Plans to improve the sustainability and reduce the environmental impact of new housing in Arun have been supported by councillors.
Arun District Council’s local plan was approved last summer, which contains a number of planning policies guiding the type and number of new residential and commercial development.
The Conservative group submitted a notice of motion calling on the council to look at supplementary guidance to improve the level of sustainability of new residential developments.
This would include asking officers to investigate the possibility of guidance on renewable energy for individual homes, improved standards of insulation and water usage, guidance for community renewable energy schemes and guidance on designs for waste and recycling storage facilities.
It was passed at a meeting in mid July with an amendment from the Lib Dems adding the possibility of improved heat recovery as well as guidance on the planting of woodland and improved and more rigorous standards to prevent flooding.
Paul Dendle, the Conservative spokesperson on the economy at Arun, said they wanted to give supplementary advice to developers so things are engineered into new schemes before they happen.
He said: “We should be building houses that are environmentally proof and with extra insulation so we do not have the amount of heat loss that we have in a lot of the houses.”
He went on to suggest every house should have a space for their bins as when they were left outside houses this ‘makes our streetscape very ugly’.
He suggested housing for the elderly and sheltered accommodation should be a particular focus and highlighted how the Dutch spent a much smaller share of their income on electricity than the UK as ‘many of our houses are poorly insulated’.
Martin Lury (LDem, Bersted), cabinet member for planning, said he welcomed the motion and supported the direction of travel.
He proposed the planning policy sub-committee make a recommendation about whether the council should declare a climate change emergency and the implications of creating a framework to move towards a carbon neutral district.
The committee would also consider the idea of engaging an energy agency to provide community retrofit advice and the potential retrofitting of solar panels on all appropriate council assets.
Cllr Dendle said he found declaring a climate emergency ‘slightly gimmicky’ and felt the council should start with practical ideas before going down that route.
Afterwards Terry Chapman, leader of the Conservative group at Arun, said: “The devil will be in the detail, but we will work to ensure that the motion is implemented in a value for money fashion, ensuring the residents of Arun get the best value.”