Draft Thanet Local Plan - 2031 - Pre-Submission Publication, Regulation 19

Climate Change

4.93 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expects a pro-active approach against climate change and states that adapting to, and mitigating against, the effects of climate change are core planning principles. This can be achieved by planning for new development in locations and in ways which reduce greenhouse gas emissions, actively support energy efficiency improvements to existing buildings, and where appropriate, support standards for sustainable construction. The NPPF lists expectations to improve energy efficiency in new development in terms of decentralised energy and sustainable design, and ways of increasing the use and supply of renewable and low carbon energy. It stresses the importance of addressing longer term factors such as flood risk, coastal change, water supply and changes to biodiversity and landscape.

4.94 Climate change is a change in weather patterns caused by the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere produced by the use of fossil fuels. Planning can help increase resilience to climate change impact through the location, mix and design of development.

4.95 The effects of climate change are already being seen in Kent, and include:

  • more erratic weather conditions including an increase in the number of 'hot weather' events, storms and also freezing temperature events;
  • increase in sea levels and wave crest;
  • increase in coastal water temperature;
  • length of growing season has extended by one month since 1990; and
  • increases in flooding and droughts.

4.96 The Climate Change Act 2008 sets a target to reduce the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% in 2050 from 1990 levels. There are many opportunities to integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation. Planning can mitigate climate change through reducing emissions by reducing the need to travel and providing sustainable modes of transport; providing opportunities for renewable and low carbon energy technologies; providing opportunities for decentralised energy and heating and promoting low carbon design approaches to reduce energy consumption in buildings such as passive solar design.

4.97 The Council has adopted the Climate Local Kent commitment for Thanet. Climate Local is a Local Government Association initiative to drive, inspire and support council action on a changing climate. The initiative supports councils' efforts both to reduce carbon emissions and also to improve their resilience to the effects of our changing climate and extreme weather. The Climate Local Kent Commitment sets aims which include:

  • 34% reduction in emissions by 2020 (2.6% reduction per year).
  • Retrofitting to existing homes.
  • Reduce water consumption from 160 to 140 litres per person per day by 2016.
  • Increase renewable energy deployment in Kent by 10% by 2020.

4.98 The following policy aims to ensure new development minimises the impacts of climate change through mitigation and adaptation measures, and reduce Thanet's carbon footprint.

Policy SP35 - Climate Change

New development must take account of:

  1. Adapting to climate change by minimising vulnerability, providing resilience to the impacts of climate change
  2. Mitigating against climate change by reducing emissions and energy demands
  3. Improving building resilience to climate change through the use of best available technology
  4. Opportunities to reduce the impact of climate change on biodiversity.