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1 West Midlands Sustainability Checklist George Marsh Chair Sustainability West Midlands

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Post on 28-Dec-2015




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Leadership Team, Staff Briefing*
Who we are
SWM is the sustainability adviser for the leaders of the West Midlands.
Government recognised ‘regional sustainability champion body’
Our Board is private sector led and cross-sector representative
We are a not-for-profit company, that works with our members in the business, public and voluntary sectors.
Our role is to act as a catalyst for change through :
advice to leaders
Our Vision
By 2020 businesses and communities are thriving in a West Midlands that is environmentally sustainable and socially just.
Advice to leaders
Regional Economic Strategy – ‘Connecting to success’ – the UK first Low Carbon Regional Economic Strategy.
SWM role to review annual progress across all low carbon aspects
Developing practical solutions with our members
Sustainability Housing Action Programme – work with partners to establish scale of challenge for retrofit and to promote pilot solutions
Business Futures – work with a range of large businesses and support networks to share good practice in resource efficiency and innovation to inform future business support
National Sustainability Checklist for Developments:
A National Sustainability Checklist was commissioned by ODPM, supported by WWF and devised by BRE to promote high quality development that would support sustainable communities.
The national Checklist was published in 2002
Developers asking for more commonality.
Planning policy is created at regional level and there are regional differences.
How the Checklist was prepared
Derived from draft RSS and Regional Housing Strategy for the region, national planning policy, regional sustainable development policy
Incorporates other guidance from statutory bodies.
Development managed by a steering group comprising a number of local authorities, the Regional Assembly GOWM and AWM
Considerable assistance from a range of other organisations.
Local Development Framework
(optional SPD)
The Checklist is a website based tool
An online tool to aid decision makers in the development of sustainable communities:
All users have individual, secure accounts in which they can store multiple developments..
The website is designed to be intuitive and user friendly, holding all the information required to complete a checklist and explaining the questions.
Climate change and energy
Flood Risk PPS 25 Flash Flooding Ventilation & cooling Heat Island effect Water recycling Energy strategy % Renewables Sustainable heating Ease of Retrofit Infrastructure expansion Energy infrastructure Smart meters Community Community involvement Sustainable lifestyle info Community facilities
Site characteristics % open space Re-use of buildings Design statement Landscaping scheme Retain area character Physical/visual links Public realm Ease of navigation ‘Active frontage’ Defensible spaces Local character Access to green space Outdoor recreation Adaptable buildings Inclusive community Diverse communities Secure by Design Street lighting Security lighting Ecology Ecological survey Improve ecolog value Wildllife corridors Tree/shrub mix
Heritage preservation Low impact materials Locally reclaimed Local sourcing Water efficiency strategy Water pollution Water efficiency Waste recycling Noise Impact Minimise landfill Business Complement existing businesses Promote bus growth Attract inward investment Connectivity & communication Create jobs Contribute to Regeneration
How the Checklist works
Each category comprises a number of questions. The exact question set depends on the size of the development. (70 questions across all categories).
Each question has 3 possible responses to chose from, correlating to best, good and minimum practice.
The developer provides a written justification (evidence) for the response they give – an audit trail.
To answer each question a developer selects the benchmark that the development design has met from a choice of three:
Good Practice
Best Practice
The minimum is the Local Authority or regional / national policy minimum, but those who produce good and best practice are rewarded with a higher score.
There is also a not applicable which the developer can mark if they believe that the question is irrelevant to them
Not Applicable’s should be agreed in consultation with the planning authority – either in pre application discussion or through the justification provided for the question.
The “minimum not met” would occur if the developer and planner agree that the question is relevant to the development, but the developer is unable to meet the standard. It is for the planner to decide if this is acceptable in the circumstance and context of the development.
At the start of the checklist completion process it is a requirement to state the size of the development:
<10 Small
>6000 Bespoke
Some questions are only relevant to a particular size of development. By entering the size of the development the website will ensure that only those questions relevant to your development are answered.
Example - Q5 of 13 in Climate Change
What % of domestic water use in operation will be provided for by rain water collection and/or grey water recycling systems ?
Best : >50%
What % of the existing buildings on site will be re-used/refurbished ?
Best : 100 %
Good : > 50%
Using the Checklist
The developer is required to complete the ‘Justification’ box with his justification for the benchmark – minimum, GP, BP – to enable the planning authority to understand why they have met the benchmark that they have selected.
This could be an extract from another document submitted (with a link so it can be followed up), a complete justification in its own right. In rare cases, it can be a commitment to take a particular action.
Questions within each category are weighted individually - shown graphically
Questions are weighted to reflect significance within their category.
Each question can be awarded its own individual weighting from 0.5 through to 1.0.
This is an opportunity for the planning authority to influence the qualities of the development that they wish to see in their locale.
EXAMPLE: For example a Authority may have a particular emphasis on employment and opportunities for skills improvement. It is here that the Policy Planners would have the opportunity to weight those questions in the ‘Business’ category highly, probably a 1.0 weighting.
Using the Checklist
An overall percentage score is awarded for each of the eight categories.
The thermometer diagrams provide a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of a development across the categories.
Developers can see where their development is potentially in need of improvement, and deeper analysis can be undertaken by looking into that category and the individual questions.
Areas of concern can be picked up by planners and interrogated through analysis of the questions and their justification.
Both planners and developers should be ensuring that the predetermined priority issues are scoring highly.
Users can see:
is not applicable
How would the Checklist be used on a site proposal:
Design team use before design commences to identify the issues that may need to be addressed.
Pre-application discussions if required to cover:
Questions deemed not applicable to this site
Any specific targets
Use during stakeholder consultation exercises as common basis for discussion.
Iterative use during design process to monitor performance and make adjustments to design if required prior to submission.
Once satisfied with performance, submit with planning application.
What the Checklist does for Planners
Combines information about the sustainability of the proposal in one place.
Provides graphic overview of sustainability performance of proposal – detail can be checked if required.
Common format helps build familiarity and therefore speed in dealing with applications.
Helps the planner by indicating what constitutes “good” and “best” practice on each issue.
Helps planning authorities to deliver their responsibilities under the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act, Planning Policy Statement 1 etc.
Can be modified to fit local circumstance if required (Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment).
Provides data for the Annual Monitoring Report.
It does not:
Make decisions. It’s a tool for decision makers, not a decision making tool.
Replace Environmental Impact Assessments or other statutory requirements. However data from other Assessments can be used to respond to Checklist questions if there is overlap.
Circumvent planning policy i.e. development plan allocations.
Only time minimum standards are already there is where they are in regional or national policy.
Checklist uptake
West Midlands Checklist and website tool were launched in July 2007.
Training offered in 2008
Wolverhampton City Council used the Checklist as the basis of their Sustainable Communities SPD – launched summer 2008
Website statistics show increasing use but registration of projects varies widely across the region
A number of local authorities are referring developers to the Checklist, have used the Checklist as a validation criterion, will be using the Checklist to inform sustainable development SPDs
Checklist review and updating
Regional invitation to review the Checklist attended by local authorities and other regional bodies with an interest in planning – Feb 2009
Consultation on a range of technical issues including inclusion, Building for Life continues
Imminent changes to:
Inclusion of Building for Life in placemaking section
Longer term:
inclusion of ‘missing’ issues such as air quality and tranquillity
Fundamental review of the logical sequence of questions – topic based as currently or timeline according to development design
Pilot revised Checklist with the development sector
Aim to keep consistency with other regional checklists and the newly launched BREEAM Communities
Develop a regional awareness raising and training programme