Nottingham City Council unveils new carbon reduction guidance for property developers

Plans to make Nottingham the UK’s first carbon-neutral city by 2028 have taken another step forward after the City Council unveiled new guidance on how best to remove carbon from the property development process.


The council’s Informal Planning Policy Guidance will support residential and commercial developers in the drive to reduce carbon emissions from new buildings.


The document promotes a range of measures developers can employ to reduce carbon in their proposals relating to energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable design and construction.


The National Planning Policy Framework currently gives local authorities few powers to insist that environmental considerations are included within the design and build process.


But with the introduction of the new guidance, all future planning applications in Nottingham of ten or more homes, or commercial developments of 1,000 sq m and above, will need to be supported by a carbon reduction/energy statement.


This must set out how a new development would contribute to the city’s wider carbon-neutral pledge and how the new buildings will use energy. 


Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis, portfolio holder for leisure, culture and planning at Nottingham City Council, said: “Our pledge is bold and forward-thinking, but we know that its delivery in the city will depend on partners and organisations across a number of sectors coming on board to help – we can’t do it alone.


“Given that buildings are one of the most significant sources of carbon emissions, the Planning Guidance is an important piece of work undertaken by the council to allow us to ensure due consideration is given to environmental measures.


“It will have an immediate impact on emissions as developers are now required to demonstrate how their buildings use energy, while it strongly promotes low-carbon methods.


“There is a distinct lack of this in national Government legislation at the moment and, while this local policy is informal, it will allow us to effect meaningful change through negotiation and consent.


“Moving forward, the council will be progressing a Supplementary Planning Document to support its approach to carbon neutrality and formulating new policies to tackle the issue in its emerging Strategic Plan, which will secure increasingly sustainable and carbon-neutral development.


“I look forward to continuing to work with the development sector in tackling this global climate emergency.”