What are your thoughts? Comment on our latest soapbox, by Tim Martel, which you can read in full here: https://www.aecb.net/effective-plans-for-our-future/.
Great stuff Tim but we have no hope of changing the minds of the idiots that are forming our planning policies which enable housing developers to throw up Band D, non-sustainable, non-affordable homes as long as they are near a bus stop. As politicians buckle under the pressure of lobbying from the UK construction industry, they have no understanding at all of real sustainability across the life of a dwelling. The planning policies enable planners to refuse consent for a Band A passive house on a residential site in an established village solely because it is 800m from the nearest bus stop. This distance from an intermittent, polluting, diesel bus service (last bus at 7.00pm and none on Sundays) means that the site is “isolated” and therefore the new home is not “sustainable”. As recently as 21 September 2018, I have a letter from a Planning Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) in which he says, “imposing a building code that would prevent the construction of all homes that fall short of Passivhaus standard is not seen as a practical proposition at present. In refusing our application and appeal, the planners asserted that Passivhaus is not sufficiently exceptional or innovative to meet the requirements of the NPPF Para 78.
Apparently, according to the MHCLG, we have to wait for the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy which has the ambition to halve energy use of new buildings by 2030. The recently revised NPPF made absolutely no progress whatsoever towards this aspiration and just kicks the sustainability can down the road.
I have tried (and failed) to hold a meeting with four successive Ministers of Housing & Planning and none of them have even had the courtesy to respond to my letters and e-mails. We are banging our heads against a closed door and I just despair of ever being able to effect some real change
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