WEALDEN DISTRICT COUNCIL
Climate change is not being taken seriously by many council's who are allowing houses to be built in their area of administration that do not include sustainable features and do not include charging points for electric vehicles, but rather add to global warming - as well they should know. And with that temperature change they are killing hundreds of species, melting our ice caps and causing acid oceans.
The only houses that do not add to temperature change are carbon neutral. Homes made of timber with energy harvesting features that support zero carbon transport. How many of those were built in the Wealden district in the last 10 years? None. How many could have been built? Hundreds. And they would have set a trend across not so merry England.
CARBON DIOXIDE FACTORIES - By way of an example of how not to do it, let us look at the little village of Herstmonceux in East Sussex. The carbon footprint for this village has rocketed because of all the climate substandard houses Wealden's councillors have granted planning permission for. If this example were to be multiplied up by every town and village in the United Kingdom, then our country would be one of the worst polluters in the world - on a per square kilometer basis. This village is a contender for the Greenhouse Gas award 2019.
Councils are generally run by their executive officers subject to a corporate kiss-ass policy that dictatorially demands obedience regardless of common sense. Their member's views trail far behind and even further down the road, the wishes of the people as they cower under the ferocious whip of their legal departments and threat of being ostracized. That was fine in years gone by when the people did not know what was going on but with the advent of the internet and new calls for transparency in local government, councils will have to move with the times and become more accountable and proactive when it comes to implementing the tenets of the Climate Change Act 2008.
The Cleaner Ocean Foundation is unfortunate enough to be located within the boundaries of the Wealden District, meaning that it falls to us to do what we can to persuade their councillors and officers to work toward a truly circular economy. Thank heavens for the freedoms of the press that allow us unfettered voice as per Article 10 of the European Convention, for otherwise, we feel that this council would not hesitate to muzzle publicly voiced concerns, by way of publication.
WEALDEN CLIMATE DIMWITS - We can only report on what is happening local to ourselves. You will need to see if your local authority are acting for the common good, or if they are doing the same as the climate dimwits in Sussex. This is as of January 2019. We hope that by the same time in 2020 we can say that our climate fools have either been on a climate awareness course, or that planning-speeding has been outlawed in the United Kingdom - preferably by statute. Because we all know that if there is a loophole or any gray area at all in the law, this council will use it to make another fast buck. The old timers at Wealden are like the frogs in boiling water. They are so used to creating greenhouse gases that they actually like it. What about meat free Mondays. Not in Wealden, it's beef, beef, beef and lamb!
To begin with, Wealden might want to reconsider their strategy of attempting to charge residential rates for a building that is a Museum and Archive. They may even want to consider grant funding the upkeep of any historic assets on their doorstep - enlisting the assistance of the Valuation Office and Tribunal panel to that end. At this time they appear to be ignoring the non use for residential purposes and actual use for conservation research.
They should be working with the occupiers to reduce acid oceans and single use plastic ocean waste, instead of diverting the limited resources of those who are helping us as volunteers, by trying to make them liable for areas that they do not occupy residentially. This is more of the climate myopia strain of thinking that is causing species extinction - and they do not appear to care.
For example, the houses that are being built locally do not reflect the needs of the people. They are designed to make favored property developers wealthy, so extending the rich and poor divide even more. What is needed is truly affordable housing in line with the guidelines of The Blue Economy, that looks at unemployment and poverty and explains why it is that by making the rich richer, the poor become poorer. Shame on you Wealden. You need new policy makers big time if you are to prevent more financial slavery in your area. You might also consider changing out the middle class and landowner councillors, for some of those who are unemployed and homeless, but highly qualified and so more motivated to tackle these United Nations agendas with fresh eyes.
GENUINELY AFFORDABLE HOUSING - A Utopia Tristar flatpack home measuring 20'x18'. This is a starter home example with a 12 sq/m solar conservatory, which generates 12 kW during periods of intense sunshine. Thus if the sun shines for 6 good hours, you will capture 72kW/hrs of energy. 8 hours will yield 96 kW/hours and so on. These units would come as standard with charging points for electric cars and vans. So far in Wealden, this kind of innovation is just a dream. A nightmare for those needing homes, but one day soon who knows, councils light see the light as Britain decides to pull itself out of the debt cycle that seems impossible to overcome with austerity measures.
Allied to a wind turbine and photovoltaic panels, homes like these could meet the UK commitment to the Climate Change Act 2008. If this mobile home were adapted to be a house, you would not have brick pillars. The unit would be mounted on a concrete raft, or footings. All of this cost and customer preference dependent. These units can be made for around £25,000 delivered. Land prices need to be capped to make it happen, but councils will never use compulsory purchase powers where that may upset cozy relationships. Hence, Parliament should step in and force change. Land could be earmarked for affordable housing only. These units also reduce an occupier's carbon footprint in the fight against global warming. Copyright © diagrams Utopia Tristar Partners 2013. All rights reserved.
CLIMATE CHANGE & SUSTAINABILITY IN
We are though, very pleased to learn about their statement, but we have seen little evidence of the, or any, significant changes or initiatives. We have though witnessed this council spending officer time and money trying to prevent the upgrading of a historic building, such that its energy use will be below 1990 levels. Actions speak louder than words. We wondered about this, for if this is how they treat the occupiers of a historic asset looking to spend on reducing their carbon footprint, how will they treat homeowners trying to do the same thing - most of whom would not take kindly to an enforcement - the Spanish Inquisition as to intentions on a formal visit and threats as to prosecution.
For further information or to make a comment, please contact their Sustainability Officer. We have no idea who that might be.
CLIMATE CHANGE ACTS
The Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006, followed by the Climate Change Act 2008, are the two current pieces of legislation that Wealden must abide by. These Acts demand that Wealden put in place a workable plan and encourage development of sustainable housing and transport. These Acts are in response to United Nations targets to fend off a global catastrophe before it is too late.
A workable plan involves making sure that houses, transport and workplaces in the Wealden area reduce their carbon footprint by 3% a year to get back to 1990 levels by the year 2050.
If we assume that the houses in 1990 have not increased their energy requirement, then we need to work out how many new houses have been built since 1990 - and how many more will be built by 2050 - then add them together. Unfortunately, Wealden have been handing our consents since 2008 for properties that are not energy sustainable and those that are likely to be built in the future will also be substandard in energy terms.
It pretty soon becomes clear that new-builds will have to be virtually zero carbon and existing houses and factories should aim to reduce energy consumption to give us some slack. Houses that are energy self-sufficient will not look like the houses Wealden's planners are used to approving. Buildings that are modified to harvest solar energy will change in appearance somewhat - but this is typically permitted development - and if it is not the above Acts tend to support what is, or will be necessary to improve existing stocks in line with a workable plan.
Strangely, this approach would also protect the Ashdown Forest, that at the moment appears to be causing a headache.
LINKS & REFERENCE
RECYCLING OLD BUILDINGS - Solar House is an old generating building in the Wealden district of Sussex dating from C.1900 that formerly burned coal gas made on site from coal stored in a bunker to produce electricity for a country manor house and the local Sussex village of Herstmonceux up until 1936. The village of Herstmonceux boasted street lighting and electric ovens by 1913 because of this enterprise by the then incumbent Charles de Roemer. Today this monument to innovation in the early age of electricity is being equipped with photovoltaic panels, a wind turbine and solar water heaters - to become all but self sufficient in energy terms.
With local authorities struggling to meet targets, this building may be the only one in Sussex to reduce its carbon footprint to below 1990 levels as per the 2050 target set by the UK Government. The UK Government encouraged microgeneration and harvesting heat from the sun for hot water, etc., with the Sustainable Energy Act that preceded the 2008 Act..
Strangely, this local authority objects to such eco-upgrading, apparently not realizing that the fight against climate change begins at home. The negative attitude of any council, where they should be urging property developers to go green is disturbing to say the least, where the inspiring blurb on their website smacks of paying lip service to the idea without wanting to embrace the concept wholeheartedly. For example there is no genuinely affordable housing in Wealden and no sustainable estates or villages.
This identified apathy may be more widespread in the UK rather than an isolated case, where it seems that some councils are living in the dark ages in terms of planning policy that is not being implemented as it was intended by the Secretaries of State.
All the more reason for an awareness campaign, to shake the cobwebs from the corridors of power - which members appear to be pursuing alternative agendas - or they simply don't care. It may be that planning staff are ignorant of ways to capture energy from nature. If that is the case they could be trained or council's might employ energy conservation specialists in place of dyed in the wool RTPI members who are out of touch with a fast changing world - yet as you can see from the photographs below, it is all smiles and promises to deliver - but no delivery. Come on chaps. We don't want to be pushy, but if you need some help you only have to ask.
STRATEGY - The UK's Industrial Strategy sets out a long term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.
It sets out how we are building a Britain fit for the future – how we will help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK with investment in the skills, industries and infrastructure of the future.
LINKS TO COUNCILLORS PAST & PRESENT
Angel - Jo
Bentley - John
Blake - Bob
Bowdler - Don
Broadbent - Norman
Buck - Raymond
Cade - John
Carvey - Lin
REASONABLE REACTION - For each and every action, there is an opposite reaction. That is one of the first laws of physics. Where the establishment is the problem, it is hardly surprising that the green shoots of life are rebelling to show the withered vines the error of their ways.
COUNCILLORS SERVING IN 2002 - 2010
GAGGING - You know they are hurting from the truth when they try to gag you. The state will spout all kinds of spin to make it sound as if they are accountable and operating transparently. But when it comes to it, they will seek to prevent publication of any inconvenient truths such as the Potty Training episode. Politicians will always do their best to escape notice and accept the blame when they have done something wrong. Articles 9 and 10 are supposed to prevent gagging, but do they work in a United Kingdom that has corruption lurking around every corner? In terms of freedom ranking, Norway was ranked 1 with a score of 8, the UK was ranked 39 with a score of 25, where North Korean was ranked 198th with a score of 98. The North Koreans take criticism poorly, whereas Norway positively thrive on freedom of the press. Britain claims to be a free society, but in fact is not up there with our Scandinavian cousins. Even Costa Rica and Portugal were markedly freer.
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