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Planning application

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The last few weeks of the year are always a time of reflection for people working in the construction industry.

What learnings can we take from 2017 and where do we feel there is scope for opportunity over the next twelve months?

For me, sustainability should be high up on the agenda. Climate change is happening and the industry needs to act collectively to build more energy efficient properties, which not only minimise environmental impact, but improve the quality of life and well-being of the communities we live in.

As well as the moral obligations which come with building sustainably, it’s also key to ensure swift planning approval.

There are lots of things developers can do to achieve this (see our handy checklist below) but the first port of call is to get a Sustainability Statement carried out.  

These reports highlight the positive aspects of your development and detail its commitment and strategy to meet the standards set out in your local authority planning policy.

They offer guidance on what actions should be taken if your scheme is failing in its requirements to meet these targets.

Do you need one?

For some councils including the London boroughs, Bristol, Newcastle, Preston, Manchester and Tameside, amongst others, Sustainability Statements are a mandatory addition to a planning application but having one is also common-sense.

They can add real value as they not only identify cost-effective ways to help you to build more sustainable properties, which are cheaper to run, they also keep projects costs down.

They can also minimise any potential issues from the outset, such as hitting certain energy targets, which may affect planning approval and lead to delays and financial repercussions further down the line.

Build green in 2018

Sustainability Statements explore several key areas which we have outlined below along with some handy tips to help you build more sustainably in the New Year.


Look at the improvements you can make to the building’s fabric before adding on more expensive renewable bolt-ons.  For instance, increased insulation to the external walls, ground floor, roof and windows.


Ventilation also plays a key role here so explore ways of reducing air leakage by sealing up and around skirting boards, soil pipes and risers, or even combine with mechanical ventilation and heat recovery.



Secure cycle storage is a great way of boosting your sustainability credits and contributes to health and well-being. There are lots of creative and cost-effective designs on the market which can be tailored to meet your unique specifications.


You may also wish to consider electric charging points as they are now a mandatory requirement of some councils and we expect this trend to continue across the board.



There is a host of water saving technologies you can incorporate in your development ranging from low flow rate showers and taps, flow control sensors, water-efficient showerheads and reduced capacity baths.



Smart meters and water meters are ideal for this. They help people keep track of how much energy and water they are consuming, allowing them to make alterations so they can save pounds and pence, whilst reducing their carbon footprint.




A contractor needs to ensure they use best practice so they can reduce the environmental impact of their development.

By making simple steps to reduce, reuse and recycle materials you can save money by maximising materials and limiting what you send to landfill. According to figures from Envirowise, the true cost of waste is often around 10 times the skip hire cost.

You can read more here



As well as reducing site waste it’s important to consider installing technologies and devices which will encourage and help home owners to recycle more easily.


Things to consider are built-in recycling bins and composting should also be designed into the dwelling. For bigger projects, you should construct a dedicated external area for this as most commercial buildings have a lot of waste-  around 100 million tonnes to be precise!


How can we help?

As we are already feeling in the Christmas spirit, Base is offering 10 percent off all Sustainability Statements throughout December. Just call our team on or 020 3286 2016 and quote the code: Green2018.


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