Why Local Plan won’t secure our futures
ON Friday, at 11.15am, Climate Action will hold a brief six-person demonstration outside City Hall before handing in a petition based on the policies we want to see in the next draft of the city council’s Local Plan.
Hundreds of people in Leicester have signed this petition because they desperately want to see Leicester reduce its carbon emissions and prepare for climate change so its effects on us are not devastating.
Ensuring we develop sustainably is an essential part of this, and at the moment this Local Plan does little to prepare for, or minimise, what is to come.
It contains some good start points, but so far it is weak and lacks teeth. It needs specific standards and targets; built-in improvements to these over time; ways to measure the effectiveness of these policies and mechanisms to compel action.
The next 15 years are key in addressing climate change and this plan, which covers the same time period, currently fails to grasp the urgency and spirit of the times.
Examples of policies which should be in the Local Plan, but aren’t, include the following:
■ Specific requirements for new buildings and redevelopments of older buildings to be deeply energy efficient.
Requirement for maximisation of renewable energy generation in new building developments and specific land allocation for solar and wind farms to provide clean green energy for the city to help us reduce our carbon footprint.
Specific land allocation for mass tree planting, especially food trees, to absorb carbon and act to reduce flooding and heatwaves locally while increasing local food security.
Transport and development policies which, given the necessity of tackling inequality, improving health and reducing carbon emissions, commit the council to prioritising public and active transport over car use and include applying for a bus franchise.
Higher housing densities requirements and higher affordable housing requirements, especially affordable rental housing, in order to address the housing needs of those who will suffer most as climate change takes, while reducing the loss of green spaces needed to reduce the impacts of climate change.
Leicester Climate Action