East Suffolk maps out carbon neutral council homes plan
PUBLISHED: 05:26 07 May 2020
SUFFOLK COUNT COUNCIL
Plans to provide environmentally-friendlier homes have been outlined by a Suffolk council, as part of measures to address the climate emergency.
A report prepared by East Suffolk Council in response to a motion from the Labour group at the start of the year calling for carbon-neutral new builds revealed plans to pursue minimised carbon emissions in new council properties.
It has also been working to encourage private developers to build to those standards and embarked on work to improve the green credentials of existing council properties, following the declaration of a climate emergency last year.
MORE: East Suffolk Council declares climate emergency
During a meeting of the council’s cabinet held virtually on Wednesday afternoon, it was confirmed that “the challenge of climate change means measures to minimise carbon emissions, promote renewable energy and manage water effectively should be an integral part of design solutions.
“We seek to improve energy efficiency and meet current modern standards and provide new homes that meet these standards where it is feasible to do so within the constraints of site layout, orientation and financial viability.”
Conservative cabinet member for housing, Richard Kerry, said that examples in Corby and Norwich were among those being assessed to see what could be learnt for East Suffolk, and added “Our ongoing maintenance programme is still reducing our carbon output”.
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That includes replacing single glazing windows, bio-fuel heating systems in retirement living complexes and solar panels.
The cabinet pledged to develop a plan for the council’s existing stock to become carbon neutral going forward.
Conservative cabinet member for the environment James Mallinder added that it showed “the environment is taken really seriously at East Suffolk and embedded in our decision-making process”.
Louise Gooch, Labour, who put forward the motion in January, said she was pleased a productive outcome had resulted from the motion.
Labour group leader Peter Byatt added: “This now gives us the opportunity to thoroughly investigate all aspects of zero-carbon construction and retro-fit across our new district council, with the intention of improving the lives of our residents, being fiscally prudent in the long-term and supporting the council’s green agenda.”
Green group leader Graham Elliott said: “We shouldn’t be building houses that aren’t fit for the 21st Century. Carbon neutrality is the standard we have to go for.”
The matter is expected to come back for a broader debate to full council in the future.
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