitigated through either an ecological, renewable energy or carbon capture project.

“In order for this guidance to really work, we need the help of developers, local groups, businesses, residents and other stakeholders, so please do let us have your views.”

Councillor Seamus Quilty, Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “As a council, we’re committed to tackling the greatest challenge facing our residents, our businesses, our borough and the world – climate change.

“This new planning guidance is one of many avenues we’re exploring to help us meet our net-zero carbon pledge. To help us achieve our goals we have recently joined the Net Zero Innovation Programme, which is a collaboration of councils run by the Local Government Association.

“Since the start of this year alone, we’ve paid out grants to help community groups and businesses fund climate action initiatives; through our Green Homes Grants and Solar Together schemes, we’re helping homeowners make their properties more efficient, greener and lower their bills; and we’re now giving away free trees.

“We will continue to look at ways to make a difference to our environment.”

To find out more go here.

Posted on Tuesday 4th October 2022

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