Penzance Town Centre

Penzance Town Centre

Saturday 13 June 2020

Climate Change opportunities ignored in proposed local Housing Scheme

Planning application PA20/01533 seeks permission to build 77 houses (23 affordable) on land between Penzance Astro Park and the A30. Despite the acknowledgement of a climate emergency nationally and locally there is not a single solar panel proposed although all 77 houses have pitched roofs? 

The Planning Statement accompanying the application has answers to all of the applicable sections of the National Planning Policy Framework with the exception of Section 14 “ Meeting the challenge of climate change,flooding and coastal change”. On climate change and the opportunity to maximize the use of renewable energy/reduce greenhouse gas emissions there is nothing – absolutely zero – it is as if Section 14 has been airbrushed out of existence. Part of the reason will be the Government's policy of not allowing Planning Authorities to require a technical standard higher than its own undemanding standard.

However Planning Authorities are entitled to ask the question –“ how does this application help increase the use and supply of renewable and low carbon energy” (NPPF para 151 refers) even if it cannot demand that the development should help or help more.  

Penzance Council, a planning consultee, objected to the development because of the lack of any consideration of renewables in the application but has been corrected by the Planning Authority because the reason for objection does not comply of Govt policy. There is however such a thing as ‘name and shame’ and this is what is required if we are to avoid sleepwalking into the future spending billions of pounds building inadequate houses. Government can be shamed into raising minimum standards and buyers discouraged from buying them.  UK standards for energy efficiency typically lag behind leading European national standards by up to 20 years.


Cornwall Council declared a climate change emergency on 22 Jan 19.

Penzance Town Council declared a climate change emergency on 8 Apr 19.

National Planning Policy Framework (Feb 19) here.

Energy efficiency in British housing. Wikipedia article here.  

Penzance Council resolution 9 Mar 20 requiring solar panels on housing developments of 5+ houses.  Minute here (para 136(g) refers)