Kent’s architectural heritage is as rich as that in any county in the land, but how can we make our traditional buildings more energy-efficient in the battle against climate change? One of the leading authorities in the country will be exploring the subject at a meeting hosted by CPRE Kent next month. John Preston IHBC is heritage chair of the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance and will be giving the talk Climate Change and Older Buildings – Meeting The Challenges? at Charing Barn on Friday, March 13. The meeting, which begins at 4pm, is open to all and free to attend, but donations to CPRE Kent will be welcome. If you would like to join us for what is certain to be a fascinating and thought-provoking talk, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01233 714540.
Climate Change and Older Buildings – Meeting the Challenges? Friday, March 13, 4pm, at Charing Barn, The Market Place, Charing, Ashford TN27 0LP
CPRE Kent is calling for a commitment to improve the environment and community health as well as save valuable farmland in its response to the Medway Local Plan consultation.
Allhallows Marshes by Amanda Slater
We will be asking Medway Council to:
recognise the contribution of agricultural land to local sustainability, and invest in improving ecosystems for healthy communities, well-being and resilience;
Include “access to nature” when planning growth;
enhance the understanding of biodiversity conservation across whole landscapes;
make adaption to climate change a priority;
proactively assess underused or vacant sites (especially brownfield) that might contribute to regeneration or meeting housing need, including small sites;
consider sustainability when assessing sites (such as the employment park at Kingsnorth on the Hoo Peninsula), including transport infrastructure and other services;
consider accessibility of local people to space and countryside;
ensure Green Belt is given the highest level of protection, as specified in the recent Housing White Paper;
continue with the designation of development gaps and areas of local landscape importance;
consider the impact on air quality of all development and associated travel.
Photo: diamond geezer
Cycling on the Hoo Peninsula by Steve Cadman
CPRE Kent Planner Jillian Barr said: “A strong and ambitious vision is necessary to deliver growth, protect the environment, but also to deliver improvements to the environment and community health. This is essential to Medway’s future. We are pleased that the council is consulting so thoroughly at this stage of the plan process and recognise that there are challenging targets. There is a proven link between access to nature, space, dark skies and tranquillity and the health of communities and we hope the council will take this fully on board now and when looking at sites over the next 18 years.”
CPRE Kent has now submitted its full response to the plan – read it here.
A top planning barrister has judged the Canterbury Local Plan legally unsound because it has failed to properly assess sustainability and environmental impact after dramatically increasing the number of houses needed by more than 50%.
Richard Harwood QC was commissioned by Herne and Broomfield Parish Council, backed by CPRE Kent and a number of other local organisations (1), to judge whether the Local Plan was legally compliant.
He concluded that when Canterbury City Council greatly raised its housing target, it should have re-assessed the impact on habitats and the environment, and whether or not the proposed distribution of housing remained appropriate and sustainable. This it failed to do.
In January 2010, the council consulted on a Local Plan with a target of 10,200 new homes by 2026 (510 per year). In 2012, this target was revised to 15,600 new homes by 2031 (780 per year). However, despite the significant increase, the council relied on its earlier environmental assessments of where new development should be located.