Goods Yard carbon dioxide reduction plans get expert scrutiny
Specialist consultants are reviewing Bellway’s environmental measures at Bishop’s Stortford’s £200m Good Yard site.
Cllr Jan Goodeve, East Herts Council’s executive member for planning and growth, confirmed that the authority has still not signed off a bid by the homes builder to abandon a 24.6% carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction target and deliver just 3.2%.
The indie’s GreenWatch columnist Louise Tennekoon highlighted the proposals in her November 25 column and called on residents to lobby MP Julie Marson and ensure the developer delivers on the original sustainability pledge.
Solum, the partnership between Network Rail and Kier Property, has a 10-year plan to create a new gateway for the town at the train station.
The first phase consists of a new bus link through the site connecting Station Road and Dane Street with London Road, a new transport interchange and station square outside the station and multi-storey car park.
There are also plans for an 85-bed hotel, set to be operated by Premier Inn, shops, offices and 149 new homes which Bellway is now building.
Later phases will include a second multi-storey, a 55-bed care home and more than 400 further properties.
The district council’s Liberal Democrat group leader and Bishop’s Stortford member Cllr Mione Goldspink questioned Cllr Goodeve, about the Indie’s expose.
She said: “Can the executive member please tell me what level of CO2 reduction has been accepted, and is it compatible with this council’s stated ambition of making the whole of the district carbon neutral by 2030?”
Cllr Goodeve confirmed that the original planning application indicated a 24% CO2 reduction was achievable.
She said: “Bellway Homes have proposed a lower CO2 reduction level of 3.2%. This has been sent to specialist consultants for review and discussions are on-going with the developer with the aim of seeking to improve this carbon dioxide reduction level.
“Given this, I can confirm that the current offer from Bellway Homes has not been accepted but we do need to be mindful that the council’s planning policy is not prescriptive on this matter in
that no specific target level is outlined.”
She said Bellway’s reduction nevertheless exceeded building regulation requirements, notwithstanding the previous 24% offer by Solum.
However she said: “Whilst being mindful of overall development viability, as outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework, it is considered appropriate to seek to encourage the developer to be more aspirational on this matter.”
Cllr Goldspink pressed her, asking if building work should be halted until the matter was resolved.
She said: “Or do we just have to accept it and hope that everything will turn out all right?
Cllr Goodeve told her: “All I can say is that discussions are still ongoing and that the conditions have not been discharged.”