Basingstoke – We’ve made many transitions before.
But this one’s bigger!
Basingstoke is a great place to live, and to work. And we’re lucky – we live in one of the wealthiest towns, in the wealthiest region in one of the World’s wealthiest countries.
In the 50 and 60s our prosperity was built on agriculture and manufacturing, in the 60s, 70s and 80s on housing, transport and services; in the 90s and noughties on the boom in finance and IT – so one thing is certain times change and Basingstoke changes with them.
So what of the future?
Has Basingstoke got the energy?
Basingstoke spends about £550 Million a year on importing energy from other parts of the world. That’s a huge drain on the local economy – All is does is enrich Middle Eastern oil sheikhs, Russian gas oligarch and the shareholders of the big “six” energy oligopoly. We are blessed with huge natural resources in the Borough – we could meet 20% of our energy needs from energy generated from local free resources – like the sun and the rain. That’ll save us all £110 Million a year. Just think what we could so we that!
How to save £1,000 a year on energy bills.
Making our own energy is not the only answer. We need to be much more efficient at using the stuff. A car is only about 25% efficient. Our homes leak heat. 50% of the energy in a electricity power plant goes up the chimney (well up the cooling tower really). Basingstoke Transition has also previously run a series of workshops on how to save £1,000 a year on energy bills. If you want us to run a workshop in our community please contact us. It’s FREE.
Notes on modified Local Plan to be presented to Basingstoke Council Planning and Infrastructure Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 5th March 2014:
on Committees page of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council website
The total number of houses has been reduced from 7560 to 7340 (sect. 4.11)
Section 3.11 the entire commitment of the Local Plan to greener and more energy-efficient development has been deleted, along with the commitment to energy from waste; but 6.83 commits the Council to requiring low-carbon and minimising energy use in new delevopments;
There is a lot of new material on “heritage assets” including a commitment to try to bring vacant heritage assets back into use (6.94);
Section 7 – there are a lot of new clauses on economic development, and all the existing clauses have been deleted; I can’t see a specific commitment to encouraging “Green” development, either in the nature of the businesses to be encouraged or the development of new or existing premises and infrastructure for them;
References to the “Community Right to Build” have been added: might these give us opportunities to promote a right to build “sustainable” (e.g. Passivhaus with wasate-recycling) housing?
References to a “drainage strategy” and “sewage strategy” have been added for the individual housing sites;
“Measures to secure strategic biodiversity enhancements” has been deleted from the Popley site specification;
There is a new suggestion of “low carbon technologies on site” including a “CHP and district heating” for Basing View, Section 4.74, and a transport strategy including “non-car modes” in section 4.75.
There is a new section on monitoring the implementation of policy for a new railway station at Chineham, below Section 4.77 and 4.78.
There are some subtle modifications to the section on the requirement to provide affordable housing, including deletion of the acknowledgement that the need cannot be met by the new housing proposed in the current plan (section 5.7); the promise of a supplementary planning document has also been deleted.
Details in the “housing mix for market housing” have been made more vague, giving more latitude for innovation, perhaps (section 5.19-5.29); new paragraphs mentioning availability of wheelchair-friendly homes have been added, and there is a whole new policy section on specialist housing for older people (5.30 to 5.35);
There is a new clause to prevent the development of sites for travelling people in flood-prone zones (5.44);
A new clause has been added to 5.64 on provision of opportunites for meetings and social engagements in the community, and another that “local communities are able to meet their day-to-day needs”; and there is a commitment in 5.69 that the Council will work “proactively” with local communities to plan and deliver services that meet local needs;
“Intrinsically dark landscapes” has been added to the list of landscape items for which the impact of development will require scrutiny (Policy EM1, section 6.9 on); this isn’t defined but I hope it refers to “dark skies”, i.e. places without light pollution from which faint stars and other astronomical phenomena can be observed, as well as the preservation of nocturnal wildlife;
There is a new strong statement in policy EM4 to protect biodiversity;
“Geodiversity” has been added to “biodiversity” (policy EM4; section 6.26);
“Green infrastructure” has been defined (6.29);
A new clause (6.36) is a commitment to creating a country park at Manydown;
We might ask whether the flood risk section (Policy EM7) needs any updating in the light of recent experiences);
Sections 6.44 to 6.63 have a line down the lefthand side as if alterations or additions have been made but very little in red, and I can’t find the original version to check whether these have changed. This all about the water/sewerage plan, and then the low-carbon energy generation;
There is a new clause under EM10 to “minimise energy consumption through sustainable approaches to design”; and “bicycle storage” has been added to the parking design;