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Sustainable Building Design

Eight years ago, environmental issues were "a top concern" in our city, as reflected in the work of the city's Sustainability Commission, concerns over processing food waste at Hollingdean Depot, incineration at Newhaven, the rise in Green Party representation, and the energetic attempt to make Brighton & Hove "a Transition Town".

On 5th June 2008, a groundbreaking Supplementary Planning Document
- SPD 08 Sustainable Building Design -
was adopted by Brighton and Hove City Council as part of the city's planning policy.

Comment from Alison Walters of Friends of The Earth and Waste Campaigner: 

This is a great piece of planning work that the council are consulting on and it needs our support. May sound dull and boring but if the
council insist that new developments meet the highest standards of Building specifications we'll get more low flush loos, renewable energy, better insulated, generally greener properties in the city so reducing CO2 emissions etc

However, in November 2015, as now reported on The Council' Sustainable Building Policy page, SPD 08 Sustainable Building Design was withdrawn in the Council's words:"because it was no longer up to date with national policy and emerging local policy"

Why was SPD 08 withdrawn so quickly?

Council's are under enormous pressure from National Government to set high targets for the construction of new homes. If Council policy documents like SPD 08 Sustainable Building Design are used to refuse planning applications because schemes do not adequately meet sustainability criteria, then appeal inspectors can simply overrule Local Authority. All developers have to do is to appeal against refusal.

If an appeal is upheld by the appeal inspector, acting for Central government, then the cost of the appeal has to be met by the Local Authority i.e.  all of us as Council Tax payers. Councils simply cannot turn a blind eye to government policy. In a time of recession and with a government which believes that the removal of planning restrictions will facilitate growth, the requirements of SPD 08 Sustainable Building Design have been characterised as restrictive ideals.

SPD 08 Sustainable Building Design carried requirements for

  • zero carbon development
  • low and zero carbon technologies
  • use of building standards like Ecohomes, BREEAM and the Code for Sustainable Homes
  • increasing use of green roofs and walls
  • increasing tree planting and nature conservation features
  • best practice in energy efficiency
  • best practice in water efficiency
  • use of sustainable materials
  • best practice around construction and demolition waste
  • measures to reduce risk of flooding
  • increased grant funding to improve energy efficiency in existing homes

CP8 Sustainable Buildings - emerging policy

The CP8 Sustainable Buildings policies are contained within the Submission City Plan Part One [February 2013], though some of the sustainability policies within the old Local Plan [2005] have been retained. Examples are:

  • SU3 Water resources and their quality
  • SU5 Surface water and foul sewage disposal infrastructure
  • SU6 Coastal defences
  • SU8 Unstable land
  • SU9 Pollution and nuisance control
  • SU10 Noise nuisance
  • SU11 Polluted land and buildings
  • SU12 Hazardous substances
This page was last updated by Ted on 09-Apr-2016
(registered users can amend this page)