Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Biodiversity and Climate Change

12.20 A key objective of national planning policy in responding to climate change is delivering spatial strategies that conserve and enhance biodiversity, recognising that the distribution of habitats and species will be affected by climate change. The final bullet point in the policy below specifically ensures climate change is addressed in considering biodiversity interest.

12.21 Policy EQ1 seeks to incorporate the range of measures necessary to ensure that climate change, biodiversity and flood risk is fully addressed in South Somerset both in terms of mitigation measures to reduce our CO2 emissions, and ensuring new development is adapted to accommodate the anticipated changes in the climate. This deals with mitigation measures through CO2 reduction and promotion of decentralised energy; seeks to ensure that all development generally minimises CO2 emissions through applying the three criteria in the energy hierarchy; requires large-scale development across South Somerset to reduce its CO2 emissions by 10%, up to the year 2013, when the proposed revisions to the Building Regulations will mean this element is no longer necessary; focuses on opportunities for the urban extensions at Yeovil and the Market Towns, and sets levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM that will be required for these developments – (these standards will also require climate change adaptation methods e.g. water efficiency); and encourages developments of decentralised and renewable or low carbon energy.

Policy EQ1 Addressing Climate Change in South Somerset

All new development in South Somerset should demonstrate how it has fully mitigated and adapted to climate change through inclusion of the following measures (as appropriate):

  • New development will ensure CO2 reductions are maximised by complying with the following energy hierarchy:
    1. energy efficiency measures;
    2. on-site decentralised energy and directly connected heat technologies; and finally
    3. 'allowable solutions' to achieve carbon reduction.
  • As an interim measure until 2013, in large-scale development*, the provision of decentralised and renewable or low carbon energy should ensure that carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by at least 10% (compared to Building Regulations 2006) unless, having regard to the type of development involved and its design, this is not feasible or viable.
  • At major development of urban extensions to Yeovil and the Market Towns, at least BREEAM# ‘excellent’ for non-residential, and the following Code for Sustainable Homes levels will be required, unless it is proven not to be feasible or viable:
    • At least Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 from October 1st 2010
    • At least Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 from 2013
    • At least Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 from 2016.
  • Development of decentralised and renewable or low carbon energy generation will be encouraged and permitted, providing there are no unacceptable adverse effects on residential amenity, the landscape, townscape, historic features, and biodiversity interest. The presence of several airfields in South Somerset will mean the impacts of wind turbines upon electromagnetic interference and aviation radar will be a particular consideration in the District.
  • Developers must demonstrate that proposed wind turbine developments will not pose a barrier risk to migratory bird species, and in particular to birds moving from key sites such as the Severn Estuary.
  • All development will be directed away from medium and high flood risk areas by using the South Somerset Strategic Flood Risk Assessment to apply the Sequential Test.$
  • Development should reduce and manage the impact of flood risk through location, layout, design, choice of materials and the use of sustainable drainage systems.
  • Climate change should be considered in the design of all new development, incorporating measures such as solar orientation, maximising natural shade and cooling, water efficiency and flood resilience.
  • Ensure that susceptibility to climate change is taken into account on all development sites with biodiversity interest.
*Residential: 10 dwellings or more, or more than 0.5 ha if number is not given. Non-residential: development of 1000 sq metres of more or the site is 1 ha or more.
#Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method.
$See PPS 25: Development and Flood Risk.