Hello Mr Oliver, in view of RDC declaring a Climate Emergency, and having the highest CO2 emissions in East Sussex. Could you please explain the Councils position on the following questions please?
- With 38,800 households in RDC and a Government estimated average of 6 tonnes of CO2 emissions per household per annum. Why do RDC refuse to offer an incentive, or have no procedure to offer an incentive to a home that has achieved 95% energy efficiency, and only produces 0.4 tonnes CO2 per annum, with regard to council tax?
- Of the Housing Delivery Test requirement of 1,189 homes, RDC delivered 677. Can you say how many of these new homes achieved 95%,or above energy efficiency?
- With RDC having the highest reported CO2 emissions in East Sussex, it may be misleading to suggest this is down to being a rural area. There are many rural districts in East Sussex. With RDC’s population predicted to rise to 101,000 by 2026, and a 55% increase in over 65’s by 2041. How are current RDC Councillors planning for the expected energy demand increase in the domestic homes of those over 65’s?
- With the possibility of further energy price rises and poor energy efficiency in the vast majority of UK homes. It seems highly likely that this combination will put unsustainable pressure on the NHS and care services. Is there no way that RDC can find a way to incentivise the building of high energy efficiency homes and lead the way in trying to avert a potential disaster? Which unfortunately will be of our own making. (12/01/2023)
- The Council is committed to climate action but has no funding mechanism for this proposal. The Council is working on measures to support residents who cannot afford to make material changes to their homes. These residents will then benefit from lower energy bills and warmer homes. Those residents who are able to pay for energy efficiency measures will also benefit from lower running costs.
- We are not provided with energy efficiency data for new housing by planning applicants. This is an issue controlled by Building Regulations, not by the local planning authority. The building regulations legislation requires house-builders to build to the minimum standard, which is set by central government.
- The Council’s Corporate Plan includes, as a priority objective – “to establish and deliver a plan to ensure Rother District Council is carbon neutral by 2030”. The Council’s Environment Strategy recognises that the new Local Plan provides an opportunity to consider implementing policies which encourage greener development. The Council is currently compiling its evidence base on this issue, with a view to adopting specific policies. We anticipate that consultation will take place on proposed new Local Plan policies this year.
- As above, we are compiling our evidence base, so that we can draft and propose policies that respond to this issue. We want our policies to lead the way, but we must work within Government planning legislation and policy guidance. (25/01/2023)