New homes in Norfolk should be zero-carbon, say countryside campaigners
- Credit: Chris Bishop
A call has been made for councils across Norfolk to demand that developers build zero-carbon homes.
The Norfolk branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says councils should follow the lead of an authority in Hampshire to drive up environment standards in housing.
East Hampshire District Council wants the government to approve its local plan, which would empower the council to demand that all new developments are energy efficient, zero-carbon homes that are clean and cost-effective.
And Chris Dady, chairman of countryside charity CPRE Norfolk, said he wanted Norfolk councils to make more demands over carbon-free homes on developers - and on the government.
He said: "We want our councils to start making a noise about starting to demand more from developers.
"The Greater Norwich Local Plan does not go far enough. We want our councils to be saying to the government enough is enough.
"It's vital that developers are forced to move to more eco-friendly ways of building.
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"And there needs to be a commitment to building in sustainable locations - homes need to be near jobs and near services.
"If a new estate goes up and it's miles away from facilities then that is going to add to carbon emissions in terms of people driving to work or to shops.
"It's about building them in the right place to reduce that impact as much as possible."
The Greater Norwich Local Plan - a blueprint for where thousands of homes could be built in Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk over the next two decades - is currently being considered by the government.
The government will decide whether that blueprint, which its authors say promotes low carbon developments, can be adopted.
A spokesman for Broadland and South Norfolk councils said: "The Greater Norwich local Plan is now in front of the planning Inspector for consideration.
"In order for the plan to be found sound the Inspector has to be satisfied that it meets the government’s regulations on carbon emissions.”
Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council cabinet member for inclusive and sustainable growth, said: "This is something we’ve been examining for some time and have engaged with the Eastern New Energy project to explore the delivery of zero carbon affordable housing in our future developments.
“The city council itself has already progressed with building new energy-efficient council properties, such as the homes at the award-winning passivhaus development at Goldsmith Street, which need minimal fuel for heating or cooling thanks to the eco-technology.
"The Greater Norwich Local Plan currently follows the future homes standard energy requirements as set out by government, but we’ll continue to evaluate how Norwich can lead the way and support developers in reducing their environmental impact.”