The Council’s Cabinet approved the publication of Climate Change Guidance for Development Management, which has been adopted as a material consideration for the purpose of making planning decisions.
The guidance provides developers, applicants and decision makers with clarity as to what the Council expects certain types of new residential development to deliver in the way of infrastructure to help mitigate the impacts of climate change.
In order to reduce carbon emissions in new homes, the guidance advises that applicants should deliver solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, infrastructure for electric vehicle (EV) charging and facilities for rainwater harvesting.
It identifies several key objectives and provides instructions for developers and applicants on how to achieve these to meet the requirements of the guidance.
The provision of Solar PV and infrastructure for EV charging will help mitigate the impacts of climate change by reducing reliance on petrol and diesel cars and energy from non-renewable sources, which in turn, will help reduce carbon emissions.
The provision of facilities for rainwater harvesting will encourage owners/occupiers to use water more sustainably to reduce pressure on mains water supply, which is important given that the borough is located in an area of ‘water stress’.
The guidance predominantly applies to schemes proposing new-build residential dwellings and dwellings resulting from a material change of use. However, applicants proposing to carry out certain types of householder development are also encouraged to apply the guidance.
Cllr Neil Bell, portfolio holder for planning and development, said: “Ashford Borough Council has always recognised the need to care about the environment, and effectively tackling the causes and effects of climate change in the way we plan new buildings is essential.
“Consequently, I support the approach to publish Climate Change Guidance for Development Management, which reflects the Council’s corporate priorities and represents our continued ambition towards ensuring that new residential development in Ashford is more sustainable.”