Tories vote down Lib Dem renewable energy proposals


 

The Liberal Democrat group on the Lewes District Council only needed one more vote to get a motion passed at Monday’s (Oct) full Council meeting which called for ‘new build’ planning applications to have a renewable energy scheme included in the planning application.

The controlling Conservative party voted the motion down by one vote (17 voted for the motion, 17 voted against and there were 2 abstentions).

The motion said:

 

“That from 1 January 2018 all new housing and business/commercial planning applications to Lewes District Council include the provision of a 'renewable energy scheme’; and that any such scheme would not become binding on the applicant unless included by the local planning authority as a condition of any planning permission granted”.

 

The Liberal Democrat District Council Transport & Environment spokesman Councillor Vic Ient said after the meeting “The Conservatives tried to say that existing policies include for renewable energy schemes but as we all know there have been no applications approved with a new renewable energy condition placed upon them. More especially, the Conservatives are ignoring the cost savings which owners and tenants will have with renewable energy, especially those on low incomes!”

 

vic_solar_panel2.jpg

 

Councillor Vic Ient (pictured above) made an impassioned plea to the Conservative controlling members on the Council to adopt this motion referring to the importance of dealing with climate change and pollution in many parts of the district including Newhaven, on the A259, Lewes and outside schools. He had been accused by the Conservatives of being guided by his heart. The Conservatives also said he was trying to rush things through. Councillor Ient responded saying “it’s not a rush. If you give planning permission now it might be three or 4 or 5 years before the development is completed! We need to act now!”

 

Many councillors spoke in favour of the motion and Prof Peter Gardiner, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on planning, said, “We are not having the impact that our planning policies were intended to have. Our policies were approved by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. This motion will help implement our policies”

 

Sarah Osborne, Liberal Democrat group leader on the District Council added, “Government policy and our own local planning policy include many statements about sustainable development and renewable energy. Well, it’s now time to actually get on and implement some of these policies and not just give lip service to them.”

 

Summing up after the council meeting Sarah Osborne said “moving away from fossil fuels is a critically important issue for our planet and for removing pollution in the atmosphere. The Liberal Democrats won’t give up on this issue and will be continuing to press the Conservative -controlled council to actually implement national and local policies to deal with climate change.”

 

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For further information contact Vic Ient on 07788 720929 Twitter: @victor_ient

 

Sub-text to the motion: The applicant would propose a scheme and offer an analysis of its viability or otherwise. Council officers could then advise members as to whether any particular development is suitable for a renewable energy scheme thus leading to the conditioning of the planning permission in appropriate cases.

 

 

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Supporting information:

Government policy:

The National Planning Policy Framework (“NPPF”)

 

The NPPF states in section 17, under the heading of Core Planning Principles:

“Support the transition to a low carbon future in a changing climate, taking full account of flood risk and coastal change, and encourage the reuse of existing resources, including conversion of existing buildings, and encourage the use of renewable resources (for example, by the development of renewable energy);”

Further it states that:

“93. Planning plays a key role in helping shape places to secure radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, minimising vulnerability and providing resilience to the impacts of climate change, and supporting the delivery of renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure. This is central to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development”.

And

“95. To support the move to a low carbon future, local planning authorities should:

● plan for new development in locations and ways which reduce greenhouse gas emissions; 

● actively support energy efficiency improvements to existing buildings; and

● when setting any local requirement for a building’s sustainability, do so in a way consistent with the Government’s zero carbon buildings policy and adopt nationally described standards”.

 

“97. To help increase the use and supply of renewable and low carbon energy, local planning authorities should recognise the responsibility on all communities to contribute to energy generation from renewable or low carbon sources. They should:

● have a positive strategy to promote energy from renewable and low carbon sources;  …..”

“● identify opportunities where development can draw its energy supply from decentralised, renewable or low carbon energy supply systems and for co-locating potential heat customers and suppliers”.

Lewes District Council policy:

Lewes District Council Core Strategy

In furtherance of these national planning policies the Lewes District Council in its joint core strategy under Core Policy 14 (renewable and low carbon energy and sustainable use of resources) provides us with a key strategy objective:

“To ensure that the district reduces locally contributing causes of climate change and is proactive regarding climate change initiatives”.

Further, in the following core policy 14 statement on page 129, it begins by saying under Item 1 “Encourage renewable and low carbon energy in all development….”

The motion said: “That from 1 January 2018 all new housing and business/commercial planning applications to Lewes District Council include the provision of a 'renewable energy scheme’; and that any such scheme would not become binding on the applicant unless included by the local planning authority as a condition of any planning permission granted”. The Liberal Democrat District Council Transport & Environment spokesman Councillor Vic Ient said after the meeting “The Conservatives tried to say that existing policies include for renewable energy schemes but as we all know there have been no applications approved with a new renewable energy condition placed upon them. More especially, the Conservatives are ignoring the cost savings which owners and tenants will have with renewable energy, especially those on low incomes!” Councillor Vic Ient made an impassioned plea to the Conservative controlling members on the Council to adopt this motion referring to the importance of dealing with climate change and pollution in many parts of the district including Newhaven, on the A259, Lewes and outside schools. He had been accused by the Conservatives of being guided by his heart. The Conservatives also said he was trying to rush things through. Councillor Ient responded saying “it’s not a rush. If you give planning permission now it might be three or 4 or 5 years before the development is completed! We need to act now!” Many councillors spoke in favour of the motion and Prof Peter Gardiner, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on planning, said, “We are not having the impact that our planning policies were intended to have. Our policies were approved by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. This motion will help implement our policies” Sarah Osborne, Liberal Democrat group leader on the District Council added, “Government policy and our own local planning policy include many statements about sustainable development and renewable energy. Well, it’s now time to actually get on and implement some of these policies and not just give lip service to them.” Summing up after the council meeting Sarah Osborne said “moving away from fossil fuels is a critically important issue for our planet and for removing pollution in the atmosphere. The Liberal Democrats won’t give up on this issue and will be continuing to press the Conservative -controlled council to actually implement national and local policies to deal with climate change.” ---------------- For further information contact Vic Ient on 07788 720929 or Sarah Osborne on 07986776105 Sub-text to the motion: The applicant would propose a scheme and offer an analysis of its viability or otherwise. Council officers could then advise members as to whether any particular development is suitable for a renewable energy scheme thus leading to the conditioning of the planning permission in appropriate cases.  -----------------  Supporting information:Government policy:The National Planning Policy Framework (“NPPF”) The NPPF states in section 17, under the heading of Core Planning Principles:“Support the transition to a low carbon future in a changing climate, taking full account of flood risk and coastal change, and encourage the reuse of existing resources, including conversion of existing buildings, and encourage the use of renewable resources (for example, by the development of renewable energy);”Further it states that:“93. Planning plays a key role in helping shape places to secure radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, minimising vulnerability and providing resilience to the impacts of climate change, and supporting the delivery of renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure. This is central to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development”.And“95. To support the move to a low carbon future, local planning authorities should:● plan for new development in locations and ways which reduce greenhouse gas emissions; ● actively support energy efficiency improvements to existing buildings; and● when setting any local requirement for a building’s sustainability, do so in a way consistent with the Government’s zero carbon buildings policy and adopt nationally described standards”. “97. To help increase the use and supply of renewable and low carbon energy, local planning authorities should recognise the responsibility on all communities to contribute to energy generation from renewable or low carbon sources. They should:● have a positive strategy to promote energy from renewable and low carbon sources;  …..”“● identify opportunities where development can draw its energy supply from decentralised, renewable or low carbon energy supply systems and for co-locating potential heat customers and suppliers”.Lewes District Council policy:Lewes District Council Core StrategyIn furtherance of these national planning policies the Lewes District Council in its joint core strategy under Core Policy 14 (renewable and low carbon energy and sustainable use of resources) provides us with a key strategy objective:“To ensure that the district reduces locally contributing causes of climate change and is proactive regarding climate change initiatives”.Further, in the following core policy 14 statement on page 129, it begins by saying under Item 1 “Encourage renewable and low carbon energy in all development….”


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