Waveney Local Plan

Sustainable Construction

232 Lowestoft Sixth Form College8.148 New development can contribute significantly to climate change though the generation of carbon emissions during construction and in subsequent use.

8.149 The energy and water efficiency of new buildings is controlled by Building Regulations. However, there is still a role for the planning system. For water efficiency the Government has introduced an optional technical standard that requires new housing to go further than building regulations and be designed to consume 110 litres/person/day as opposed to 125 litres/person/day. Additionally Local Planning Authorities can encourage developers to consider improvements to the energy efficiency and the sustainability of buildings with respect to carbon emissions.

8.150 The Waveney Renewable Energy and Sustainable Construction Supplementary Planning Document (2009) indicated that new office and school development could viably achieve the enhanced sustainability standard of 'Very Good' as set by the British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. There is no evidence to suggest that circumstances have changed which would mean this standard can no longer be met.

8.151 The Waveney Water Cycle Study (2017) identifies that whilst Essex and Suffolk Water predict there to be a surplus supply of water over the plan period to 2036, the area is within an area of water stress as identified by the Environment Agency. Demand management is part of Essex and Suffolk Water's strategy to ensure there are sufficient resources over the period. The study estimates that the cost of achieving the enhanced building control regulation referred to above is very low and could help contribute to achieving 52% water neutrality in the District (where the amount of water used before planned growth is the same as that after growth).

8.152 Policy WLP8.28 sets out the Council's approach to securing and encouraging the development of more sustainable buildings to lower energy and water usage and help reduce the District's contribution to climate change.

8.153 A key element of the policy is requiring a sustainability statement to be submitted with a planning application for major development[1] demonstrating how the developer has considered improvements to the sustainability of the buildings and the development. The policy also applies the optional building regulation standard for new dwellings in terms of water efficiency and requires new school and office development to achieve the 'Very Good' standard set by the British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. In demonstrating that the development achieves 'Very Good', design stage certificates will be required and planning conditions will require the submission of post-construction certificates. 

Policy WLP8.28 - Sustainable Construction

Proposals for major residential and commercial development schemes should demonstrate through the submission of a sustainability statement that, where practical, they have incorporated:

  • Improved efficiency of heating, cooling, and lighting of buildings by maximising daylight and passive solar gain through the orientation and design of buildings.
  • Sustainable water management measures such as the use of sustainable drainage systems, green roofs and/or rainwater harvesting systems.
  • Locally sourced and recycled materials.
  • Renewable and low carbon energy generation into the design of new developments. Larger schemes should explore the scope for district heating.
  • Minimising construction waste, including designing out waste during the design stage, selecting sustainable and efficient building materials and reusing materials where possible.
  • Accessible and unobtrusive sustainable waste management facilities such as appropriate provision of refuse/recycling/composting bin storage.
  • Promotion of sustainable transport modes including secure and convenient cycle storage and charging points for electric vehicles.
  • A show home demonstrating environmentally sustainable options which can be purchased and installed in homes bought off-plan.

All new residential development in the District should achieve the optional technical standard in terms of water efficiency of 110 litres/person/day unless it can be demonstrated that it is not viable or feasible to do so.

All new office and school developments in Waveney of equal or greater than 1,000 sqm gross floorspace are required to achieve the British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method "Very Good" standard or equivalent unless it can be demonstrated that it is not viable or feasible to do so.


1. As defined in the Development Management Procedure Order 2010 (as amended) i.e. 10 or more houses or 1,000sqm floorspace of non-residential development. [back]