Lib Dems call for renewable energy boost


This year the Liberal Democrats at Lewes District Council are having another go at getting renewable energy higher up the planning agenda when it comes to building new homes.

Last October Lib Dem councillor Vic Ient proposed that all new housing and commercial developments incorporated renewable energy in them. The proposal was lost by 1 vote so he has had to wait 6 months in accordance with the rules of the council to put the motion again.

On Monday the 16th at the Full Council meeting the matter will be considered again. Cllr Vic Ient said "I hope the controlling Conservatives will now back this proposal. Since last October we have had the Prime Minister Theresa May's  "cleaner greener" planet declaration promising a 25 year plan by the government to improve the environment. My motion gives the opportunity for the Conservatives here in Sussex do their bit to meet these objectives."

Cllr Vic Ient's motion is based on government policy set down during the Lib Dem/ Conservative Coalition and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) issued in 2012 which says:

“Support the transition to a low carbon future in a changing climate……” and later continues: “and encourage the use of renewable resources (for example, by the development of renewable energy);”

Sarah Osborne, the leader of the Liberal Democrats at Lewes District Council said, "It's a fraction of the cost to build in renewable energy systems into a new house, and there will be a real bonus for the new residents as it will mean their fuel prices will be lower and at the same time they will be helping reduce the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere."

NB: Prime Minister Theresa May's "cleaner greener" planet declaration is based on a wider plan, produced by Michael Gove’s environment department, covering areas including land use, tackling climate change and poor air quality. See:

The text of the motion follows:

Renewable Energy Schemes
“That from 1 September 2019 new housing and business/commercial planning applications to Lewes District Council should usually 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. 
That officers:
-      Seek to incorporate requirements to this effect in local plan policy, in accordance with planning policy legislation, at the very earliest opportunity, and
-      Use best endeavours to ensure that the South Downs National Park Authority does likewise”.
(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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