Sheffield climate change: Developers will need to show how new buildings help the environment

Developers wanting to build in Sheffield will now have to submit a climate change declaration.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 19th November 2021, 1:14 pm

The declaration will be part of the planning application process and while the council can’t force higher standards, it says it will encourage them and recognise best practice,

Green councillor Angela Argenzio told full council: “If COP26 has told us anything it is that the ‘blah, blah, blah’ has got to end.

“COP26 failed to deliver the reduction in carbon emissions we need and all politicians need to act in any way they can to reduce emissions.

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Coun Angela Argenzio says the climate change declaration will recognise best practice but also shine a light on the developers who do the bare minimum.

“This is an opportunity for us to ask those designing new homes and other buildings to try harder to reduce the demand for energy, thereby reducing running costs and carbon emissions.

“We’re very aware that building regulation standards in this country are weak on energy efficiency.

“There is little incentive to install renewable technology such as solar panels and heat pumps, and we need to do more to encourage flood prevention and promote biodiversity in new developments.

“It would be a lot easier if the Government simply toughened building regulations but that is not going to happen in a meaningful way any time soon.”

“The declaration will recognise best practice but can also shine a light on the developers who do the bare minimum.

“It will expose those who build homes where the occupants will have to pay high fuel bills and where the energy use and carbon emissions are higher than they need to be.”

What happens if developers ignore the climate change declaration?

Coun Argenzio said installing high insulation and solar panels during construction was cheaper and less disruptive than doing it afterwards

“This is why we need to encourage developers to up their game and it adds no significant costs to developers.

“It is a request for information and if developers do not respond positively to our call for higher standards then we will have an evidence base to go to Government with and to show them that they need to improve building regulations to ensure we build homes that are fit for the future.”

Labour supported the declaration.