Wales adopts Green planning rules

Wales has become the first part of the UK to set a national standard for sustainable buildings to be met through the planning system following an announcement by Environment, Sustainability & Housing Minister Jane Davidson.

12th May 2009

Wales has become the first part of the UK to set a national standard for sustainable buildings to be met through the planning system following an announcement by Environment, Sustainability & Housing Minister Jane Davidson. The Welsh Assembly Government has introduced green standards for new buildings in Wales intended to cut carbon emissions and improve their sustainability via the planning system. This innovative planning policy sets a national standard for sustainability for most new buildings proposed in Wales from the 1st September 2009. For new homes this will:

  • reduce their carbon emissions by more than 31 per cent compared to current building regulations through energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy
  • reduce the consumption of water
  • use more sustainable materials

Launching the policy Jane Davidson said:  “This is another demonstration of the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitment to protecting our environment for future generations.  I am determined to use the planning system to move towards zero carbon buildings.  Making our buildings greener will play an important part in reducing our carbon footprint as the built environment is the largest contributor to greenhouse gasses in Wales.  The way in which we construct our homes and buildings accounts for 40 per cent of our total carbon emissions.  We need to do everything we can to make new buildings, from our homes through to our offices, as environmentally friendly as possible.  The new policy will play a key role in achieving this.” Housing proposals will be expected to meet the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and non domestic buildings will be expected to meet the BREEM ‘Very Good’ standard as a minimum. The new planning policy is just the latest Welsh Assembly Government action on using the planning system for the green agenda. It  follows the announcement last November of the Coalition of the Willing, the UK’s first green building charter, with more than 50 representatives of the building sector committing themselves to support progress towards a built environment that contributes low or zero net carbon emissions as practically possible. Peter Davies, Commissioner for Wales, Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) said: “Making our buildings more energy efficient is vital in tackling climate change, so we welcome this step towards the Welsh Assembly Government’s aspiration of zero carbon new buildings from 2011.  With Wales leading the rest of the UK in this field, the Welsh construction sector now has a huge opportunity to gain competitive advantage in this growing market, and a substantial role to play in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.”

Ends

For further press information please contact Andrew Brown on 07795 547069 or email andrew@frankandbrown.com

For more information about the Ministerial Interim Planning Policy Statement (01/2009) ‘Planning for Sustainable Buildings’ at the BREEAM EcoHomes ‘Excellent’ Glasdir Development in Ruthin yesterday and the consultation on the draft Technical Advice Note 22 ‘Planning for Sustainable Buildings’. The consultation ends on 31st July 2009 please use the following links:

Ministerial Interim Planning Policy Statement (01/2009) Planning for Sustainable Buildings

http://wales.gov.uk/topics/planning/policy/mipps/?lang=en

Draft Technical Advice Note 22 ‘Planning for Sustainable Buildings’ (Consultation)

http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/planning/?lang=en