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Agenda item

Notice of Motion Regarding "Developers Climate Change Declaration" - Given By Councillor Angela Argenzio and To Be Seconded By Councillor Peter Garbutt

That this Council believes:-

 

(a)      that building regulations standards for energy efficiency are not sufficient to address the climate emergency;

 

(b)      that incorporating renewable energy is not encouraged sufficiently in new developments;

 

(c)      that actions taken to reduce the risk of flooding need to be encouraged better in new developments through natural flood management and measures such as tree and hedge planting to increase water absorption, catch rainfall and slow down surface water run-off and reduce water pollution;

 

(d)      that action to preserve and promote biodiversity is not sufficiently appreciated in new developments and should be promoted;

 

(e)      that developers who go beyond the minimum standards required by national government are not recognised;

 

(f)       that there is limited public visibility for developers who do more than the minimum they are required to;

 

That this Council resolves:-

 

(g)      that the Council will ask developers to give their answers to these questions as part of the Planning Application process by completing a Developers Climate Change Declaration:-

 

(i)       What measures have been/will be taken to limit the carbon consumed through the implementation and construction processes? e.g. by reusing existing on-site materials, using low carbon materials and sourcing materials locally.

 

(ii)       What measures have been/will be taken to utilise renewable or low carbon energy sources either in the course of development or for use by the occupiers of the completed development or both?

 

(iii)      What measures have been/will be taken to reduce potential impacts of flooding associated with your proposed development? e.g. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, use of permeable materials, soakaways and leaving some land undeveloped to absorb rainfall.

 

(iv)      What measures will be taken to promote biodiversity in your proposed development?

 

(h)      that the Council will publicly recognise annually those developers who have gone above and beyond minimum Government requirements to address the climate and nature emergency;

 

(j)       that the Council will encourage and recognise developers who address the green skills gap by taking on local apprentices and training staff in the installation of new green technologies; and

 

(j)       that the Council will use the results of the Developers Climate Change Declarations as an evidence base to encourage Government to improve building regulations so they are more fit for purpose to address the climate emergency.

 

 

Minutes:

6.1

It was moved by Councillor Angela Argenzio, and seconded by Councillor Peter Garbutt, that -

 

 

 

This Council believes:-

 

 

 

(a)      that building regulations standards for energy efficiency are not sufficient to address the climate emergency;

 

 

 

(b)      that incorporating renewable energy is not encouraged sufficiently in new developments;

 

 

 

(c)      that actions taken to reduce the risk of flooding need to be encouraged better in new developments through natural flood management and measures such as tree and hedge planting to increase water absorption, catch rainfall and slow down surface water run-off and reduce water pollution;

 

 

 

(d)      that action to preserve and promote biodiversity is not sufficiently appreciated in new developments and should be promoted;

 

 

 

(e)      that developers who go beyond the minimum standards required by national government are not recognised;

 

 

 

(f)       that there is limited public visibility for developers who do more than the minimum they are required to;

 

 

 

This Council resolves:-

 

 

 

(g)      that the Council will ask developers to give their answers to these questions as part of the Planning Application process by completing a Developers Climate Change Declaration:-

 

 

 

(i)       What measures have been/will be taken to limit the carbon consumed through the implementation and construction processes? e.g. by reusing existing on-site materials, using low carbon materials and sourcing materials locally.

 

 

 

(ii)       What measures have been/will be taken to utilise renewable or low carbon energy sources either in the course of development or for use by the occupiers of the completed development or both?

 

 

 

(iii)      What measures have been/will be taken to reduce potential impacts of flooding associated with your proposed development? e.g. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, use of permeable materials, soakaways and leaving some land undeveloped to absorb rainfall.

 

 

 

(iv)      What measures will be taken to promote biodiversity in your proposed development?

 

 

 

(h)      that the Council will publicly recognise annually those developers who have gone above and beyond minimum Government requirements to address the climate and nature emergency;

 

 

 

(i)       that the Council will encourage and recognise developers who address the green skills gap by taking on local apprentices and training staff in the installation of new green technologies; and

 

 

 

(j)       that the Council will use the results of the Developers Climate Change Declarations as an evidence base to encourage Government to improve building regulations so they are more fit for purpose to address the climate emergency.

 

 

6.2

Whereupon, it was moved by Councillor Abdul Khayum, and seconded by Councillor Mark Jones, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the addition of new paragraphs (k) to (p) as follows:-

 

 

 

This Council:-

 

 

 

(k)      believes that we need an improved and well-resourced national planning system, to meet the need for quality housing standards, and that government needs to utilise expert ecologists and strategic planners to develop revised national guidance standards for housing developments, including flood risk assessments, net biodiversity gain assessments, species and habitat protections, climate change impacts and access for residents to green open spaces;

 

 

 

(l)       notes that the 2019 Labour Party Manifesto committed to a home building programme which delivers net biodiversity gains as well as reductions in carbon footprint, and believes that we need new planning rules to stop developers building inappropriate housing in high-risk areas, such as flood plains;

 

 

 

(m)     believes that councils should play a greater, more robust, role alongside an empowered Environment Agency in being able to halt planning developments in areas of serious flood risk;

 

 

 

(n)      notes that the Council has throughout the last decade required that all new buildings and conversions are designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and function in a changing climate, and that amongst other things, all developments are required to:-

 

 

 

(i)       achieve a high standard of energy efficiency; and

 

 

 

(ii)       make the best use of solar energy, passive heating and cooling, natural light, and natural ventilation;

 

 

 

(o)      notes that the Council requires that predicted energy needs of larger developments (five or more dwellings/more than 500 sq m gross internal floorspace) are reduced by 10% when compared to national building regulations, and this is usually delivered through improved building performance or renewable energy installations; and

 

 

 

(p)      believes, however, that our current requirements do not go far enough in tackling our climate and ecological emergencies, and that creating the new Sheffield Plan gives us the opportunity to implement new policies that will help new developments meet the Council’s ambitions of the City being net zero by 2030, and that through our 10 Point Plan for Climate Action we are also committing to developing interim revised supplementary planning guidance on renewable and low carbon energy, which we will be able to apply before the Sheffield Plan is adopted.

 

 

6.3

It was then moved by Councillor Martin Smith, and seconded by Councillor Mike Levery, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by:-

 

 

 

1.       the deletion of paragraph (g);

 

 

 

2.       the addition of new paragraphs (g) to (k) as follows:-

 

 

 

          This Council:-

 

 

 

(g)      notes the suggestion that developers could be asked to complete a Climate Change Declaration alongside their planning applications detailing commitments that might be made above and beyond those required by planning policy and believes that legal advice should be sought before any such policy is considered;

 

 

 

(h)      believes that the lack of a Local Plan has hampered the ability of the Council to have policies that would withstand any challenge to Planning Applications refused on the basis of any enhanced policies to tackle the Climate Emergency declared by the Council;

 

 

 

(i)       notes that Building Regulations are set by national, rather than local, government and further notes that a consultation process on energy efficiency began in January 2021;

 

 

 

(j)       notes that water companies are statutory consultees on all schemes that impact on drainage and surface water disposal, and that applications can be rejected if they unduly increase runoff;

 

 

 

(k)      believes that the Environment Agency needs to be a statutory consultee on a wide range of planning issues such as the modification of existing water courses, surface water discharge, flooding avoidance, protection of local nature reserves and other ecologically sensitive sites;

 

 

 

3.       the re-lettering of original paragraphs (h) to (j) as new paragraphs (l) to (n); and

 

 

 

4.       the addition of new paragraphs (o) to (q) as follows:-

 

 

 

(o)      resolves to carry out an appropriate public consultation before implementing these changes;

 

 

 

(p)      instructs the Chief Executive to send a copy of this motion to the Minister for Communities & Local Government; and

 

 

 

(q)      believes that for this to have any benefit to sustainable development, any policies that result from this motion must be embedded into any emerging Local Plan, the Local Plan that has been delayed by many years by Council Administrations since 2012.

 

 

6.4

After contributions from four other Members, and following a right of reply from Councillor Angela Argenzio, the amendment moved by Councillor Abdul Khayum was put to the vote and was carried.

 

 

6.4.1

(NOTE: Councillors Simon Clement-Jones, Richard Shaw, Sophie Thornton, Bob McCann, Ann Woolhouse, Angela Argenzio, Brian Holmshaw, Kaltum Rivers, Douglas Johnson, Ruth Mersereau, Martin Phipps, Tim Huggan, Mohammed Mahroof, Joe Otten, Colin Ross, Martin Smith, Vic Bowden, Alan Woodcock, Roger Davison, Barbara Masters, Shaffaq Mohammed, Sue Alston, Andrew Sangar, Cliff Woodcraft, Alexi Dimond, Paul Turpin, Ian Auckland, Steve Ayris, Christine Gilligan, Kevin Oxley, Peter Garbutt, Penny Baker, Richard Williams, Bernard Little, Alan Hooper, Mike Levery and Ann Whitaker, voted for paragraphs (k) and (m) to (p) and abstained from voting on paragraph (l) of the amendment moved by Councillor Abdul Khayum, and asked for this to be recorded.)

 

 

6.5

The amendment moved by Councillor Martin Smith was then put to the vote and was negatived.

 

 

6.6

The original Motion, as amended, was then put as a Substantive Motion in the following form and carried:-

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That:-

 

 

 

This Council believes:-

 

 

 

(a)      that building regulations standards for energy efficiency are not sufficient to address the climate emergency;

 

 

 

(b)      that incorporating renewable energy is not encouraged sufficiently in new developments;

 

 

 

(c)      that actions taken to reduce the risk of flooding need to be encouraged better in new developments through natural flood management and measures such as tree and hedge planting to increase water absorption, catch rainfall and slow down surface water run-off and reduce water pollution;

 

 

 

(d)      that action to preserve and promote biodiversity is not sufficiently appreciated in new developments and should be promoted;

 

 

 

(e)      that developers who go beyond the minimum standards required by national government are not recognised;

 

 

 

(f)       that there is limited public visibility for developers who do more than the minimum they are required to;

 

 

 

This Council resolves:-

 

 

 

(g)      that the Council will ask developers to give their answers to these questions as part of the Planning Application process by completing a Developers Climate Change Declaration:-

 

(i)     What measures have been/will be taken to limit the carbon consumed through the implementation and construction processes? e.g. by reusing existing on-site materials, using low carbon materials and sourcing materials locally.

 

(ii)    What measures have been/will be taken to utilise renewable or low carbon energy sources either in the course of development or for use by the occupiers of the completed development or both?

 

(iii)    What measures have been/will be taken to reduce potential impacts of flooding associated with your proposed development? e.g. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, use of permeable materials, soakaways and leaving some land undeveloped to absorb rainfall.

 

(iv)   What measures will be taken to promote biodiversity in your proposed development?

 

 

 

(h)      that the Council will publicly recognise annually those developers who have gone above and beyond minimum Government requirements to address the climate and nature emergency;

 

 

 

(i)       that the Council will encourage and recognise developers who address the green skills gap by taking on local apprentices and training staff in the installation of new green technologies;

 

 

 

(j)       that the Council will use the results of the Developers Climate Change Declarations as an evidence base to encourage Government to improve building regulations so they are more fit for purpose to address the climate emergency.

 

 

 

This Council:-

 

 

 

(k)      believes that we need an improved and well-resourced national planning system, to meet the need for quality housing standards, and that government needs to utilise expert ecologists and strategic planners to develop revised national guidance standards for housing developments, including flood risk assessments, net biodiversity gain assessments, species and habitat protections, climate change impacts and access for residents to green open spaces;

 

 

 

(l)       notes that the 2019 Labour Party Manifesto committed to a home building programme which delivers net biodiversity gains as well as reductions in carbon footprint, and believes that we need new planning rules to stop developers building inappropriate housing in high-risk areas, such as flood plains;

 

 

 

(m)     believes that councils should play a greater, more robust, role alongside an empowered Environment Agency in being able to halt planning developments in areas of serious flood risk;

 

 

 

(n)      notes that the Council has throughout the last decade required that all new buildings and conversions are designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and function in a changing climate, and that amongst other things, all developments are required to:-

 

(i)             achieve a high standard of energy efficiency; and

 

(ii)            make the best use of solar energy, passive heating and cooling, natural light, and natural ventilation;

 

 

 

(o)      notes that the Council requires that predicted energy needs of larger developments (five or more dwellings/more than 500 sq m gross internal floorspace) are reduced by 10% when compared to national building regulations, and this is usually delivered through improved building performance or renewable energy installations; and

 

 

 

(p)      believes, however, that our current requirements do not go far enough in tackling our climate and ecological emergencies, and that creating the new Sheffield Plan gives us the opportunity to implement new policies that will help new developments meet the Council’s ambitions of the City being net zero by 2030, and that through our 10 Point Plan for Climate Action we are also committing to developing interim revised supplementary planning guidance on renewable and low carbon energy, which we will be able to apply before the Sheffield Plan is adopted.

 

 

 

 

6.6.1

(NOTE: Councillors Simon Clement-Jones, Richard Shaw, Sophie Thornton, Bob McCann, Ann Woolhouse, Tim Huggan, Mohammed Mahroof, Joe Otten, Colin Ross, Martin Smith, Vic Bowden, Alan Woodcock, Roger Davison, Barbara Masters, Shaffaq Mohammed, Sue Alston, Andrew Sangar, Cliff Woodcraft, Ian Auckland, Steve Ayris, Kevin Oxley, Penny Baker, Richard Williams, Alan Hooper, Mike Levery and Ann Whitaker, votedfor paragraphs (a) to (f), (h) to (k) and (m) to (p), voted against paragraph (g) and abstained from voting on paragraph (l) of the Substantive Motion, and asked for this to be recorded.)