Published on 21st June 2022

house drawing with Cheltenham net zero 2030 logo for climate supplementary planning document

Council’s expectations to help ensure developers respond proactively to the Climate Change Emergency through appropriate mitigation and adaptation actions.

  • Homeowners to benefit from net zero carbon guidance.

Following a unanimous vote by members yesterday (Monday, 20 June 2022), the council’s new climate change supplementary planning document (SPD) is now available for all Cheltenham residents, developers, and homeowners. 

The SPD enables planning policy to drive the positive change that the council wants to see from large and small developers around the borough.

Its purpose is to enable sustainable design and construction, and help reduce the negative environmental impacts of the property development industry.

The SPD incorporates guidance on different aspects of sustainable design and construction including energy and carbon, climate change adaption, water efficiency, flood prevention, pollution, sustainable transport, biodiversity and waste reduction. It also includes a checklist to help applicants and those thinking about new development and retrofit to produce a sustainability statement to demonstrate how they are responding to climate change and related issues.

The publication follows a 4 week consultation process which gave residents, developers, businesses and community groups the opportunity to have their say on the document.  The comments from this process has ensured that the council produces the most valuable document possible. 

Cllr Alisha Lewis, cabinet member for climate emergency, said: “The planning system isn’t the most exciting thing to talk about, but it’s a vital part of our response to climate change and broader issues like public health and fuel poverty.

“This SPD sets out our ambitions for future developments in Cheltenham – promoting development that aligns with our ambition for a net zero borough and creating places where people and nature can thrive.

“Cheltenham Borough Council’s first net zero homes are already through the planning system. We’re leading the way in showcasing what is possible for other developers. Carrying on as we are is not an option – and this document serves as the foundation for enforcing higher climate standards.”

Cllr Martin Horwood, cabinet member for customer and regulatory services, says: ‘’This shows we don’t just pass climate emergency motions in Cheltenham. We act on them.

‘’Buildings are responsible for almost half of the UK’s carbon emissions and urgent action is needed to reduce the negative environmental impacts from building developments.

“This climate SPD brings local, national and international best practice together and with case studies to help illustrate practical actions, the council is determined to bring about much needed and necessary changes. Our thanks go to the councils officer team across climate change and planning alongside the consultancy team that has supported the delivery of the SPD and developing what we think is national best practice”

The climate SPD will be reviewed and updated as appropriate, following further policy and legislation changes from both central Government and the Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Strategic Plan


For media enquiries please contact communications@cheltenham.gov.uk or call 01242 264231

Notes to editors: In 2019, CBC declared a Climate Emergency and set out to become a carbon neutral council and borough by 2030. To achieve this, the Council has approved the climate supplementary planning document to guide the borough towards the 2030 target.

The climate change supplementary planning document is listed as 2022_06_20_COU_Climate_Change_SPD_Appendix 2, item 11.