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Sustainable energy advice for developments

Sustainable energy advice for developments

Planning applicants need to show in a statement submitted with applications how the proposed development will meet the sustainability requirements, including low carbon energy requirements, set out in Policies CS22  and CS23  of our Core Strategy. 

To help you gather all the necessary information for a planning application, we have put together a climate neutral checklist. 

Download our climate neutral checklist

More information on how to implement policy CS22 on Sustainable Construction is available in the Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document, and the supplementary guidance note.

Download our Climate Change SPD and guidance note on the implementation on housing standards

Energy efficiency and renewable energy in development

Tackling climate change remains a key government priority for the planning system. We have taken a strong lead on tackling the causes of climate change and led the way in developing sustainable energy. We want new developments to maximise opportunities for implementing renewable energy technologies, the efficient use of energy and water in buildings and managing waste effectively.

Residential development

New residential development will be required to achieve the equivalent of Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 – a 19% improvement on the Dwelling Emission Rate over the Target Emission Rate as defined in Part L1A of the Building Regulations.  More information is available in the Climate Change SPD and Guidance Note on how to meet this requirement, and how to establish compliance with the requirement.

Residential extensions

We encourage proposals for residential extensions that incorporate energy and water efficiency measures.

Non-residential development

New non-residential developments of 1,000 square metres or more (gross) floorspace are required to comply with BREEAM very good standards. Applications have to provide the necessary information to demonstrate that this requirement can be met by way of a 'pre-assessment report'.

If permission is granted conditions will be applied which require a Design Stage Certificate to be submitted prior to commencement of the development and a Post-Construction Stage Certificate to be submitted prior to occupation of the development. If any applications have been validated without this information, we will not be able to agree to them until this information is provided.

We also actively encourage proposals for non-residential developments of 1,000 square metres or less (gross) floorspace to incorporate energy and water efficiency measures.

Developments with exceptionally high total energy consumption

Applications for developments with exceptionally high total energy consumption, such as large leisure facilities with a high heat demand or buildings with exceptionally high power/cooling loads (such as data centres), must reduce the total carbon emissions from the development by 10% through the use of renewable energy measures on site.

BREEAM UK New Construction standards will be used to assess the types of buildings to which this policy applies.  Within the scheme, in addition to (or as a means to) achieving a ‘Very Good’ rating, the proposed development achieves credits in Ene01 ‘reduction of energy use and carbon emissions’ and Ene04 ‘Low carbon design’.  Gaining credits in the energy category will facilitate the reduction of total carbon emissions from the development by 10%.  A pre-application discussion is recommended to clarify the requirements before an application is submitted.

Some building types are not covered under the latest BREEAM UK New Construction scheme.  For example, a BREEAM UK New Construction scheme 2010 version and technical manual for Data Centres (SD5068) should be used for the assessment and certification of data centres.  In this case, relevant developments will be required to achieve at least two credits in the Ene05 ‘low or zero carbon technologies’ category, as well as the minimum standards for a ‘Very Good’ rating.

More information on this is available on our Woking 2027 website

Where it can be demonstrated that the standards set out in this policy cannot be met on site, permission will only be granted if the applicant makes provision for compensatory energy and CO² and water savings elsewhere in the borough equivalent to the carbon savings which would have been made by applying this policy.