The council has cautiously welcomed bold proposals from the city’s climate change partnership ahead of an autumn-winter consultation on the refreshed local plan.
Manchester Climate Change Partnership’s Net Zero Carbon New Build Policy Document, published in July, was written jointly by a public-private group that included the city council. But the findings have a way to go before they become policy.
While welcoming the recommendations, the council stopped short of agreeing to incorporate them into the draft local plan. Instead, the ideas put forward will be considered alongside other consultation feedback and suggestions.
The climate change partnership’s document sets out a proposal that to meet the city’s plan to be zero carbon by 2038, all new buildings in the city from 2023 should be zero carbon in themselves without use of offsetting or a carbon tax.
A task group of private, public and third sector representatives was brought together to develop the policy. The group was chaired by Stephen O’Malley, director of Civic Engineers, supported by John Alker, formerly of the UK Green Building Council and now head of sustainability at Legal & General. It also explored the enabling issues of finance and skills with key contributions from the banking and education sector. Also involved were developers Muse, Urban Splash and Bruntwood.
Mike Wilton, chair of Manchester Climate Change Partnership and head of the Manchester office of Arup, said: “I am confident that there is an appetite amongst the development community to respond positively to the proposed ‘Manchester Standard’. The policy document has been well received and a good deal of expertise, experience and professional rigour has been applied in producing a ground-breaking piece of work that will continue to enhance Manchester’s leadership in addressing the pressing issue of climate change.”
During the autumn, Wilton said dialogue will continue with “all those involved in commissioning new buildings in the city” to refine and start implementing the proposed Manchester Standard.
Timescale for refreshed Manchester Local Plan
Late 2021 / early 2022 – release and consult on potential policy directions
Mid 2022 – consultation on draft local plan
Late 2022 to spring 2023 – examination
Summer / autumn 2023 – plan adopted
Wilton added: “The partnership understands that there is still a journey to be undertaken from declaring an innovative policy statement to implementing it in practice and see it embedded as a mainstream standard for all new domestic and non-domestic new build property. The task group will therefore maintain its commitment and work collaboratively with Manchester City Council officers to promote the policy as the new local plan is developed and issued for consultation.”
Cllr Luthfur Rahman, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester is committed to becoming a zero-carbon city. The partnership’s roadmap, including the proposed Manchester New Build Standard, is a welcome contribution to the important discussion about how we will achieve this goal.
The issue of climate change will be at the heart of the forthcoming refresh of the Manchester Local Plan. We will look at how our planning and development system can support zero carbon objectives, and we will consider the partnership’s proposals as part of this process.”
The organisations who collaborated to produce the recommendations were Aecom, Arup, BDP, Buro Happold, Bruntwood, Civic Engineers, Cundall, Faithful + Gould, Laing O’Rourke, Manchester City Council, Manchester Metropolitan University, Muse, NatWest Group, Turley, UKGBC, Urban Splash, and WSP.