East Hampshire District Council commissioned LUC, in partnership with Ricardo Energy and Environment, to carry out a renewable and low carbon energy study to inform their emerging Local Plan.
The work enabled the District to quantify and map their renewable and low carbon energy potential, allowing them to plan positively for the integration of renewable and low carbon energy solutions into their Local Plan.
The Study reviewed the technical potential for seven renewable and low carbon energy technologies within the District (but outside of the South Downs National Park):
- Wind turbines.
- Stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) solar arrays (i.e. not building-mounted solar PV).
- Small scale hydro.
- Energy from waste.
- Renewable and low carbon heat.
- Microgeneration technologies.
The assessment drew on our in-house GIS expertise to identify where the different technologies are most suitable.
The results of the study have enabled the District to develop well-founded policies that both support renewable and low carbon energy deployment whilst also protecting the environment. This included an assessment of the landscape sensitivity to wind and solar development within the area.
With a number of councils declaring climate emergencies, these assessments are a fundamental way of identifying and realising the potential for renewable and low carbon technologies, while at the same time ensuring that the important characteristics of the environment and landscape are not unacceptably harmed. In declaring a climate emergency, authorities are making a commitment to investigate clear and effective options to become a carbon-neutral, and planning policy has a role to play in achieving this.
LUC has a long history of helping Local Authorities with these studies and has a comprehensive understanding of the relevant policy framework, technical research and planning case law to develop a consistent and robust evidence base. Our experience – both individually and in partnership – spans work at a regional, local authority and community scale. Policies based on the recommendations in our studies have been successfully adopted into numerous Local Plans and, where necessary, we have successfully defended our assessments at Examination.
Services employed: Strategic Planning & Assessment