New Local Development Order for the Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone

Green light for new district heating networks in East Devon

East Devon District Council’s Planning Committee have voted unanimously to adopt a Local Development Order (LDO) for District Heating Networks in the west end of the district.

The LDO grants planning permission for the installation of pipes, cables and necessary infrastructure to provide district heating networks within an area near Cranbrook, Exeter Science Park and Monkerton.

East Devon District Council has declared a climate emergency and is committed to tackling climate through clean growth and low carbon development. As the first LDO adopted by the Council, it signifies its commitment to tackling climate change and speeding up the planning process. The district heat network ensures efficient delivery of low carbon hot water and heating to future development in the area, in line with the governments strategic framework for low carbon heat in the UK as set out in The Future of Heating (Department of Energy & Climate Change 2012). The network can be expanded as future demand grows and renewable technologies can be incorporated in the future to enable further low or zero carbon opportunities.

Cllr Dan Ledger, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning said:

The adoption of this LDO is fantastic news for the district. This will allow connections to the district heating system to become more easily deployed across the West End. The LDO streamlines the planning process, providing developers within the West End clarity and hopefully a faster build-out process.

The Council’s declared climate emergency is at the forefront of all of the Council’s plans. This decision will allow for a greater ease of take-up in this lower emission method of district heating. This can only be welcomed on our journey to carbon neutrality by 2040.

Cllr Paul Hayward, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Economy and Assets, said:

 Taking on board the Council’s pledge towards positive climate change action, and the future needs of the West End area and the Enterprise Zone, I am delighted that this LDO has been approved by unanimous vote. District Heating Networks (DHN) are one of the preferred sources of sustainable heating for larger areas and will contribute significantly to carbon reduction targets in the years ahead. Sadly, the UK lags behind our European neighbours in providing heating amenity by this method, but I hope that – with this approval – we can start down the road towards further widespread planned DHN integration as quickly as possible.

These Green initiatives will make a huge difference to the standard of living and health of all residents in East Devon, therefore it has my wholehearted support.

LDO’s are a way of speeding up and simplifying the planning process. Central Government supports the use of LDO’s through the National Planning Policy Framework. The LDO will help to bring forward simplified planning on all the sites in the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone. The development permitted is set out within the Order along with a set of conditions.

The LDO grants permitted development rights for underground pipes and cables and some minor above ground development for the district heating networks operating within the defined boundaries.

The LDO sets a list of limitations restricting the development which can be carried out under the order. It also specifies a list of conditions which must be met by the development. In some instances developers will need to gain written approval from the Council prior to undertaking the works.

The Council is now looking at bringing forward Local Development Orders on the employment sites within the designated Enterprise Zone.