Cutting your costs

Want to make your homes more energy efficient? You might like to know that updated planning guidance to help residents and businesses in Bath and North East Somerset do just that is going out for consultation.

People will be able to have their say on a raft of measures and practical guidance that would allow more sustainable construction and retrofitting on buildings in Bath & North East Somerset.

Following the council’s Climate Emergency declaration two planning documents could be merged to better align with and help deliver practical, positive and more up-to-date advice so people can improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.   

The proposal is to merge and update the Sustainable Construction & Retrofitting Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy in Historic Buildings SPD.

The reviewed and combined SPD would be called the ‘Energy Efficiency Retrofitting and Sustainable Construction SPD and would

  • Provide simple, practical guidance on retrofit and sustainable construction for all building types while having regard to statutory legislation
  • Facilitate all householders and smallscale developers to approach build projects more sustainably
  • Support the uptake of retrofitting measures
  • Support planning, housing, building control and conservation officers to provide consistent and quality advice
  • Enable the council’s goal of achieving 65,000 retrofits in B&NES by 2030.

The draft SPD will go out for public consultation for six weeks from 27 August to 8 October alongside the Local Plan Partial Update consultation.  

Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Planning, said: “The proposed changes to these supplementary planning documents will play a really important role in helping us all to make our homes and buildings more energy efficient. It is vital that people have their say on them when the consultation launches later this month. The aim is to ensure we deliver sustainable development to meet the needs of people now and for future generations which at the same time complies with the relevant legislation.”

If approved the new SPD would provide more practical information on how to retrofit more effectively on a raft of measures to buildings including

  • a ‘Quick Wins’ checklist giving practical, free and cheap solutions to save fuel and water.
  • Advice on draughtproofing historic buildings
  • Grey water harvesting
  • Timber floor draftproofing  
  • Secondary glazing
  • Insulating solid floors
  • Air source heat pumps for central heating  
  • retrofitting Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
  • Affordable warmth, with a particular focus on addressing this issue within historic buildings.
  • The new SPD will empower the reader with the knowledge about their rights, as well as the various legislative processes, schemes and strategies to enable affordable warmth for all.

You can find more details here: