Sefton Council recently granted planning permission to its arms-length housing company, Sandway Homes, to build 47 new affordable homes on the site of St John Stone’s School, Ainsdale and another 30 dwellings at Bartons Lane, Southport.
Whilst it’s encouraging that the Council is at last providing affordable homes, they have ignored their role in addressing climate change and at the same time missed the opportunity to help tenants with their energy costs.
The new affordable homes will be provided with charging points for electric vehicles but why has Sefton Council not included renewable energy generation in the form of photovoltaic cells on the roofs?
Such a scheme would save 1.3 - 1.6 tonnes of CO2 per household each year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
In September 2017, the Conservative Government launched a scheme to provide solar panels to over 800,000 existing social housing properties across the country. This predicted an estimated saving of £240 in fuel bills for each household.
In May 2019 Jeremy Corbyn announced that Labour (if elected) would arrange to fit photovoltaic cells to social housing which would save tenants an estimate £117 per annum in fuel bills.
Sefton’s Council in their Supplementary Planning Document have stated
“Proposals for renewable energy generation within new housing development would be supported in principle.”
When given the opportunity to build new homes Sefton’s Labour Council have: ignored their own planning guidance, ignored their party’s stance on climate change, and ignored the opportunity to help tenants reduce their energy costs.
The Conservative Government meanwhile supports and encourages local energy generation and has introduced: the £2.5m Clean Growth Strategy to support low carbon innovation, the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund to support technologies products and processes and the Smart Export Guarantee through which householders benefit by selling surplus energy to the grid.
LABOUR ISN’T WORKING