Publication: Pre-Submission Gloucester City Plan

Pre-Submission City Plan

Introduction and context

3.7.1 This chapter addressed broad but important issues for Gloucester. The policies reflect the aspirations in City Plan Key Principles 2, 11 and 12. Everyone has a part to play and all residents of Gloucester must aim to live, work and travel in more sustainable ways. The realities of climate change and other forms of environmental damage and degradation are pushing these issues to the fore.

3.7.2 The chapter sets out policies focusing on sustainable transport, including two of the most sustainable forms which are walking and cycling. It also covers requirements for various forms of infrastructure and measures to improve the efficiency of communications and resource use.

3.7.3 The specific ways in which the plan addresses the challenge of climate change are set out below.

Climate change

3.7.4 Climate change is happening now; it is the issue of our times that cannot be ignored. The City Council has recently declared a climate change emergency and the local plan process is a key mechanism and catalyst for action on the ground. There needs to be a rapid step-change in the way we live our lives and undertake our day to day activities in order to prevent the climate changing in such a way that it threatens the planet and future generations.

3.7.5 Climate change today is already resulting in a shift in our seasons; hotter drier summers, warmer wetter winters, more frequent droughts, more storms and gales resulting in damage to property. This is creating loss in wildlife habitats and species, social unrest through increased migration, greater demand for cooling in officers and homes, greater strain on water resources and wildlife, worsening summer air pollution, greater risk of flooding, increased heat stress to the elderly and infirm. These effects are happening globally and here in Gloucester. . The risk of flooding in Gloucester and neighbouring areas is already high and these risks are increasing steadily.

3.7.6 Climate change is a theme that runs through the whole of GCP and is a Strategic Objective of the JCS. A number of policies in this plan address climate change and its impacts either directly or indirectly. These include:

  • Requiring new developments to make overall improvements to the natural environment (Policy A1)
  • Protecting existing trees, woodlands, hedgerows and ensuring every opportunity is taken to increase new planting. (Policy E4)
  • Requiring development to contribute towards the protection and enhancement of the Green Infrastructure Network. (Policy E5)
  • Requiring major development to be designed in accordance with 'Building with Nature'. (Policy E5)
  • Requiring developments are safe from flooding and contribute to flood risk betterment. (Policy E6)
  • Requiring all development to incorporate SUDs and facilitate watercourse reconstruction. (Policy E6)
  • Ensuring appropriate attenuation volume rates to allow for the increased rainfall from climate change. (Policy E6)
  • Supporting the use of the River Severn and canal for renewable energy generation. (Policy E7)
  • Requiring new landscape and planting to be climate change adaptable. (Policy F2)
  • Requiring development proposals to conserve and provide net gains to biodiversity. (Policy E2)
  • Requiring electric vehicle charging points in every new home with a garage or on plot parking space, and 2% of spaces within 100 or more car parking spaces. (Policy G3)
  • Protecting and improving cycle lanes and maximising opportunities for sustainable active travel. (Policy C1, G4, G5)
  • Introducing the enhanced water efficiency standards reducing water consumption for each new home. (Policy G8)
  • Protecting allotments and providing new allotments where there is a need. (Policy C2)
  • Using green infrastructure to absorb dust and air pollutants from major developments, and increasing planting in AQMA, and around schools and hospitals. (Policy C5)

3.7.7 The City Council strongly supports proposals that incorporate sustainable design and construction measures, including renewable energy generation within new development and within development sites.

3.7.8 Policies SD3: Sustainable Design and Construction, SD4: Design Requirements, INF2: Flood Risk Management, and INF3: Green Infrastructure of the JCS also provide climate change requirements.

3.7.9 This policy also links to the recently published the Gloucestershire Energy Strategy 2019 This strategy sets out nine key building blocks. The fifth is: Developing Stronger Planning Policies. These policies should "...enable more local renewables and require zero-carbon and smart enabled new developments. To meet long-term targets, new planning policies need (a) to ensure that all new developments contribute to reducing carbon emissions rather than increasing them and are resilient to climate change and (b) to enable the growth of renewable energy generation and smart energy infrastructure, taking appropriate account of landscape sensitivities.'