Our most significant policy document in relation to the environment and climate is the adopted Runnymede 2020 Local Plan. The Local Plan includes number of policies which contribute to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.
As part of its spatial vision the Plan states that by 2030
Runnymede will be resilient to and mitigate climate change impacts especially by reducing and minimising the risks from flooding, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving water quality and efficiency
Objective 6 in the Plan reiterates this vision and includes commitment to the use of renewable and low carbon energy. Additional objectives also contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, for example, by seeking to improve accessibility to range of active travel choices (thus reducing the need to travel by car) and to enhance the Borough’ landscapes, green spaces and biodiversity.
Three policies which play fundamental role in supporting climate change action include
Policy SD7: Sustainable Design
This embeds sustainable design principles to ensure development proposals mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts. This includes
- incorporation of secure storage for cycles and storage of waste including recyclable waste
- opportunities to achieve net gains in biodiversity as well as greening of the urban environment
- maximising opportunities for passive solar gain and passive cooling through the orientation and layout of development
- incorporating electrical vehicle charging points into parking areas
- achieving enhanced water efficiency standards in new residential development, for example, the higher optional technical standard in Building Regulations
- where feasible, providing rain water harvesting techniques
- incorporating sustainable construction and demolition techniques which encourages the re-use of construction and demolition waste
Policy SD8: Renewable and Low Carbon Energy
This sets out the Council's in-principle support for proposals for stand-alone and community led renewable, low carbon and decentralised sources of energy.
The policy requires major development proposals to submit an energy statement demonstrating how the scheme will apply and implement the energy hierarchy, for example
- be lean: use less energy
- be clean: supply energy efficiently
- be green: use renewable energy
The ‘be lean’ stage seeks to ensure developers pursue ‘fabric first’ approach in order to reduce energy demand as far as possible before the heating strategy and installation of low carbon and renewable technologies is considered.
For the ‘be green’ stage of the hierarchy, larger development proposals should incorporate measures to supply minimum of 10% of the development’ energy needs from on-site renewable and/or low carbon technologies. At larger scales of development, development proposals are required to explore opportunities for connection to renewable, low carbon or decentralised networks. The largest developments are required to make provision for new, on-site renewable, low carbon or decentralised networks for third party connection at reasonable market rates.
Policy EE13: Managing Flood Risk
This policy steers vulnerable development away from areas affecting by flooding, and where there is no alternative to development being located in an area at risk of flooding, the policy sets out specific requirements to minimise the risk. It also requires development in flood risk area to be supported by Flood Risk Assessment which sets out how the development will manage flood risk over its lifetime, considering the impacts of climate change.
The policy also confirms the Council's support for proposals for strategic flood relief measures, including the emerging flood relief measures and channel through Runnymede as part of the wider River Thames Scheme.
The policy also includes requirement for all new development to ensure that sustainable drainage systems are used for the management of surface water, and confirms the Council's support for proposals for strategic flood relief measures, including the emerging flood relief measures and channel through Runnymede as part of the wider River Thames Scheme.
Series of Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) provide further guidance to supplement the policies of the 2030 Local Plan, including: Design SPD, describing how to achieve sustainable design standards; Green and Blue Infrastructure SPD setting out measures which will help build resilience to climate change; and Parking Guidance SPD setting out appropriate levels of car, cycle parking and electric vehicle charging points for different types of development. It also encourages less car parking in town centre locations, where alternative modes of transport are more readily available.
The Development Plan for Runnymede also includes Surrey’ Waste Local Plan which provides the policy framework for the sustainable management of waste to 2033. The Plan encourages development which seeks to develop circular economy in Surrey, where residents and businesses produce less waste and treat more waste as resource by re-use, recycling and recovery. It also includes policies which promote sustainable construction waste management.
The Local Plan Review
The Council has started work on review of the 2030 Local Plan, including producing revised and new evidence base documents such as Climate Change Study. The Study will explore how our Local Plan objectives and policies can be improved and strengthened to better meet local and national net zero emissions targets, and to identify suitable areas of the Borough for new solar energy, wind developments and district heat networks through ‘renewable energy capacity assessment’.
The Council has also produced ‘Sustainable Places’ evidence to inform policies of the revised Local Plan, drawing on the ’20 minute neighbourhood’ concept promoted in Surrey County Council’ new Local Transport Plan 4 (LTP4). LTP4 seeks to significantly reduce carbon emissions from transport to meet commitments to net zero emissions. This work identifies development sites with the potential to generate the least car trips.
It is also anticipated that policies will be updated to reflect environmental priorities in new or emerging strategies and targets – for example, the Council’ Climate Change Strategy and emerging Electric Vehicle Strategy.
Full details can be found on the Planning Policy web pages: Runnymede 2030 Local Plan review – Runnymede Borough Council
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