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Joint input into Bristol’s Local Plan

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Dave Tudgey and Matt Wood provide an update from a recent meeting discussing responses to Bristol’s local plan. Dave Tudgey is Project Development Officer for Bristol Energy Network (BEN), an umbrella organisation for individuals and community groups with an interest in energy in Bristol and the surrounding area. Matt Wood a member of Bedminster Energy Group (BEG) – a group of local volunteers working to support the local community of Bedminster and Southville to cut their energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of their homes – and a Senior Project Manager with Bioregional.

On 18 April 2019, Bristol Energy Network (BEN) brought together group of BEN members and Bristol Green Capital Partnership contacts to consider the latest proposals for Bristol’s local plan.

The city’s local plan is in its final stage of review. Once adopted it will not be updated again for another 10 years. As the plan takes full force next year, this coincides with timeline suggested by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that we now have 10 years to get our emissions under control. But some other agencies and scientists suggest that even this is not enough.

Therefore, it was felt that given elected members of Bristol City Council have declared a climate emergency, this new local plan should be radical and far-reaching. This meeting was well-attended by Bristol Energy Network and Bristol Green Capital Partnership members including: Bristol Civic Society, Positive Impact Community Housing, Bristol Energy Network, the CHEESE Project, Ambition Lawrence Weston, the Blue Finger Alliance and businesses Sunlight Futures (domestic & SME renewable energy installers) and local consultancies Max Fordham and Hoare Lea.

The organisations present are going to respond individually to the Local Plan, but all felt that it is important to also contribute to shared narrative so that collectively we can have as much impact as possible.

Those attending the meeting were supportive of the many policies that Bristol City Council has already developed and implemented that are working towards carbon neutrality. But they also felt strongly that climate change and carbon neutral goals must lead the local plan and act as a key driver for all the policies within it. Each section needs to clearly set out what the carbon options are, and how the Plan will enable achieving the lowest possible carbon impacts. Where carbon emissions are unavoidable, the plan needs to show how these will be sequestered.

We have setup a Google Doc with a policy theme template for sharing evidence, proposals for changing draft policy text and precedents, plus a proposed foreword for the document on ‘climate change and environmental sustainability’. If you would like to contribute to this, please contact Matt Wood on matt.wood@bioregional.com or David Tudgey on projects@bristolenergynetwork.org.

Key local plan consultation dates

Friday 10 May: suggested ‘deadline’ for BEN/Partnership contacts to add evidence and proposals to the Google Doc, to enable people to use these in the their responses before the consultation deadline

Friday 24 May: consultation deadline

Other key dates

Thursday 2 May: the UK Climate Change Committee publishes its new advice on reaching net zero carbon emissions nationally

Friday 3 May, 1700: deadline for registering interest in engaging with public inspection hearings on the West of England Joint Spatial Plan, under which the Bristol local plan will ultimately sit (see Partnership news piece)

See also

Local Plan Review 

Partnership news piece with members’ responses to the first round

International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report

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