CLC1 : Climate Change
Policy CLC1: A Carbon Neutral, Climate Adapted Borough
The Plan will reduce Basingstoke and Deane borough’s carbon footprint to support the council’s climate emergency declaration and ecological emergency declaration. The council will implement spatial planning policies, which together with other mechanisms, will enable the borough to become carbon neutral by 2030. This will require radical and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
To support this target, and to respond to the changes to the climate that are already occurring, new development will reduce carbon emissions and other greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change in line with the following principles:
|In 2019, the council declared a Climate Emergency with the aim of making council operations carbon neutral by 2025 and working towards becoming a carbon neutral borough by 2030 (in advance of the national target to achieve net zero carbon by 2050). This was supported by a Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy (2021) which identified the important role of the Local Plan Update in reducing carbon emissions across the borough. The council also declared an Ecological Emergency in 2021 which is linked to the impacts of climate change. Mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change should therefore underpin all future decision making.
|Borough-wide carbon neutrality (in the context of the council’s declaration) means having a net zero carbon footprint by balancing the amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount absorbed or offset. This is a challenging target that requires strong policy interventions, and that will result in significant changes to the way that residents live, work and travel.
|The council also has a legal duty under Section 19 of the 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act, as amended by the 2008 Planning Act, to ensure that, taken as whole, plan policy contributes to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.
|Carbon emissions have now been unequivocally shown to be causing global warming, which is in turn leading to climatic changes and damaging the natural environment. Without appropriate intervention, climate change is likely to have significant and lasting social, economic and environmental impacts upon the borough and its residents, particularly as a result of increased peak rainfall and hotter summers. These may include impacts upon the health and wellbeing of residents, damage to wildlife and habitats, and increased flooding.
|Mitigating and adapting to climate change must therefore be central to all parts of the Local Plan Update, and will need to guide the implementation of all policies. Modelling by WSP identifies that approximately half of the greenhouse gas emissions generated in the borough arise from transport, and the rest arising from homes and industry. It is therefore vital that the Local Plan reduces emissions in all of these areas. This should include reducing reliance upon the private car (such as through the form and location of new development), ensuring new development is built to high environmental standards and supporting low carbon lifestyles (including hyper-fast broadband, 5G communications and other technologies that may emerge over the life of the Plan). The Plan should also provide a framework to support the decarbonisation of existing homes and industry, where possible. In addition, the Plan should preserve and enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services that are essential to carbon sequestration and set a positive framework to increase the amount of renewable energy generated locally.
|Climate change is already occurring, and the design and location of new development must also be resilient to the changes to the climate to ensure it is fit for purpose in the long term. Green infrastructure can have a particular role in helping to mitigate the impact of higher temperatures, reduce flood risk and increase biodiversity as well as benefiting health and well-being.
|The council will regularly monitor the progress that the borough is making towards becoming carbon neutral over the life of the Plan.