From the desk of Cllr Ian Picker, Portfolio Holder for Growth and Investment.
As we move forward with our ambitious plans to tackle climate change and build a sustainable future here in Rugby, the planning system undoubtedly has a significant role to play. That is why, as a member and then Chair of the Planning Committee at Rugby Borough Council I always sought to ensure that the development taking place in Rugby is fit for the future by not only incorporating best practice but seeking to go further where we can in encouraging sustainable and environmentally friendly design. This is a goal I share not only with my colleagues across the Council, but also with the overwhelming majority of residents in Rugby. That is why we have brought forward a Climate Change and Sustainable Design Supplementary Planning Document and we have consulted on the ideas and options it contains. This document, when adopted, will help to ensure that from the inception of plans for new homes, new industrial buildings or even changes of use within our existing communities, the principles of sustainable and environmentally friendly design and development are at the heart of future development in Rugby. This work is vital because buildings play such a crucial role in our work to tackle climate change. At all phases of a building’s life, there are opportunities to decrease the carbon footprint – at the design stage, at the construction stage, and whilst the building is being used. This Sustainable Design SPD will give our planners the tools they need to ensure that this practice is followed, including encouraging greater use of energy generation measures including solar panels or domestic wind turbines, environmentally friendly heating options such as ground or air sourced heat pumps, and the use of innovative construction methods to reduce the overall carbon impact of the next generation of homes. We’re also looking at the wider ways in which our planning system can enhance and protect the environment. Through this, we will seek to ensure that developments incorporate high quality landscaping, green and blue infrastructure and a focus on protecting habits for all species, but especially vulnerable species. We all know how important the preservation of natural habits is and both I and everyone at the Council want to ensure that our Borough’s future growth is sensitive to the natural environment.