02/02/07 – Sustainable Design & Construction Consultation
The first 6 months of 2007 will see 6 fundamental new policies dealing with the way in which the Council handles development in Swindon. The first of these policies deals with Sustainable Design and Construction.
The document is split in 7 chapters, Energy, Waste, Water, Pollution, Materials, Biodiversity and Designing for Climate Change. Each chapter covers in great detail what developers are expected to do.
The policy document can be downloaded from here, and is one of the most comprehensive in the Country at over 300+pages.
This is about tying up lots of environmential policy issues, not looking at the problem in isolation.
I haven’t heard about any plans for new development in Covingham and Nythe, but if anything was to be built in the area, the developer would need to meet these standards. All major development that is planned in Swindon from Easter would need to take into account this policy so it really is crucial.
I have outlined very briefly what the main 2 chapters attempt to deal with. If you have any further questions, please get in touch because I have been involved in the actual writing and drafting of this policy!!
If you would like to take part in the Consultation on this policy, please let me know you comments and I’ll happily pass them onto the officers involved. Even with my involvement, I sat down with them on Tuesday afternoon to see what other improvements we could make
Please look at the Planning Consultation link on the menu to the right. These pages contain some more detailed information and a few ideas that you might like to think about.
Building Energy Efficent homes and cutting energy usuage is the cheapest and easiest way to make a direct impact on cutting C02 emissions and this is the central plank of this chapter. Another benefit to the owners is that it would reduce their gas and electricity bills. The standard the Council is proposing is the EcoHomes Excellent standard.
In addition, there is a requirement that 15% on all the energy needs of the development would come from Renewable Energy. Not only will this put Swindon into the forefront of Sustainable boroughs in the UK, it is one of the first in the country to propose Annual Increases.
Flooding is increasingly becoming an issue for the town and happens even to parts of Covingham and Nythe during heavy storms. To prevent this happening in the future, we are proposing that every new house would have rainwater butts installed with serious consideration about a ‘greywater’ system. The developer will also need to look at creating a SUDS (Sustainable Drainage System), often these are ponds that can act as a temporary overflow pool. I think a small lake or pond in this manner would actually have a really beneficial effect on new developments over and above flood preventation.