WHAT THE ~*#%? - If ever there was an example of what not to do, this is it. Wealden District Council is a local authority synonymous with planning cock ups and corruption. It's all about officers feathering their nests, doing deals with developers that run counter to every principle of good planning and climate change emergency. They'll do anything to cop CIL payments, where their polices have been based on growth and their investments in oil companies, rather awkward in the hypocrisy stakes. This is a good example as to why zero trust is of paramount importance in politics.
Existing brick and block built housing should be upgraded in climate terms, to include energy saving and harvesting features, but where this is not possible, alternative housing could be offered as a replacement as older housing stocks fall into disrepair, without applying undue pressure as may rebound in financial insecurity for the occupants and so less overall sustainability from multiple moves.
Councils with kleptocratic tendencies should not give in to the temptation to keep building more old fashioned units to obtain higher taxes for their empire building objectives. They should be looking to build a well-oiled administration that is sustainable, because there is no Planet B.
New build housing should be designed from the start to be carbon neutral, to include timber construction as a carbon lock, solar water heating, photovoltaic panels and wind turbine electricity generation. Car ports should have solar panels as roofing to help charge electric cars and support the national grid. This applies to every district in every country. NO EXCEPTIONS. If there are any exceptions it will not work - Planet A will burn.
Housing designs should be affordable, built as factory made flatpacks that can be ordered in various styles and layouts, such as to render pleasing homes that can fit in with existing towns and villages, even incorporating traditional materials in the finishing. Such houses (or mobile homes) cost significantly less and use less energy to make. The basic units are genuinely affordable, lifting the next renting generation out of the poverty trap. A definition of affordable, is that the ordinary local working man can afford mortgage repayments from his wage.
Affordable = sustainable. Hence, a mortgage test applies, giving us a figure for affordable housing of between £60,000 to £120,000 GBP pounds in the villages and suburbs of East Sussex as one local example. The price of housing will depend on the lowest wages, or an agricultural wage.
The designs for housing like this should be a priority to house a growing population.
Wooden housing can be designed to be tsunami resistant for locations prone to flooding such as some parts of Florida and Asia. But flooding is becoming more of a problem all over the world, including the UK.
In order to make this work, we need councils to identify land for sustainable development. In the UK this was supposed to happen by law, but councils never rose to the challenge. They were climate cowards, hiding behind the Local Government Association paid to come up with get out arguments that should be illegal under the Planet Earth Act 2020.
Permitted Development Orders need to be updated to remove the need for planning permission for genuinely sustainable housing. These must become a permitted development with no planning permission needed. Council's must provide free advice on sustainable developments and no Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should be payable on sustainable housing, as it is at the moment on self-builds.
Why? because the cost of fees and planning applications far outweighs the price of affordable flat pack units. Indeed, council's make it their business to thwart such development because of the lower rating banding, where they like high band valuations to generate more income to compensate for their incompetent management.
The bedrock of any affordable housing system is the means of construction, taking into account the energy used to make bricks and cement, where wood offers a chance to lock up carbon dioxide, rather than generate it. But cost and ease of build are also considerations where man hours also generates CO2 that in turn causes global warming.
Wall and floor cassettes of timber construction would seem to be the answer. Hence the design of these cassettes is paramount.
THE G20 HEADS OF STATE (2020) A - Z
SIX (SUGGESTED) STEPS TOWARD A COOLER PLANET
1. TRANSPORT: Phase out polluting vehicles. Governments aim to end the sale of new petrol, and diesel vehicles by 2040 but have no infrastructure plan to support such ambition. Such infrastructure should exceed the performance of fossil fuel filling stations, prolong EV battery life and provide power grids with a measure of load leveling. Any such system should seek to obviate the provision of millions of fast charge points to include fuel cell cars, where implementation could otherwise prove to be a logistical nightmare. This may involve international agreement as to energy storage format and statute to steer OEM vehicle makers to collaborate as to future proofing, to include green hydrogen.
Marine transport can be carbon neutral given the right policy incentives, with phased transition in specific stages such as not to unduly penalize present investment in LNG shipping and other recent MARPOL compliant IC powered vessels. Future cargo vessel should be at least in part powered by renewable solar and/or wind energy, on the road to zero carbon, making allowances for technology catch-up. A scrappage scheme might encourage fleet operators to accelerate shipping upgrades, and a fund for radical innovation that would not otherwise qualify under in-situ programmes (such as Horizon Europe) might be introduced - with fast-track, reduced, form-filling and open-loop decision making, such that applications may be tweaked rather than struck out.
2. RENEWABLES: Renewable energy should replace carbon-based fuels (coal, oil and gas) in our electricity for homes, factories, heating and transport. Coal and nuclear power plants should be phased out.
3. HOUSING: On site micro or macro generation is the best option, starting with new build homes that are both affordable and sustainable by design to replace crumbling housing stocks. Encourage building in timber to provide carbon lock from a renewable natural resource. Planning policies should be updated to outlaw unsustainable development, with harsh financial penalties for kleptocratic local authorities, especially those with a history of corrupt practices (from historic similar fact evidence files).
4. AGRICULTURE: We need to grow more trees to absorb carbon emissions from a growing population, unregulated/unrestricted air travel. New homes should be timber where practical as a priority. We should promote reductions in food waste and the eating of foods that use less energy to produce. Educate children on these matters in schools and via campaigns such as no meat Mondays, should be part of ordinary study. Polluted fish from fisheries, might be replaced with fish farmed by aquaculture inland, rather than risk carcinogens from our seas.
5. INDUSTRY: Factories should be aiming for solar heating and onsite renewable energy generation. EV parking and even service facilities should be part of new industrial estates as part of any building permissions - with subsidies or tax reductions as incentives to property developers.
6. POLITICS: - National governing bodies need to adopt rules to eliminate administrative wastages, to include scaling down spending on (showboat) war machines, increasing spend on educating the public and supporting sustainable social policies that mesh with other cultures. This includes fostering policies and making funds available to close links in the technology chain to make up for lost time. Kleptocratic empire building must cease in the search for natural equilibrium.
International aid should not be provided to regions that cannot support life naturally. Land reclamation should be outlawed, and a solid currency system based on the ability of the planet to provide food for a growing population, such as a $Food Standard, such as to index link food production (security) to prevent unrestricted (artificial) money lending and superheated economies. There should be a policies of zero trust and full accountability.
Taxes collected from citizens in any form should only be spent on services they are collected for. Road Fund Licences, for road building, National Health Insurance Contributions, for health facilities, etc. The spend of other taxes such as Income and Value Added, should be fully accounted for to prevent slush fund payouts, for defence contracts, for example.
All policies should be SDG and Human Rights compliant, with exceptions needing to be openly qualified and justified, with effective remedy (right of challenge) to a higher national tribunal/court at every level, and to the international court of justice, where a national remedy conflicts. A lack of transparency and accountability would be one of the main reasons for challenge - because such decision making is highly suspect.
LINKS & REFERENCE
2020 - Was another year of non-action, in fact no talks at all for the big cheeses to squabble and cloud issues for all the smaller nations that are being exploited. Can we expect anything of value to come out of the 2021 Highland fling?
Interestingly, the Covid 19 pandemic may have the effect of braking the economies of many nations - hence slowing global warming. This should be a lesson to all politicians.
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