Published Friday, 17th September 2021

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s Executive agreed to formally adopt the Climate Change and Sustainable Construction Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

This new guidance, agreed in the meeting on 16 September,  will help support environmental sustainability across the borough and includes changes resulting from public consultation feedback.

Tackling climate change through effective planning

The new SPD covers ways to help reduce the impact of and adapt to climate change; the careful use of resources, such as materials, water and energy; and other environmental issues that can be addressed through planning.

The new guidance also includes a range of measures for sustainable development, demolition and construction methods, with the flexibility to accommodate new and emerging technologies.

Although SPDs don’t set new policies, they support existing Local Plan policy and provide detailed guidance. Their advice is also a material consideration in determining planning applications.

Ensuring sustainable future development

Cllr Richard Biggs, Executive Member for Planning Policy and Place Delivery, explains: “Although the climate challenge is international, adopting this new planning guidance will benefit our local communities and help improve the environment for everyone.

“I would like to thank every organisation and individual who responded to the consultation for their valuable contributions about the draft document. Their positive support and feedback helped shape this important guidance to achieve a more sustainable future for us all.

“Our key planning priorities are to protect our environment, increase the affordability of new homes and support the local economy. When considering the borough’s target to achieve net zero carbon by 2050, it is clear that planning guidance and policy play a crucial role in this aim when granting planning permission.

“We can now ensure that new developments meet the highest standards of sustainable construction and help tackle climate change. This new SPD will also help the Council achieve the most sustainable planning outcomes in a cost effective, collaborative and effective way.”

Listening to feedback helped inform the new SPD

The Council is legally required to consult on a draft SPD before it is adopted and received valuable and comprehensive feedback during the consultation, which ran from 24 May to 23 June. The Planning Policy team reviewed all comments and each one, along with the corresponding responses and whether the draft SPD was amended as a result, can be viewed in the Consultation Statement (Appendix 2 of the Executive report).

Key areas raised during the consultation included:

  • proposed changes to Building Regulations Part L Energy Efficiency and Part F Ventilation, which would introduce a higher standard
  • other alternative technologies
  • the strengthening of the biodiversity elements and the impact of different technologies on air traffic safety.

A number of representations wanted to see more demanding standards, but this would require a change to policy or government intervention, which is beyond the scope of this SPD. 

Advice and ways to improve and protect our environment

Improving our environment and reducing our impact on the planet is a critical global goal. It is also an important ambition in the Council’s corporate plan Reigate & Banstead 2025 and detailed Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

For more general information, see our Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change web section, which has valuable tips about sustainable living at home, at work, for your health, your business or school.

There is also plenty of advice about reducing energy consumption, the Council’s approach to sustainability and simple ways to help improve and protect our environment.