Local authorities commonly require additional reports to be submitted at the planning stage of a development which illustrates how developers are considering energy performance, renewable energy, and key sustainability issues.
Requirements vary from one authority to the next, as does the level of detail they require, however they broadly fall into two categories; an energy report or a sustainability statement.
Councils regularly request details of how a planned development is going to achieve local targets for carbon emissions.
Energy reports are compiled at the planning stage not only to ensure renewable energy targets are met but to develop cost-efficient specifications that ensure the development achieves a low energy design, which is beneficial to the developer and future occupants. SAP/SBEM calculations will be carried out to provide the data for the report.
Emissions targets vary dependent on the authority/council, however, generally authorities are looking for a reduction in emissions, through high fabric efficiency and/or through renewable energy generation, over and above Building Regulations requirements.
Many authorities will request a more detailed Sustainability Statement. This demonstrates how the development will address core policies and key local objectives.
Policies often covered include recycling, electric car charging, wildlife preservation, water efficiency, surface water run-off and cycle storage.
The London Plan
The most well known local policy is the London Plan. Building any property in London is subject to stringent requirements on energy use, renewable energy generation, and sustainability – for the city to achieve its zero-carbon targets.
The requirement of the London Plan varies by authority/council, but we generally see a requirement for a 35% reduction in emissions above Building Regulations requirements on small developments, and a zero-carbon target on large developments alongside a requirement for full overheating analysis to be carried out.
Supporting documentation is required at planning stages to prove this has been factored into the design of the building and often forms part of your planning conditions before proceeding with the build.
More details on The London Plan can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Energy reports are supporting documents for planning applications and are often required as part of a planning condition, if one has not previously been requested. They are used to demonstrate that a development meets energy standards and local carbon emission requirements (generally an improvement on general Building Regulations requirements). Often on site renewable energy is also required as part of this planning condition.
These demonstrate that the development meets numerous local targets beyond simply carbon emissions. Areas generally covered are surface water run off, electric car charging, cycle storage, wildlife protection and recycling/waste management. The details required in these reports varies depending on the size of the development.
This will very much depend on the size of the development and the requirements for each report. You can send your drawings and planning conditions to us for a full quotation.
We will need a full set up drawings and the planned build specification. Where the existing specification does not meet the requirements we will advise on changes that can be made in order to achieve what is required. For sustainability statements we will discuss your plans in more detail to get an idea of routes you would like to explore in order to satisfy local requirements
Yes. The reports will detail items that you will need to install in order to achieve local targets, such as dedicated cycle storage, recycling facilities, bird boxes and/or solar panels, to name a few examples. Should there be anything in the reports which you are not willing to do then this should be discussed at design stage and an alternative route to compliance discussed.