Planning and Climate Change

We recognise the role the planning system can play in reducing the effects of climate change. This role is largely one of facilitation through mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

Our adopted Local Plan includes a policy that supports large scale renewable energy installations, subject to them meeting a range of criteria. Micro renewable energy installations (such as solar panels) on households are often permitted development and do not require a specific policy.

We are currently working on our new Local Plan which provides the council with an opportunity to prepare more detailed planning policies that seek to address the impacts of climate change.

To support policy making in the new Local Plan we have a Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Study which provides evidence on the likely technical potential for different forms of renewable and low carbon energy in the district.

We have a Zero Carbon Roadmap and Action Plan and are committed to working towards being a net zero carbon district by 2050. Improving the energy efficiency of homes plays a key part in this journey. 

Zero carbon branding in colour - approved Feb 2021

Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document

On 18 October 2023 our Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (PDF Document, 1.16 Mb) (SPD) was adopted by Local Plan Committee.

Air quality is the largest environmental health risk in the UK (DEFRA, 2020. Air Pollution in the UK 2019). Air pollution can arise from a variety of sources and can travel long distances. Health can be affected by both short-term high pollution episodes and by long-term exposure to lower levels of pollution. The Government has established a set of air quality objectives to protect human health. The SPD focuses on human health and sets out the circumstances in which we require planning applications to be supported by an air quality assessment.  

Energy efficiency and Building Regulation changes

In June 2022 changes were made to the Building Regulations which included amendments to Approved Documents Part F (Ventilation) and Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) and the release of a new Approved Document for Overheating (Part O) and Infrastructure for Charging Electric Vehicles (Part S).

In terms of energy efficiency, the changes mean that all new homes must produce 30% less carbon dioxide emissions than current standards. The Building Regulations also include new standards to reduce energy use and carbon emissions during home improvements.

Our Building Regulations webpage provides more information on Building Regulations and what they cover.

How energy efficient is my home?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient).  They also tell you how costly it will be to heat and light your property, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.

An EPC also highlights the energy efficiency improvements you could make, how much they will cost, and how much you could save. This can be useful when looking to improve your current property. Bear in mind that any figures for energy use and potential savings are for a typical household in that property – they’re not tailored to you, your family or your lifestyle. Even if you rent your home, you could still implement some improvements noted on the EPC, such as switching to more energy efficient light bulbs.

The Government’s website can be used to find an EPC for a property in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. This includes homes, business properties and public buildings and is free.

How can I make my home more energy efficient?

All households, businesses and community organisations can make their property more energy efficient and reduce the amount of carbon caused by energy consumption. This can be done by:

  • Replacing gas, oil and fossil fuels with renewable electricity.
  • Improving the insulation of buildings, particularly in cavity walls, lofts and floors and making sure all windows are double glazed.
  • Minimising the use of lights and appliances. Turn off when not being used and use the low energy options available. Purchase appliances with A+ or A energy ratings.
  • You can use an energy monitor to help reduce your usage. You will be able to see the impact of turning off each appliance or leaving it on too long.
  • Switching to 'green' energy tariffs.
  • Investing in 'green' energy sources for home or work purposes.

The Energy Saving Trust website has tips and advice for quick and easy ways to save energy, lower your bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

The council’s webpage on cutting your energy bills provides advice and links to organisations that can help with reducing your energy costs as well as details on energy grants that are available.

Energy efficiency when building a new home or renovating your existing property

The Planning Portal Website has a number of interactive guides that display the planning and building rules for various types of houses. The interactive guides include planning advice on energy efficient measures such as heat pumps, solar panels and wind turbines.

Recycling construction waste materials

Latest statistics from Defra show the UK’s construction, demolition, and excavation industries produce 61% of all waste generated, three times higher than industrial and commercial waste and five times higher than household waste.

It’s important to be aware of what types of waste will be produced during construction as many of the materials can be salvaged, reused, or recycled. Knowing what waste is going to be generated also enables you to separate it all correctly, so your waste collectors can remove it from your site properly and safely.

The following materials can be recycled:

  • Concrete  - can be recycled for roads, pavements and aggregate for new concrete.
  • Brick/Masonry – can be recycled for aggregate, gravel or sand.
  • Metal – can be recycled for a variety of new metal items.
  • Glass – can be recycled for sand, gravel, new building materials.
  • Wood – can be recycled for fuel, landscaping mulch, bedding, composite board products and pallets. 

The Leicestershire Waste Partnership website has further information about the sustainable management of business and trade waste.

Last updated: Mon 18 March, 2024 @ 11:01