Built Environment

Total number of submissions = 154

Number of submissions from:

  • Community Organisations = 13
  • Schools = 0
  • Charities = 0
  • Parish/Town Councils = 1
  • Political Party = 1
  • Businesses = 4
  • Professional Body = 1
  • Individuals = 134

The submissions can be summarised as:

Need to be retrofitted with energy efficiency, renewable energy and water-harvesting technologies. Approaches must tackle fuel poverty as a priority. Ways to achieve this could be:

Financial measures

  • Grants, subsidies and low-interest loans made available to everybody from central and local government(paid for through council tax increase)
  • Grants for businesses to train their staff in how to install and maintain these technologies
  • Remove VAT on these technologies

Legislative measures

  • Strengthen the building regulations for refurbishment projects
  • Put greater requirements on landlords to improve the efficiency of their properties
  • Fewer restrictions for listed properties and clearer guidance
  • Require all supermarkets to cover their roofs with solar PV

New approaches

  • The Dutch-model of whole-house retrofit called Energiesprong already being trialled in Devon
  • Empower community energy organisations and the Devon Energy Collective to take a lead on working with their local community
  • Local government to take a lead in ensuring zero-carbon through their building refurbishments, including solar panels on all public buildings
  • Discourage second homes and holiday homes by increasing taxes
  • Ensure the locations that new buildings are constructed are future-proofed for future climate change to avoid needing to abandon settlements due to increased flooding and sea-level rise and construct replacement buildings elsewhere

Need to be designed to be net-zero carbon(or negative carbon)over their entire lifecycle, including their embodied carbon.

Through the planning system and/or building regulations:

  • Require the use of low carbon building materials
  • Greater protection for existing trees and require more to be planted in each development
  • Require district heating in new schemes and major redevelopment
  • Require green roofs
  • Require rainwater harvesting

New approaches

  • Local government to commit to all new buildings being net-zero carbon over their entire lifecycle
  • Promote the southwest as the centre of expertise and demonstration of low-carbon buildings
  • Devolve planning powers to local authorities to make these aspirations easier to achieve
  • Upskill local authority planning teams to be able to critique developers’ low-carbon claims
  • Raise awareness of the benefits of low carbon buildings so that clients specify low-carbon designs when engaging architects and carry the low-carbon ambition through to implementation
  • Make fuels prohibitively expensive to reduce private transport
  • Switch computers off overnight in businesses
  • Incentivise staff in organisations to save energy by offering them a percentage of the savings
  • Encourage people to live close to where they work
  • Provide sleep pods at businesses to enable staff to sleep at work rather than travelling home
  • Force shops to close when heating or cooling is in operation
  • Develop a campaign to engage schools directly in the climate emergency, including the curriculum
  • Support community organisations with the skills they need to lead the climate emergency locally
  • Instead of out of town shopping centres and large executive homes we need affordable housing and community food growing
  • Ban development below 10m ordnance datumin coastal areas to avoid the need for carbon-intensive coastal defences over the period to 2300
  • Instead of the current proposals for Teignmouth/Dawlish railway we need a different, lower carbon solution
  • Implement a fast-track planning procedure for green energy schemes
  • Identify spaces for trees in urban areas
  • Switch off street lights
  • Immediate halt to the conversion of front gardens to parking spaces