Borough Council consultations on Local Plan and Climate Change/Air Pollution

BTN urges its supporters to comment on the Borough Council’s consultations on the Local Plan, and on Climate Change and Air Pollution.  See:

(a) Local Plan Update – deadline Monday 9th November

https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/issues-and-options

(b) Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy – deadline Sunday 15th November

https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/climate-consultation

BTN will be considering its collective response on Tuesday 3rd November 2020 and would welcome your views – contact secretary@basingstoketransition.org

It is important, though, that you put in your comments as an individual as well as letting us know.

 

Government white paper “Planning for the Future”

From Sheila Peacock, secretary, BTN: I spent an afternoon reading the government’s proposal for reforming the English planning laws, which are at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/launch-of-planning-for-the-future-consultation-to-reform-the-planning-system

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future

Deadline is 11:45 pm on 29th October (that will be GMT since the clocks go
back the previous Saturday – so you get an extra hour to ponder it – !!)

There are some good and some alarming suggestions in this document, and the implications for house-building, infrastructure and local democracy in Basingstoke and Deane are profound.  I shan’t try to colour your thoughts with mine, but urge every supporter of BTN to have a look and make a comment. 

 

 

Green Homes Grants

The government is inviting applications from up to 600,000 homeowners or landlords to be given out in grants of up to £5k covering up to 2/3 of the cost of home improvements to increase energy efficiency or supply low-carbon heat.  See

https://greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk/?utm_campaign=green_homes_grant_2020&utm_medium=ppc&utm_source=google&utm_content=search-051020

You have to find a registered installer via TrustMark at https://www.trustmark.org.uk


Another useful site is

https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/

which will recommend local installers.

Local Residents ask Questions of BDBC on Nature and Biodiversity

https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/webcast

The entirety of this post was sent to BTN by some local residents and BTN endorses these questions.  If you agree with them please do write to your Councillor in advance of the 15th October Full Council meeting,6.30 pm – watch on YouTube at

https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/webcast

 

Questions on Nature and Biodiversity for Council on October 15 2020

Residents are able to ask questions of Cabinet Portfolio Holders at a full Council meeting if they meet certain conditions. A group of concerned conservation volunteers have submitted questions which they have asked to read out publically at the next full Council meeting on October 15th which begins at 6.30pm. The aim is to seek more engagement and action by Councillors to repair the poor state of biodiversity across this Borough especially on Borough owned land and to ensure children today are better educated about nature and equipped to deal with the consequences of decades of mismanagement and development. What we are asking Council to do is:

  1. Map and deliver urban and rural nature recovery networks as per National Planning Policy to include the creation and safeguarding of green spaces and corridors for species mobility and, solutions to overcoming obstacles to migration and dispersal caused by the built environment.

  2. Schedule with communities and stakeholders extensive habitat restoration to a consistently high standard to deliver biodiversity net gains.

  3. Propose new measures for encouraging, incentivising, empowering and rewarding communities to have oversight and influence over green space services and learning opportunities and meaningful volunteer participation in service delivery.

  4. Propose an urgent and recurring funded programme of outdoor learning for all communities about nature and climate change with a focus on children of school age.

  5. Examine the State of Nature across the Borough and compare spending on nature with all other expenditure.

  6. Review Local Plan policy monitoring criteria reported in the Authority Monitoring Report to resolve discrepancies or ambiguities and recommend improvements.

 

Place Shaping and new development in Basingstoke and Deane

Paul Beevers provides this discussion paper (pdf at PlaceShapingandnewdevelopmentinBasingstokeandDeane)

The subject of “Place” or Place Shaping” was a topic for open discussion at the latest meeting of Basingstoke Transition. The first consultations on Manydown when the project was first launched several years ago involved a company called Beyond Green to bring ideas and lead public consultation. From my recollection, there was quite a lot of agreement in the meetings I attended that the dominance of cars in street scenes should be diminished to create more informal greener spaces for walking, cycling and greater informality in which people might sit and walk and children play. We subsequently learned that such proposals were hampered by B&DBC Councillors certainty that the approach would never be accepted by people in Basingstoke. Cllrs insisted that residents had to be able to drive to their homes and park cars so that they could step out more or less straight into their houses. While we still have to see the final designs for homes on Manydown, and we may be pleasantly surprised, the question remains, can we improve the way we design new communities to make them better for the people who live there?

Without over indulging in a critique of existing “place making” design the dominance of the car in recent decades is very obvious. It was interesting in the discussion that examples were quoted of parts of Brighton Hill and other parts of central Basingstoke where developments prevented residents from parking cars outside their homes but required them to use communal garage areas. Other examples were quoted including old parts of industrial Leeds where terraced houses on opposite sides of a street were pedestrianised in front of the houses and with a green space with trees down the centre. I can think of a similar street in Winchester. In other northern towns there are more examples of old not new streets being pedestrianised and traffic being required to park at either end.

As examples of a more modern approach reference was made to Poundbury, a consequence of Prince Charles being interested in “place”, sustainability and “communities”. Some people will disagree but Poundbury has many supporters and it doesn’t ban cars from its streets. A new project by the Duchy of Cornwall is Nansledan. This too offers a very different image of a community from the dominant experience in Basingstoke. One other notable difference seems to be the quality of the builders allowed to build, a far cry from the builders whose names dominate the mass house building industry.

Discussion in the group was wide ranging with some agreeing that the Basingstoke dependence on cars would not be easily broken. Others pointed out that Cllrs still hold to the same view and were still insisting on the same thinking that informed their views on Manydown. Another view was that a small development would trial some of the ideas on “place making” that hitherto have not been entertained, on the principle that there must be some people interested in a different approach to place making, after all Poundbury has been a success and Nansledan is well on the way. Village Makers (connected with the Living Villages Trust) have been engaged in innovative design and “place making” for several years and it is worth taking a look at community designs on their webpage. These ideas may be on a smaller scale to the estates that are commonly built but surely we need to encourage more innovation and quality in design?

 

Paul Beevers

 

Twenty-Fifty is too late!

UPDATE – we received a formal reply to the collective letter sent to Hampshire County Council.  The reply, dated 7th September 2020 and from the Climate Change Team, states that the Council will not move the target date for carbon neutrality forward from 2050, because it does not want to promise what it can’t achieve, particularly in sectors where it might have limited direct control.  It cites the national Committee on Climate change, which states that “for most sectors 2050 currently appears to be the earliest credible date”.  It intends to utilise changes in national policies and the funding available between now and 2050 to achieve change in these areas.  It says it is making progress to a 2025 target for a 50% reduction in emissions for its own estate, and that “actions which have co-benefits will be prioritised, such as improving air quality”.

The letter is HCAN-2050carbonneutraltarget-letterresponsefromHCC89k

END OF UPDATE

Hampshire County Council is considering its Climate Emergency Strategy.  The 2050 deadline for carbon neutrality had already been called into question – see

https://democracy.hants.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=1359in which it is noted that the County Council  has an ambition to bring the target forward “if this is practically and financially achievable”.

On 29th September it will be agreeing its action plan.  We all know 2050 is too late – the IPCC said over a year ago that we have twelve years, i.e. until 2030, to get measures into place to keep global warming below 1.5 deg C, and since then the predictions have got worse.    So we are urging Hampshire residents to write to their County Councillors urging them to bring the deadline forward to 2030, or sooner.

Here are the bones of a letter: copy and paste into your email or word processor and personalise it if you can, e.g. what nightmares have you had from the heatwave, how close your house is to sea level or a flooding zone or a forest that could be hit by wildfires, or how much your health is suffering from air pollution.

Dear Councillor X

We welcome the decision of the County Council to declare a climate emergency and approve a climate strategy and, shortly, a climate action plan.

We remain seriously concerned that the County Council continues to set a target date of 2050 to reach zero carbon.  The science has changed since July 2019 when you made the declaration.  

2050 is too late.

Here are ten reasons for you to review the 2050 deadline:

  1. As the County Council declared in 2019, we face an emergency. The definition of an emergency is “a dangerous situation requiring immediate action”.
  2. The IPCC warned in 2018 that we had only 12 years to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
  3. The consequences of a 2 degree Celsius rise in temperature are terrifyingly worse than a 1.5 degree rise. Going higher is to be avoided at all costs. 
  4. Acting now could mean that we avoid hitting tipping points which accelerate disastrous chain reactions.
  5. Global heating is already changing our climate, increasing the risks of flooding and droughts, threatening food supplies, eroding our coastline and speeding up the extinction of wildlife.
  6. The effects of climate change are already experienced by millions of people in other parts of the world, mostly the very poor who have done the least to cause the problem.
  7. We are already seeing an increase in migrants trying to reach our shores. At 2 degrees these numbers will increase hugely.  Some of your climate emergency budget may need to be spent on housing and feeding those people whose livelihoods and safety have been lost to climate related catastrophes and wars.
  8. Urgent action could mean less suffering in future in Hampshire and across the world from floods, high temperatures and droughts, plus reduce spending to deal with the effects.
  9. We have increasing evidence of the effects of air pollution on physical and mental health, another County Council responsibility (and cost).
  10. Talking about 2050 sends the wrong message to people who haven’t yet woken up to the danger, and think we still have plenty of time to act.

(we attach references, in Appendix 1.)

Your strategy includes much to be proud of, but if Hampshire aims to be a leader in the fight against climate change, revising the net zero target to 2030 is essential. Many local authorities, including some led by Conservatives and including county councils, have a target of 2030.

We have a unique opportunity post COVID to build back better – to create jobs, clean up our environment and make Hampshire a leader rather than a follower.

Before the action plan is brought to Cabinet for approval in September, please review your deadline.

 

Appendix 1:

References

IPCC report Global Warming of 1.5 ºC – 2018 https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

Tipping points

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0

https://www.carbonbrief.org/explainer-nine-tipping-points-that-could-be-triggered-by-climate-change

Effects of climate change https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/climate-change/effects-of-climate-change

Migration due to climate change

https://www.climateforesight.eu/migrations-inequalities/environmental-migrants-up-to-1-billion-by-2050/

https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-climate-crisis-migration-and-refugees/

Air pollution and health https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-matters-air-pollution/health-matters-air-pollution



 

Signatories:

  • ACAN (Alton Climate Action & Network)

  • ALFI (Alton Local Food Initiative)

  • Alton Society

  • Andover Trees United

  • Basingstoke Transition Network

  • Blackwater Valley Friends of the Earth (Hart & Rushmoor)

  • Build Back Better Havant

  • Cycle Alton

  • EcoChurch, Parish of the Resurrection Alton

  • Energy Alton

  • Friends of Langstone Harbour (Havant)

  • Global Justice South East Hants

  • Gosport & Fareham Friends of the Earth

  • Greenpeace, Portsmouth

  • Hampshire Climate Action Network

  • Debbie Tann, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

  • Havant Climate Alliance

  • Havant Friends of the Earth

  • Havant U3A Environment & Technology Group

  • Let Pompey Breathe

  • New Forest Friends of the Earth

  • Petersfield Climate Action Network

  • Portsmouth Climate Alliance

  • Portsmouth Friends of the Earth

  • Transition Town Andover

  • Transition Southampton

  • Transition Town Romsey

  • WinACC (Winchester Action on Climate Change)

  • Winchester Friends of the Earth

  • XR New Forest

  • XR Portsmouth

  • XR Romsey

  • XR Winchester

Appendix 2

Councils with a target closer than 2050, to February 2020



 

Type

Control

Date passed

Target Date

Web

Adur

District

CON

July 18, 2019

2030

Link

Amber Valley

District

LAB

July 24, 2019

2030

Link

Aylesbury Vale

District

CON

September 18, 2019

2030

Link

Babergh

District

NOC

July 23, 2019

2030

Link

Barnsley

Metro Boro

LAB

September 18, 2019

2040

Link

Basingstoke & Deane

District

CON

July 18, 2019

2030

Link

Bath & NES

Unitary

LIB DEM

March 14, 2019

2030

Link

Bedford

Unitary

NOC

March 5, 2019

2030

Link

Birmingham

Metro Boro

LAB

June 11, 2019

2030

Link

Blackburn-with-Darwen

Unitary

LAB

July 18, 2019

2030

Link

Blackpool

Unitary

LAB

June 26, 2019

2030

Link

Bolton

Metro Boro

NOC

August 29, 2019

2030

Link

Braintree

District

CON

July 22, 2019

2030

Link

Brent

London Boro

LAB

July 8, 2019

2030

Link

Brighton & Hove

Unitary

NOC

December 13, 2018

2030

Link

Bristol

Unitary

LAB

November 13, 2018

2030

Link

Broxtowe

District

NOC

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Burnley

District

LAB

July 10, 2019

2030

Link

Bury

Metro Boro

LAB

July 10, 2019

2030

Link

Caerphilly

Unitary

LAB

June 4, 2019

2030

Link

Cannock Chase

District

NOC

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Canterbury

District

CON

July 18, 2019

2030

Link

Cardiff

Unitary

LAB

March 28, 2019

2030

Link

Carlisle

District

NOC

March 5, 2019

2030

Link

Carmarthenshire

Unitary

NOC

February 20, 2019

2030

Link

Chelmsford

District

Lib Dem

July 16, 2019

2030

Link

Cheltenham

District

LD

February 18, 2019

2030

Link

Cherwell

District

CON

July 22, 2019

2030

Link

Cheshire East

Unitary

NOC

May 22, 2019

2025

 

Chiltern

District

CON

July 24, 2019

2030

 

Chorley

District

LAB

November 19, 2019

2030

Link

City of York

Unitary

NOC

March 21, 2019

2030

 

Colchester

District

NOC

July 17, 2019

2030

 

Cornwall

Unitary

NOC

January 22, 2019

2030

 

Craven

District

NOC

August 6, 2019

2030

Link

Crawley

District

LAB

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Croydon

London Boro

LAB

July 15, 2019

2030

Link

Dacorum

District

CON

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Darlington

District

NOC

July 18, 2019

2030

Link

Dartford

District

CON

October 7, 2019

2030

Link

Derbyshire Dales

District

CON

May 30, 2019

2030

Link

Dumfries & Galloway

Unitary

NOC

June 27, 2019

2030

Link

Ealing

London Boro

LAB

April 2, 2019

2030

Link

East Devon

District

IND

July 24, 2019

2040

Link

East Suffolk

District

CON

July 24, 2019

2030

Link

Eastbourne

District

LIB DEM

July 10, 2019

2030

Link

Eastleigh

District

LIB DEM

July 18, 2019

2030

Link

Eden

District

NOC

July 11, 2019

2030

Link

Edinburgh

Unitary

NOC

February 7, 2019

2030

Link

Elmbridge

District

NOC

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Epping Forest

District

CON

September 19, 2019

2030

Link

Exeter

District

LAB

July 23, 2019

2030

Link

Falkirk

Unitary

NOC

August 26, 2019

2030

Link

Fareham

District

CON

October 24, 2019

2030

 

Fife

Unitary

NOC

September 26, 2019

2030

Link

Folkestone & Hythe

District

NOC

July 24, 2019

2030

Link

Forest of Dean

District

NOC

December 6, 2018

2030

Link

Gateshead

Metro Boro

LAB

May 23, 2019

2030

Link

Glasgow

Unitary

NOC

May 16, 2019

2040

Link

Gloucester

District

CON

July 11, 2019

2030

Link

Gloucestershire

County

CON

May 15, 2019

2030

Link

Gravesham

District

LAB

June 26, 2019

2030

Link

Greenwich

London Boro

LAB

June 26, 2019

2030

Link

Guildford

District

NOC

July 23, 2019

2030

Link

Hammersmith & Fulham

London Boro

LAB

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Harborough

District

CON

June 24, 2019

2030

Link

Haringey

London Boro

LAB

March 18, 2019

2030

Link

Harrow

London Boro

LAB

July 18, 2019

2030

Link

Herefordshire

Unitary

NOC

March 8, 2019

2030

Link

High Peak

District

LAB

October 15, 2019

2030

Link

Highland

Unitary

NOC

May 9, 2019

2025

Link

Hull

Unitary

LAB

March 21, 2019

2030

Link

Hyndburn

District

LAB

September 19, 2019

2030

Link

Ipswich

District

LAB

July 9, 2019

2030

Link

Isle of Wight

Unitary

CON

July 24, 2019

2030

Link

Islington

London Boro

LAB

June 27, 2019

2030

Link

Kettering

District

CON

July 24, 2019

2030

Link

Kingston-upon-Thames

London Boro

LIB DEM

June 25, 2019

2040

Link

Knowsley

Metro Boro

LAB

January 29, 2020

2040

Link

Lambeth

London Boro

LAB

January 23, 2019

2030

Link

Lancaster

District

NOC

January 30, 2019

2030

Link

Leeds

Metro Boro

LAB

March 27, 2019

2030

Link

Leicester

Unitary

LAB

February 1, 2019

2030

Link

Leicestershire

County

CON

May 15, 2019

2030

Link

Lewes

District

NOC

July 15, 2019

2030

Link

Lewisham

London Boro

LAB

February 27, 2019

2030

Link

Lincoln

District

LAB

July 23, 2019

2030

Link

Liverpool

City Region

NOC

May 24, 2019

2040

Link

Liverpool City

Metro Borough

LAB

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Luton

Unitary

LAB

January 14, 2020

2040

Link

Maidstone

District

NOC

April 10, 2019

2030

Link

Manchester

Metro Boro

LAB

July 10, 2019

2040

Link

Melton

District

CON

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Mendip

District

NOC

February 25, 2019

2030

Link

Merton

London Boro

LAB

July 10, 2019

2030

Link

Mid Devon

District

NOC

June 26, 2019

2030

Link

Mid Suffolk

District

NOC

July 25, 2019

2030

Link

Milton Keynes

Unitary

NOC

January 23, 2019

2030

Link”>Link

Mole Valley

District

LIB DEM

June 18, 2019

2030

Link

Monmouthshire

Unitary

CON

May 16, 2019

2030

Link

Moray

Unitary

NOC

June 27, 2019

2030

Link

Newcastle upon Tyne

Metro Boro

LAB

April 3, 2019

2030

Link

Newcastle-under-Lyme

District

NOC

April 3, 2019

2030

Link

Newham

London Boro

LAB

April 15, 2019

2030

Link

North East Derbyshire

District

CON

July 8, 2019

2030

Link

North Hertfordshire

District

NOC

May 21, 2019

2030

Link

North Kesteven

District

IND

July 11, 2019

2030

Link

North of Tyne

Combined Authority

LAB

May 7, 2019

2030

 

North Somerset

Unitary

CON

February 19, 2019

2030

Link

Northampton

District

CON

June 3, 2019

2030

Link

Northumberland

Unitary

NOC

June 11, 2019

2030

Link

Nottingham

Unitary

LAB

January 21, 2019

2028

Link

Nuneaton & Bedworth

District

NOC

December 6, 2019

2030

 

Oldham

Metro Boro

LAB

September 11, 2019

2025

Link

Oxfordshire

County

NOC

April 2, 2019

2030

Link

Pendle

District

NOC

July 11, 2019

2030

Link

Peterborough

Unitary

NOC

July 24, 2019

2030

Link

Plymouth

Unitary

LAB

March 18, 2019

2030

Link

Portsmouth

Unitary

NOC

March 19, 2019

2030

Link

Preston

District

LAB

April 18, 2019

2030

Link

Reading

Unitary

LAB

February 26, 2019

2030

Link

Redbridge

London Boro

LAB

June 20, 2019

2030

Link

Redcar & Cleveland

Unitary

NOC

March 28, 2019

2030

Link

Renfrewshire

Unitary

NOC

June 27, 2019

2030

Link

Richmond-upon-Thames

London Boro

LIB DEM

July 9, 2019

2030

Link

Rochdale

Metro Boro

LAB

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Rossendale

District

Labour

September 25, 2019

2030

Link

Rother

District

NOC

September 16, 2019

2030

Link

Rushcliffe

District

CON

March 7, 2019

2030

Link

Rushmoor

District

CON

June 20, 2019

2030

Link

Salford

Metro Boro

LAB

July 17, 2019

2040

Link

Scarborough

District

NOC

January 7, 2019

2030

Link

Scilly Isles

Unitary

LAB

April 11, 2019

2030

Link

Sefton

Metro Boro

LAB

July 18, 2019

2030

Link

Somerset

County

LD

February 20, 2019

2030

Link

Somerset West & Taunton

District

LD

February 21, 2019

2030

Link

South Gloucestershire

Unitary

CON

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

South Ribble

District

NOC

July 24, 2019

2030

Link

South Tyneside

Metro Boro

LAB

July 18, 2019

2030

Link

Southampton

Unitary

LAB

September 18, 2019

2040

 

Southend-on-Sea

District

 

July 18, 2019

2030

Link

Southwark

London Boro

LAB

March 27, 2019

2030

Link

St Alban’s

District

LIB DEM

July 9, 2019

2030

Link

St. Helen’s

Metro Boro

LAB

July 10, 2019

2040

Link

Stafford

District

CON

July 23, 2019

2040

Link

Staffordshire Moorlands

District

NOC

July 10, 2019

2030

Link

Stockport

Metro Boro

NOC

March 28, 2019

2040

Link

Stratford-on-Avon

District

CON

July 15, 2019

2030

Link

Stroud

District

NOC

December 13, 2018

2030

Link

Suffolk

County

CON

March 21, 2019

2030

Link

Surrey Heath

District

 

October 9, 2019

2030

Link

Sutton

London Boro

LIB DEM

July 22, 2019

2030

Link

Swale

District

NOC

June 26, 2019

2030

Link

Swansea

Unitary

LAB

June 27, 2019

2030

Link

Tameside

Metro Borough

LAB

February 24, 2020

2038

Link

Tandridge

District

NOC

February 13, 2020

2030

Link

Teignbridge

District

LIB DEM

April 18, 2019

2025

Link

Telford & Wrekin

Unitary

LAB

July 25, 2019

2030

Link

Tendring

District

NOC

August 6, 2019

2030

Link

Tewkesbury

District

CON

October 1, 2019

2030

Link

Thanet

District

NOC

July 11, 2019

2030

Link

Three Rivers

District

LD

May 21, 2019

2030

Link

Tonbridge & Malling

District

CON

July 9, 2019

2030

Link

Torbay

Unitary

NOC

June 19, 2019

2030

Link

Tower Hamlets

London Boro

LAB

March 20, 2019

2025

Link

Tunbridge Wells

District

CON

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Uttesford

District

IND

July 30, 2019

2030

Link

Vale of Glamorgan

Unitary

NOC

July 29, 2019

2030

Link

Wakefield

Metro Boro

LAB

May 23, 2019

2030

Link

Wandsworth

London Boro

CON

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Warrington

Unitary

LAB

June 17, 2019

2030

Link

Warwick

District

NOC

June 26, 2019

2025

Link/

Watford

District

LD

July 9, 2019

2030

Link/

Welwyn Hatfield

District

NOC

June 19, 2019

2030

Link/

West Berkshire

Unitary

CON

July 2, 2019

2030

Link/

West Lancashire

District

LAB

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

West Sussex

County

CON

April 5, 2019

2030

Link

Wigan

Metro Boro

LAB

July 17, 2019

2040

Link

Wiltshire

County

LD

February 26, 2019

2030

Link

Winchester

District

LD

June 5, 2019

2025

Link

Woking

District

NOC

July 25, 2019

2030

Link

Wolverhampton

Metro Boro

LAB

July 17, 2019

2030

Link

Worcester

District

NOC

July 16, 2019

2030

Link

Wrexham

Unitary

NOC

September 25, 2019

2030

Link





17th July UPDATE – the motion was PASSED – thanks to our supporters! 16th July – your chance to push the Council for meaningful climate action

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s next meeting, on Thursday 16th July (agenda at https://democracy.basingstoke.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=143&MId=1714  ) , has a motion before it, “Climate Emergency SPD” (agenda item 17), which BTN would like to see passed.  This motion asks the Council to consider fast-tracking a “Supplementary Planning Document” (SPD) to outline the measures that the Council expects for new developments to achieve net zero carbon, with a response in six months.

BTN asked for a climate emergency SPD at February’s Council meeting, but was brushed off with the response that it would take 18 months and by that time the Local Plan Update would be well on the way (due in 2023 at the earliest).  Since then the climate emergency has only increased, with predictions of 1.5 deg C warming before the 2030 net-zero target set by the Council’s climate emergency strategy.  Also we have seen, at local and national level, what government can do when it really appreciates that there is an emergency!

We don’t want to be brushed off again, so we need everyone to:

(1) Email or otherwise tell their Councillor you want this motion passed (go to https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/participation to find your local councillor’s contact details);

(2) Watch the Council meeting online – the virtual equivalent of packing the gallery https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/webcast;

(3) Submit a query to the meeting (by Tuesday 14th) https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/content/page/61541/Public%20participation%20at%20Council%20meetings%20-%20October%202018.pdf  and email your question to democratic.services@basingstoke.gov.uk addressing your query to Cllr. Mark Ruffell, e.g. What is the Council doing about the most recent global warming forecasts that it’s going to be worse than we thought https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/06/met-office-global-warming-could-exceed-1-point-5-c-in-five-years?  Why hasn’t the Cabinet pushed through an emergency SPD months ago? How is the Council going to overcome the lack of commitment to carbon-neutral in the existing Local Plan?  How is it going to ensure that the carbon footprint of Manydown https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/rte.aspx?id=298&task=View&itemid=9746 and all the other new housing developments doesn’t negate the carbon reduction achieved so far? (if you ask about Manydown add Cllr. John Izett’s name to Cllr. Ruffell’s as the target).

Basingstoke faces a climate emergency – but is ignoring it

Covering note to Press Release (Local Plan Press Release May 2020 Final ) on Wednesday 13th May:

You will be aware, as we are, of the need to start acting on the declaration on the climate emergency that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council made in July last year. In their declaration the Council promised to work with local people to bring us to “net-zero” by 2030.

We are fast approaching the first anniversary of the declaration; yet little seems to have be done in terms of action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the emergency.

Basingstoke Transition is a group of local volunteers that wants to build awareness of, and take part in, actions to reduce our emissions. We have spent much of our time trying to engage with cabinet members responsible for developing our plans to mitigate the impact of the emergency. We feel we are having only limited success.  Despite many emails and meetings, despite attending committee meetings and full council, we can see little (or no) concrete actions to address the immediacy of the emergency.  The Council’s main response to date has been to start a process to revise the Local Plan. However, this process is not due to be completed before 2024 at the earliest.

We think this is too little and too late. BTN experts have written a brief report (Initial Contribution to Local Plan May 2020 Final ) on what is causing the climate emergency in Basingstoke and how we might respond to it.  It provides a baseline of where the borough is in terms of its greenhouse gas emissions, how that has changed since 2005 and what the main causes are of the emissions. It then goes on to make suggestions on how the borough can start moving towards its “net-zero” by 2030 target.  All the data in the report are sourced from national statistics and are fully verifiable and have been produced by experts on climate change.

 

Coronavirus

Update 5/4/20 We are meeting by Zoom for our First-Tuesday-of-month business meetings, starting Tues 7th April 2020 – please email secretary <at> basingstoketransition <dot> org if you want to “attend”.

Here is a link to the 2020 Coronavirus Act – which gives the government a lot of power to modify the workings of local government by regulation (without parliamentary scrutiny). 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2020/7/contents/enacted

BTN wants to protect its members from infection, but we are also aware that the need for “transition” is not reduced in the long term by the effects of the current situation.  We’ve had to cancel our AGM, planned for 5th May.  We hope to continue our monthly business meetings on the first Tuesday of the month by teleconferencing – watch this space. 

The Borough Planning and Development Committee meeting on Tuesday 24th March, which was meant to hear the Manydown outline planning application, was cancelled.  The plans under consideration had been drawn up before the Council declared a climate emergency, so we had written to the committee (BTNtoBDBCDevelCtteeMarch2020ManydownFinal223k) expressing our concern.  We have been advocating a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) (mheathtomruffellSPDforclimatechange81k) to enact the provisions of the climate emergency declaration in the current Local Plan.

We were engaged with the Council in planning Green Week 2020 for 19th-26th September and we’ll let you know when we know more about this.

Future Homes Standard – Paris tickbox or/and great advance?

The government is consulting on its “Future Homes Standard”, with deadline 7th February – see https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-homes-standard-changes-to-part-l-and-part-f-of-the-building-regulations-for-new-dwellings

The London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI; https://www.LETI.london) is highly critical of the Future Homes Standard, and is urging us to write to our MPs to complain about the worst aspects.  It has produced a package including a draft letter to MPs, which you can download from https://www.leti.london/part-l (that’s an ell not a one at the end).  (This comes as a Zip file). 

LETI’s concerns are, in order of relevance to BTN:

1. The FHS will remove local authorities’ ability to set higher standards than the national standard for buildings – this would put paid to making Manydown a national example of a low-carbon village;

2. The FHS wants to do away with the current requirement on house fabric (“Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard”). This means that a contractor can rely on the heating method being low-carbon rather than building a high-standard fabric – so a new house is welcome to spew heat worse than present standards, provided that heat has been generated by low-carbon means; and it doesn’t include monitoring for the lifetime of the building or any incentive to the users to maintain efficiency;

3. It doesn’t include whole-life emissions (choice of construction materials and methods, and disposal);

4. It isn’t ambitious enough – low not zero carbon; the 31% reduction proposed isn’t nearly big enough.


On no. 2 the government is aware of the likely abuse, and proposes to uplift standards for individual elements (walls, windows, etc.). LETI says that the uplift isn’t great enough to prevent the abuse, and proposes a stringent new standard for reduced energy loss through walls etc.

I’d also comment that the government needs to up its game in low-carbon energy generation and carbon-capture-and-storage if it doesn’t insist on a high standard of insulation. That isn’t covered by the FHS.

One more item not mentioned by LETI (presumably because it doesn’t apply in London) is the removal of a concession for carbon-intensive heat sources in dwellings off the gas grid, i.e. LPG, heating oil and coal. This will force builders to make rural homes of higher standard than urban ones.

Something that looks positive is a new “technology factor” to upweight connection of a house to a district heating network. No good if this allows the builder to get away with less insulation, of course…