Renewable and Low Carbon Energy (Policy 20) validation guidance

Local Plan Policy 20 requires all new housing developments and all new developments for other uses of 100sqm floorspace or more to generate a minimum of 30 per cent of their operational energy requirements through decentralised, district heating and, renewable and low-carbon energy sources.

To assess if an application meets the Policy 20 threshold, we require you to provide a minimum amount of information.  We need this information before we can validate your planning application.

What information do I need to provide with my application?

In order to demonstrate that your proposal meets the requirements of Policy 20 you must:

  • Include appropriate renewable or low-carbon technologies in the design
  • Provide a statement explaining how the proposed technologies will generate energy to meet the 30 percent requirement of Policy 20

At the moment we will not insist that your statement is informed by a SAP calculation, however your statement should clearly explain how the requirements of policy have been taken into account by the scheme.  We cannot consider applications until we have received your statement.

We recognise that some modern agricultural buildings will have very low energy demands, and we will waive the requirement for a statement in those cases.  We also recognise that in some cases, for example developments of listed buildings, certain types of renewable and low-carbon technologies (for example solar panels) may not be appropriate.

If your proposal does not meet the 30% requirement you must submit a statement justifying why.

What renewable or low-carbon technology should I use?

When choosing what renewable and low-carbon energy technology/technologies you incorporate into your scheme, we suggest using a suitably qualified professional with knowledge of renewable energy to help with this stage.

There are a range of technologies which could deliver CO2 savings, including:

  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels
  • Solar thermal panels
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Combined heat and power
  • Biomass
  • Hydro-electricity
  • Wind energy

It is worth considering whether the renewable energy installation could displace more than 30 percent of CO2 emissions.  There are financial benefits from installing renewable energy technologies as a result of the Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) for selling electricity to the national grid and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for heat production.  Not all technologies will be suitable or appropriate in every instance.