The climate of opinion

In determining a residential appeal in south Devon (DCS Number 400-033-313), an inspector identified one of the main issues as being the extent to which the development would respond to the challenge posed by climate change.

The inspector noted criticisms of ground source and air source heat pumps, made in a submitted energy statement, but found that they were matters which could be addressed through site and plot design. Similarly, he found that the adverse visual impact of solar photovoltaic panels would seem to be a layout design issue.

Significantly, the inspector opined: ‘Furthermore, this is an issue where planning policy may not be quite keeping pace with developments elsewhere. My site visit took place on the third day of the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow where the need for urgent action was once again made crystal clear by the Prime Minister.’ …‘It seems to me folly to build new houses now that will commit the owners to potentially expensive and disruptive alterations as the UK moves to decarbonise the heating of its housing stock.’

There is information concerning the implementation of climate change policy at section 4.1113 of DCP Online.