Net Zero requirements for new housing in Bath and North East Somerset

Net Zero requirements for new housing

Bath and North East Somerset Council adopts policy requiring new housing to be net zero.

In January 2023 Bath and North East Somerset declared that all future new housing will be required to be built to net-zero standards. The newly adopted policy will ensure the energy use of any proposed development in the area will have to generate as much energy as it consumes via on-site renewable energy generation.

Net Zero requirements for new housing

The council have said that in “exceptional circumstances”, some residential developments will have an option to offset any residual on-site renewable energy generation by paying to install solar panels on social housing and low-income households elsewhere.

Another new policy addresses building emissions, introducing a cap on the amount of carbon emissions produced in the course of developing large-scale, high density schemes. These ‘upfront’ embodied carbon emissions will be limited to 900kgCO2e/m2 which is equivalent to 14.9 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

The council will also impose a net zero operational carbon standards for new major non-residential development.

The new rules, which have been approved by an independent planning inspector, were passed with overwhelming approval from councillors at a special meeting of Bath and North East Somerset’s full council. The Local Plan Partial Update (LPPU) has now been adopted.

A similar policy is set to be adopted by Cornwall Council on 21st February 2023. The Climate Emergency Development Plan Document will set out new rules which respond to the Climate Emergency and to create a carbon neutral Cornwall by 2030.

It will be interesting to see the impact to B&NES and Cornwall’s housing numbers if any over the next 12 months and other authorities will watching closely to try to understand the pit falls and successes of their respective approaches to reducing emissions.

For expert advice on the impact these policies can have on development, please contact our Development team.


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