In considering a particular decentralised and renewable or low carbon (DRLC) technology for the development, an applicant should have considered a number of issues all of which will improve or worsen its feasibility. In the energy statement or other element of the application which covers sustainable energy, you should look for evidence that they have considered some or all of the following which are all issues that can affect the feasibility of some or all DRLC technologies:
|Heat and power demand||Compatibility between the profile of heat and power demands of the site and output of the technology|
|Availability of space||
Plant room space
|Site and building design||
Availability of south-facing roofs
Sufficient wind speeds
Local biomass supply chain
Proximity of existing power stations
|Proximity of sensitive sites||
Protected sites for nature
Neighbouring residential properties
|Other impacts||Noise, air quality, visual, conservation areas|
An assessment of feasibility may consider whether a given technology can make a sufficient contribution to energy supply and emissions reductions to justify its installation in a particular location and this should be particularly carefully considered where its installation may compromise climate change adaptation issues.
Many applicants will be less familiar with the term climate change adaptation and you therefore may not find an explicit statement saying that it has been considered in assessing the feasibility of DRLC. In such cases, you should look out for how the issues of adaptation have been covered in the application. See the Policy Context and Principles of an Evidence Base for information around climate change adaptation – summarised below are the key areas of climate change adaptation consideration:
- Increased temperatures: excessive solar gain, overheating in buildings, heightened impact in urban areas. More shade and outdoor space may be needed.
- Increased winter rainfall: increasing the risk of flooding and water-quality issues.
- Decreased summer rainfall: risk of drought. Green infrastructure may require irrigation.
- Rising sea levels: higher risk of coastal flooding and erosion due to a combination of storm surges, high tides and increasing average sea level.
- Ground movement: drier summers may increase the risk of subsidence and heave arising from shrinkage and swelling of soils, particularly clay. Ground stability issues may have implications for site allocation and building foundations.
- More extreme weather events: unpredictable events such as a heat waves and heavy rainfall.
The relevance of all the issues mentioned here to a specific site will be affected by the scale, layout, location, density and mix of uses in a development. Not all of these issues will determine whether a technology is suitable, but they may affect how it is implemented. You could expect applicants to produce a design which goes as far as practicable to accommodate sustainable energy and climate change adaptation issues. It is very likely that you will need to use your judgement regarding whether a particular application does enough to satisfy any policy(ies) being applied as each development will have different constraints and drivers which should be considered in coming to a decision.