Councils awarded £30k for carbon neutral homes

Sunset over the green hills countryside in England, Dorset

Three councils across the region have been awarded £30,000 from the Local Government Housing Advisers Programme to develop a toolkit to help their delivery of highly efficient carbon neutral homes.

This year, Cotswold, West Oxfordshire and Forest of Dean District Councils all declared a ‘climate emergency’ with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality in their areas within the next decade. Now they have made a successful bid through the Housing Advisers Programme to secure expert advice to assist in the production of a toolkit (similar to a residential design guide) that will guide how carbon neutral developments could be achieved.

Cllr Steve Good, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “This funding allows our partnership to produce a bespoke carbon neutral development policy.

“With a well-designed toolkit, including Passivhaus standards to provide virtually zero heating bills, the partnership will embrace the challenges of design and delivery on major developments including a new garden village, single dwellings, rural exception sites and the retrofitting of existing homes across the partnership.”

Cllr Lisa Spivey, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness at Cotswold District Council, said: This is a really exciting opportunity for us to innovate and provide a robust guide for developers and homeowners to advance carbon neutral design in what is a very rural area.

“As the lead authority on this project, we are committed to working together with our partner councils to create sustainable and vibrant developments whilst protecting our landscape and heritage.

“The Council’s work to tackle the climate emergency goes hand in hand with delivering social rented homes, if we build carbon zero houses we significantly reduce the energy costs for future tenants.”

Cllr Di Martin, Cabinet Member for Housing, Forest of Dean District Council, explained: “A key strategic aim of this partnership is to help tackle climate change. This will be achieved by accelerating the delivery of energy efficient and carbon neutral dwellings in the district while addressing the demands of existing stock that meets the needs of a growing population and promotes growth in the local economy.”

Work towards the toolkit will run alongside the production of local plan policies with an aim to introduce the toolkit for publication by spring 2021.

The carbon neutral toolkit will assist developers, housing providers, existing homeowners, self-builders and local communities wishing to work with the councils to bring forward sustainable carbon neutral applications.

The Local Government Association’s Housing Advisers Programme 2019-20 is designed to support councils seeking to innovate in meeting the housing needs of their communities.