This is part 1 of what looks set to be a series. More below.
Cows need water. On Kelston Roundhill, water means a borehole. Pumping water from 70m underground needs power. In the context of a national and locally declared climate emergency from now on power means renewables.
That’s why we’re trialling the prototype wind array. To leave that in place we need planning permission. And we’d like to “open source” our planning application, ie make it public and visible while we draft it, so we can take comments and improvements on board before we submit it to B&NES.
There’s quite a lot to a planning application; it’s an interesting process. More specifics anon, but here for now is part one: a preamble about the context of our planning application. IANAL, as they say; all expert comment and improvement welcome.
1. Context: the climate emergency changes everything
The Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019 has set a legally binding target for the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The UK Committee on Climate Change says that to meet the 2050 net-zero emissions target, UK government must embed net-zero policy across all levels and departments of government, ensure policies to reduce UK emissions to net zero are business-friendly, and design policies and low-carbon products around public needs, to increase engagement.
The UK Parliament also passed a motion to declare climate emergency in 2019.
Bath and NE Somerset Council passed a Climate Emergency Resolution in March 2019 in which it resolved to declare a climate emergency, provide leadership to enable carbon neutral B&NES by 2030, and enable citizen engagement.
Therefore national law requires carbon-neutrality by 2050, and local policy is to achieve it across B&NES by 2030. To achieve carbon neutrality across B&NES within 10 years we must start urgently now. It leaves no time for prevarication or inter-departmental wrangling (and absolutely no scope for extending local airports or building new city-centre car parks).
The overarching commitment to achieving carbon neutrality must run through, affect and change all other branches of central and local government including – perhaps especially – planning. Without being reckless, without throwing proven processes and procedures out of the window, our community has to make adjustments in every area of life while remaining within the law.
This includes planning decisions.
More to follow (much more!) The evolving state of the full draft is here, open to comments.