It is WinACC's view that the developers have not adequately addressed some of the sustainability aspects in conditions 5 and 11. Summary below - see our full comment

Renewable heat and power

Para 4.7 says that “an assessment of…using decentralised energy systems and renewable energy has been undertaken”, which is a requirement under Building Reg.s.  Does the City Council have a copy of it?  It seems unlikely to WinACC that the assessment is adequate.

It is a requirement under PPS1 that the City Council should “secure the highest viable resource and energy efficiency and reduction in emissions” when providing homes, jobs, services and infrastructure.

Construction materials

What measures will be taken to reduce the embodied emissions in the construction materials? WinACC wants new developments to  

  1. Minimise the use of new materials with high embedded carbon content e.g. concrete
  2. Favour the use of renewable materials which lock in carbon such as sustainably sourced timber.
  3. Favour the use of recycled materials to minimise embedded carbon.
Energy efficient buildings

We would like to see more details of the spec of the domestic buildings – for example, whether they use gas or electricity as fuel; that they prioritise showers over baths. “Energy efficient lighting” is too vague and needs to specify LED lighting, and to state that in public places, time switches will be used.  

We would have expected a commitment to heat recovery in public places and domestic buildings .

The same applies to automated energy management systems.

Influence on lifestyle

We would like to see a commitment to:

  • Easy to understand heating controls, which default to 19o
  • Setting hot water default temperature at 60o
  • Easy facilities for recycling
  • Easy access to cycle parking
  • Urban design that creates feelings of safety walking about 

The City Council is required to satisfy itself that the development is appropriate on various parameters under Local Plan Policy DP6. The documents do not give sufficient information on some of these to enable the Council to make a judgement.

DP6 (i) layout to maximise energy efficiency

DP6 (ii) providing a proportion of energy from renewable sources

DP6 (iii) reduce water consumption - There is no mention of water conservation, rainwater harvesting or use of grey water e.g. for WCs.

DP6 (v) waste minimisation during construction

DP6 (vi) transport of building materials

DP6 (vii) life of building and adaptability - these issues should be addressed:

  • the lifetime of the materials used
  • the flexibility of the buildings – whether they can be adapted for other uses if not needed (e.g. requirements for shops, parking, household sizes could all change over 50-100 years)
  • carbon cost of deconstruction – some things, for example, can be recycled, others require considerable energy to remove (e.g. reinforced concrete).
  • consideration of making the development adaptable to future district heating schemes by the inclusion of heating pipes/ducts at construction
  • consideration of the possibility of the development including a CHP plant that could offer surplus heat/cooling to nearby locations