Issue - meetings

Adoption of Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document

Meeting: 20/06/2022 - Council (Item 11)

11 Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document Adoption pdf icon PDF 270 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Climate Emergency

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member Climate Emergency introduced the report, noting that Cheltenham was England’s most complete Regency town, with its many Regency buildings having undergone many changes in use over time to remain valuable and relevant in the modern day. The council needed to ensure that what they built next lived up to the same aspirations, allowing future generations to enjoy them in the same way. Future developments in the town needed to be resilient, and adapt to the world as it would be as well as how it was now. To deliver this, they had to implement important checks and balances for developments against their climate goals. Failing to take action on the climate was not an option.

She emphasised that the supplementary planning document (SPD) was intentionally as ambitious as it could be within their legal remit. It was not just a statement of what they valued, but a real set of commitments to underpin future policy. The council’s excellent climate team had included numerous useful ideas and suggestions to help developers make their applications more climate-friendly, and the document gave a clear sense of the landscape in which they would be building, both in a physical and regulatory sense. It was a good looking document which should be both interesting and easy to understand. She thanked the councillors who had worked on the topic over the years, especially the previous Cabinet Member for the climate emergency, and officers from both the planning and environment teams. In summary, she stressed the need for substantial action to change the way the council operated, starting with a road map for building a more climate friendly town.

One Member praised the way that data was presented in the SPD, making it very clear and easy to understand;  another, while sceptical about some of the figures regarding energy savings, was happy to follow up with the Cabinet Member and officers about it offline.  The Green group said this was exactly the kind of document that they wanted to see.

In response to Member questions, the Cabinet Member Climate Emergency said that:

-       When approved, the guidance would apply to all applications determined from now on, not to those applications already in the system.  The Director of Community and Economic Development confirmed this;

-       The continual updating of the document with local examples of applications approved or rejected by the council, based on the guidance, would be useful, although it would probably need to be in a separate location so that the main document did not need to be continually republished;

-       The document’s principles generally supported the protection of nature reserves and local wildlife sites, but it could be updated if it became necessary to highlight the issue at any point.

-       The SPD would was not policy, but would underpin the Cheltenham Plan, and could be used by Planning Committee when determining applications;

-       Regarding enforcement strategy, the up-coming planning review coming up would look at every aspect of the process, including  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11