Planning for Climate Change

27th March 2021

Derbyshire CPRE welcomes Derbyshire Dales District Council’s new guidelines, albeit with some reservations.

We recently responded to a consultation by Derbyshire Dales District Council about their draft Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document .

We believe it’s a big step in the right direction, potentially giving local planners the tools to require that new developments address climate change and to prevent things getting worse.  It will add to the policies already approved in the Local Plan, against which all new planning applications are assessed.  It covers these areas:

  • Securing enhanced green infrastructure
  • Managing drainage, flood risk and conserving water
  • Using less energy, increasing efficiency and promoting renewables
  • Reducing the need to travel and promoting sustainable transport
  • Improving building design and layout to meet the objectives

Impressive Document

We were impressed by the document as much of what is written seems achievable in a local context and fits well with the Local Plan aims. It considers small scale development as well as the larger proposals.

Enforcement  of Standards is the Key

But we ask will the planners have strong enough tools to enforce these measures?  How will the implementation of these measures be assessed and enforced?  How far can the planning authority go in making sure there is compliance?  There is a need to be more explicit about the standards required for energy use reduction, housing density, use of permeable surfacing, electric charging points and many other measures.

From the DDDC Supplementary Planning Document. Examples of green infrastructure within a residential street

Flood Risk needs to be taken far more seriously

We expressed concerns about the emphasis in the document on flooding attenuation measures, rather than on prohibiting development on any land prone to flooding or on sites where run-off into water courses further on may cause flooding elsewhere.  It is unclear from the document how the impact of any given development on flood risk elsewhere is assessed.  This is a complex area and we argue that there should be a separate Supplementary Planning Document covering this in much more detail.