UDC commended by Westminster

PUBLISHED: 17:29 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:26 31 May 2010

TOP brass at Westminster have commended Uttlesford District Council s (UDC s) pioneering energy efficiency requirements in home extensions. A report presented to the parliamentary communities and local government committee made reference to UDC s decision

TOP brass at Westminster have commended Uttlesford District Council's (UDC's) pioneering energy efficiency requirements in home extensions.

A report presented to the parliamentary communities and local government committee made reference to UDC's decision to require energy-saving measures in any home extension granted planning permission.

The relevant passage in the Existing Housing and Climate Change report said: "The Government has also pointed out that local authorities possess planning powers and can, if they choose, set higher local standards than exist nationally.

"In Essex, Uttlesford District Council has become the first local authority in the UK to do so on consequential improvements, requiring, as part of planning permission, that cost-effective improvements be carried out within six months of completion of, or first use of, a new extension."

Obviously impressed by the council's scheme, the committee urged the Government to "follow the lead set by Uttlesford District Council" and integrate environmentally friendly conditions into national planning regulations.

Cllr Jackie Cheetham, development control committee member, said: "By enacting these minor improvements to a property, homeowners can help so much in lowering carbon emissions in the district and the country as a whole. It is these small things that can make a huge difference."

Energy efficiency surveyor at UDC, Jake Roos, was delighted that the council's work had received such recognition.

"To be recognised by an influential committee at Westminster is no mean feat for a small local authority like Uttlesford," he said. "We very much hope the lead we have taken with our planning condition will be followed by other councils."

In a further confirmation of UDC's green credentials, judges of the international Ashden Awards commended the council's work in sustainability.

Although the authority failed to progress through to the final round of the competition, it impressed judges enough for them to award the council £1000 to put towards its environmental work.

Mr Roos said: "We were also pleased to get as far as we did in the Ashden Awards - we exceeded our own expectations in this regard. The £1000 grant is most welcome and will be used for furthering our carbon reduction work within council operations and in the wider community.

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