Addressing Climate Change


The NPPF requires local plans such as this one to “Support appropriate measures to ensure the future resilience of communities and infrastructure to climate change impacts” and to set strategic polices which address climate change mitigation and adaptation.


The climate change statement below sets out how the GNLP seizes the opportunities available locally to promote low carbon development and address climate change.


The way in which local plans such as this can support the transition to a post-carbon future is set out in joint Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) guidance48. Table 5 below shows how the measures the guidance identifies are addressed through the GNLP.

Table 5 GNLP coverage of climate change issues

Measure GNLP Coverage

Requiring the location and design of development to:

  1. deliver the highest viable energy efficiency, including the use of decentralised energy;
  2. reduce the need to travel, particularly by private car;
  3. secure the highest possible share of trips made by sustainable travel.

Location of development: Policies 1 and 7

 The policies covering the location of development ensure that new housing will be close to every-day services and jobs. The great majority of the development is in urban areas and large villages, where sustainable access to services and jobs is best, thus reducing the need to travel and making it easier to walk, cycle and use public transport. Growth in villages is located where there is good access to services to support their retention. The distribution of the great majority of growth thus reduces the need to travel. 

Design of development: Policies 1, 2, 3 and 4


Policy 2, in conjunction with other plan policies, requires development to be designed to minimise emissions. It is a broad strategic policy covering a wide range of design issues which is supported by the requirement for a Sustainability Statement to show how development will be low carbon. It also provides flexibility in what will undoubtedly be an era of rapid technological change to 2038 to ensure development seizes the broad range of opportunities to be designed to reduce emissions.


To achieve this, development must be designed to promote local service provision, include green infrastructure and reduce the need to travel. It must promote the use of public transport and active travel, along with supporting electric vehicle use.

The policy also requires development to be designed and orientated to minimise energy use, promote low carbon generation and energy and water efficiency, including using sustainable materials, promoting solar gain and reducing overheating. By setting high standards for resource efficiency the plan contributes to the Local Industrial Strategy49 priority to make Norfolk and Suffolk the UK’s clean growth region.
Support delivery of decentralised, renewable and low-carbon energy generation and grid infrastructure. Policies 2 and 4 promote improvements to the energy grid, the development of local, renewable and low carbon energy networks to serve major new developments and an increase in free standing renewable energy generation, such as solar farms. As required by the NPPF, wind farm development needs to have clear local support so is encouraged through the Neighbourhood Plan process.

Shape places and secure new development to minimise vulnerability and provide resilience to impacts from climate change.

Policies 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 support further development of the green infrastructure network which will provide for mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, including promoting biodiversity net gain and improved and linked habitats.

In addition, the GNLP minimises flood risk through the location of development. Most of the development is located away from areas at risk of flooding from rivers. The exception is a small number of brownfield sites by the Rivers Wensum and Yare in the city centre and East Norwich where new development can create new quarters for the city and flood mitigation measures are required. Development in the small number of allocated sites which have some areas of surface water flood risk should be located away from the parts of the site at risk of flooding and all suitable developments are required to use sustainable drainage.

Encourage community-led initiatives such as the promotion of decentralised, renewable and low carbon energy use or securing land for local food sourcing. Policy 2 encourages communities to promote sustainable energy locally through neighbourhood plans, including wind energy development where there is local support. The requirement for significant amounts of green infrastructure in new development promotes local food sourcing by providing allotments
Increase sustainable transport use and local transport solutions Policies 2 and 4 support the further development of low carbon transport networks. This includes improved walking and cycling facilities, the promotion of bus travel, Park and Ride and rail use, increased use of electric vehicles and demand management measures
Have an effective monitoring regime to ensure evidence on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, recorded against the Climate Change Act and other key national statutory and policy frameworks.50  Carbon emissions in Greater Norwich will continue to be monitored using district wide figures produced by Government on transport, domestic and industrial emissions. Our ambition is to reduce per capita emissions and thereby contribute to meeting the national target to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 205051, as well as helping to meet local targets, statements and plans52. Measures contained within the GNLP will enable further emissions reductions, continuing recent year-on-year trends.


48Rising to the Climate Crisis - A Guide for Local Authorities on Planning for Climate Change (2018)

49Draft Autumn 2019 available here

50Local planning authorities should have regard to the following In relation to climate change policy:

  1. S. 19(1A) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004
  2. National Planning Policy Framework, including Chapter 14 on climate change
  3. Climate Change Act 2008 and footnote 48 of NPPF
  4. Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004
  5. Planning Practice Guidance
  6. Duty to Co-operate section 33A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (link above)
  7. The monitoring obligations under s. 35 of the 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (link above) and Regulation 35 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.

512019 UK Government greenhouse gas emissions target

52Norfolk County Council has adopted a target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030 for council owned land and buildings and for travel. In addition, they will work towards carbon neutrality for the county, also by 2030.

Broadland District Council and South Norfolk Council adopted their joint Environmental Policy Statement and Action Plan in July 2020. Norwich City Council are working on a new Carbon Management Plan and have adopted a vision document which commits to carbon neutrality by 2050. The GNLP will support achievement of any objectives or targets identified in adopted local strategies.