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District Plan

Appendix F: Sustainability Checklist

The checklist below gives an idea of many of the issues that should be considered when planning development. It also gives some ideas for how development might be adapted to make it more sustainable. It should not be treated as a complete list of sustainability issues and appropriate additions to the list by applicants will be welcomed. The revised environmental safeguards will provide further guidance on this checklist and may update the list. Not all of the questions apply to all developments and some indicative thresholds are identified below. Developments will, however, be encouraged to maximise opportunities in all areas where possible.

If the development does not involve any buildings (if, for instance, it is a car park or landscaping), then consider only questions marked “n”;

In each case, an applicant should consider “does my proposal… ?”

1. Land use

Ls provide local facilities or favour the central town over green field sites?

Cl site high traffic-generating uses near good public transport?

Nls avoid loss of open land or urban open space?

Nls use derelict/under-used/vacant land or buildings? (including upper storeys)

L avoid adding to housing pressure?

Ncls encourage a long period of use? (e.g. durable construction, accommodating changing patterns of use)

2. Minerals and soils

Nl minimise the need for aggregates both in construction and operation, and safeguard long-term local resources of sand and gravel?

Nl avoid areas of high quality agricultural land?

Nls include a proper site investigation to identify areas of soil contamination where necessary, and take correct measures for decontamination?

3. Waste

Ncls reduce the size of the waste stream, including toxic and contaminated waste, and ensure that what waste is produced and used is safely handled? (e.g. reuse/recycling, composting, proper safety procedures)

Ncls encourage the use and purchase of recycled, recyclable and durable products? (e.g. use recycled, reused, renewable and durable building materials, salvage material for reuse/recycling, use demolition materials for hardcore and aggregate)

Nl promote recycling and waste sorting as a normal activity? (e.g. provide recycling facilities)

N reduce litter and dogs mess? (e.g. dog bines in parks, fencing to reduce windblown litter)

4. Energy

L reduce the requirements for transport fuel? (e.g. ore attractive public transport, development layouts favouring non-motorised transport, self-contained settlements)

Cls maximise energy efficiency in buildings? (e.g. orientation, spacing and grouping of buildings, size and orientation of windows, natural ventilation, earth sheltering, insulation, lobbies and conservatories as buffer zones, draught proofing, localised temperature controls, weather-breaking plantings)

Ls avoid overshadowing other buildings?

Cls generate energy sustainability? (e.g. combined heat and power, heat/methane recovery from waste, solar panels, other forms of renewable energy) or opt for supply generated from such sources when there is choice of energy companies.

Nls consider the full energy costs of extraction, manufacture, transport, use, and disposal both in construction and operation? (e.g. minimise changes made to site levels during construction, avoid the use of aluminium, renew/repair/refurbish)

5. Air, water, noise, light

Nl reduce air pollution and dust both in construction and operation? (e.g. low NOx boilers, reduction in traffic volumes, damping and wheel cleaning to avoid dust)

Nl reduce greenhouse gas emissions? (e.g. condensing boilers, combined heat and power systems)

Nl improve water quality and protect groundwater from contamination? (e.g. sewer renewal, waterway maintenance, dredging, reedbeds for wastewater treatment)

Cls reduce the need for water? (e.g. water meters, storage and use of grey water)

Nls protect the hydrology of the site and surrounding area and prevent flooding? (e.g. permeable surfaces for car parks/spaces/driveways, minimise road length, avoid water run-off into water courses, avoid building on floodplains)

Cls reduce noise levels? (e.g. traffic reduction, meeting noise standards, noise insulation, use of quieter technology, hours of operation)

Nl reduce levels of pollutants which are not statutorily controlled? (e.g. provide litter bines, minimise night time lighting whilst maintaining safety, minimise odour)

L provide information on pollution levels and sources to allow effective action to be taken? (e.g. pollutant monitoring schemes)

6. Nature

Ncls protect designated sites and other sites/features of nature conservation importance? (SSSIs, green corridors, other sites of nature conservation importance, important trees, hedgerows and verges, drainage ditches)

Nls conserve and make positive provision for nature conservation? (e.g. nature reserves, naturally shaped watercourses, green corridors between sites, plantings to encourage wildlife and biodiversity, gardens and allotments, use native Hertfordshire and British species)

Ncls ensure that waste products do not harm wildlife?

Cls avoid the use of tropical hardwoods?

7. Local needs

Ncls meet local needs? (e.g. gardens and allotments)

L make local facilities (shops, post office, chemist, youth club, bus service etc.) and centres more viable and reduce travel needs?

L link local production with consumption, keep money in the local economy? (e.g. local supplier/labour agreements)

L mainly benefit small and/or locally based businesses?

8. Basic needs

Ncls work the eradication of poverty and decent quality of life for all? (e.g. start-up business units, gardens and allotments)

Cl reduce homelessness and unfit housing? (affordable housing, commuted payment for affordable/social housing)

L target improvements to where fuel poverty or waste is greatest? (e.g. thermal efficiency of renewal housing)

9. Satisfying work

Cl increase employment opportunities for local people? (e.g. training courses, inward investment, small business units)

L encourage creativity, diversity and innovation in the local economy?

L support economic life without incurring hidden environmental costs? (e.g. life cycle costing, environmental impact assessments)

Cl promote socially and environmentally responsible business practice? (e.g. waste minimisation, office recycling, energy saving schemes, noise reduction)

10. Health

Cls avoid unsafe building materials? (e.g. asbestos, lead paints, organochlorides)

L improve health provision in the local area?

11. Access

L minimise distances to main employment centres, retail centres, recreation and community facilities, and schools?

Nl make walking safer and easier? (e.g. provision of controlled crossings, pedestrian preference zones, adequate lighting, traffic calming)

Nls improve access to buildings for all? (wheelchair users, people with young children/prams, blind and disabled people)

Ncl improve facilities and conditions for cycling, particularly safety aspects? (secure cycle storage, cycle paths, signals and lanes)

L make public transport more attractive or a more viable alternative? (e.g. more frequent buses, bus preference measures, increased population density in transport corridors)

L discourage the use of single occupant cars or large lorries? (e.g. car sharing, teleworking, pooled bicycles or cars, load splitting, home delivery, bulk breaking)

Nl improve facilities for those without a car? (e.g. local shopping, kerbside recycling, neighbourhood service delivery)

Nl make appropriate provisions for parking? (appropriate levels/standards of parking, car-free neighbourhoods, park-and-ride facilities, parking enforcement)

L contribute to road construction/maintenance where appropriate?

12. Safety

Nl ensure safety for open space users? (e.g. lighting, play equipment checks)

Ncls reduce crime and increase the public’s perception of safety? (e.g. window locks, well-lit bus stops, increased community activity)

13. Education

L improve educational facilities in the local area including training and adult education?

14. Perception

Ncls benefit the community as a whole?

Ncls involve building/development users and the local community at an early stage? (local meetings, regular local forums and user groups, publicity, consensus building)

Ncls ensure that the needs of under-represented groups are fully considered? (consultation)

Ncls allow disadvantaged people to take part on equal terms? (ramped access, Braille, plain language, training, mobility aids, childcare)

L offer opportunities to heighten environmental awareness and interest by local people? (e.g. publicity, public participation schemes)

L have an exit strategy which transfers ownership to the local community?

15. Leisure, cultural and social activities

Nl make positive provisions for open space? (e.g. provide parks and village greens, commuted sums for future maintenance)

Nl improve and maintain public access to open space?

Nl improve leisure and recreational facilities? (e.g. recreation grounds, children’s play areas, playing fields)

L improve community, cultural, and social facilities? (e.g. community centres, works of art)

Nl form strong diverse neighbourhoods which encourage vibrant local communities?

Ncls protect and improve the settings and features of archaeological and historical interest? (e.g. conservation areas, listed buildings, features of archaeological significance)

16. Aesthetics

Nls protect designated landscape sites?

Ncls integrate well into its surroundings? (shape, size and materials complement those of existing buildings and surrounds)

Nls include good standards of screening and landscaping? (e.g. ‘soft’ boundary treatment such as hedges and shrubs, use of native species, landscape management plans)

Nls take opportunities to improve the street scene or appearance of the area?