DRAFT Carbon Reduction and Sustainable Retrofit Guidance for Historic Buildings Technical Advice Note
- Meeting of Climate and Environment Panel (Panel of the Scrutiny Committee), Tuesday 27 June 2023 6.00 pm (Item 6.)
The Panel is asked to consider the draft Technical Advice Note and agree any recommendations.
Cllr Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Healthier Communities; Cllr Anna Railton, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford and Climate Justice; David Butler, Head of Planning Services; Rachel Williams, Planning Policy and Place Manager; Daniel Young, Principal Planner; Mish Tullar, Head of Corporate Strategy; Mai Jarvis, Environmental Sustainability Lead; and Rose Dickinson, Carbon Reduction Team Manager have been invited to present this item and answer questions.
Cllr Upton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Healthier Communities introduced the DRAFT Carbon Reduction and Sustainable Retrofit Guidance for Historic Buildings Technical Advice Note (TAN), which was intended to act as a helpful guide for residents who were thinking about retrofitting their home.
Daniel Young, Principal Planner added that the Local Plan 2036 set out the Council’s specific policies which would be supported by the TAN; the TAN was one of many tools to assist residents in interpreting the policies within the current Local Plan 2036.
The Panel was advised that a key aim in updating the TAN from the previous version was to make it shorter and clearer, ensure alignment with the Council’s net zero ambitions and help give applicants the best chance of their retrofit application being successful.
During discussion, the Panel raised a wide range of questions and noted the following:
· The Panel’s scope for input into the TAN did not include veering into detailed technical discussion.
· Gardens were not within scope of the TAN; references to curtilage and gardens was more related to buildings within the garden or curtilage.
· The TAN would be updated again once the Local Plan 2040 had been approved and published to ensure alignment.
· The document included a lot of technical jargon and was quite densely worded, which would impact accessibility and usability by applicants.
· It would be useful to incorporate previous advice given to local community projects for reference.
· Assumptions had been made relating to customer experience which were not necessarily correct.
· The TAN had been shared with partners via the Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership (ZCOP) for feedback.
· The TAN included a number of institutional case studies and only one domestic case study; the inclusion of more domestic case studies would be useful.
· There were various examples of best practice from other local authorities that could be drawn on.
· The Council could do more to support retrofit applications and needed clearer messaging that it was committed to actively supporting applicants to go through the retrofit process.
The Panel agreed to recommend to Cabinet that:
1. The Council reviews the language used in the TAN to ensure it is accessible to residents and incorporates a glossary to explain technical terms.
2. The Council includes more examples of successful domestic scale retrofit projects, including for non-listed buildings in conservation areas, as well as in listed buildings.
3. The Council challenges its existing assumptions around customer experience in relation to retrofit applications and seeks to engage with organisations and individuals who have gone or are currently going through the retrofit process to understand their experiences and feed those into the TAN and the broader planning process to improve usability and overall customer experience.
4. The Council reviews its existing Article 4 Directions to see whether they create unnecessary obstacles to applicants wanting to install carbon retrofit measures.
5. The Council, looking at the approach taken by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, considers using Local Development Orders to make clear that certain low carbon approaches will be approved by the Council.
6. The Council makes it clear in the TAN and broader messaging that it supports retrofit applications in heritage and conservation areas and will actively support applicants to go through that process.
7. The Council takes a much clearer approach to setting out for householders and applicants what its response will be to proposals for specific retrofit measures, being clear about how that might vary from conservation area to conservation area.
Cllr Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Healthier Communities; David Butler, Head of Planning Services; Rachel Williams, Planning Policy and Place Manager; and Daniel Young, Principal Planner left the meeting and did not return.
- DRAFT Carbon Reduction and Sustainable Retrofit Guidance for Historic Buildings TAN, item 6. PDF 1 MB View as DOCX (6./1) 771 KB