Monday, August 13, 2007

Lewisham Green Group LDF submission

Over the last few weeks I have been working with Dean and Mike to put together and submit a Green Group response to the public consulation on the Local Development Framework. It was a huge group of documents to digest and even though we restricted our response to certain key areas, it still ran to a fair few pages. Edited highlights of our response below, happy to send a full copy on request:

Housing and energy
  • 50% of new homes to be affordable housing, with developers obliged to open up their financial calculations to public scrutiny if they say they cannot afford to build 50% affordable homes for local people
  • New developments to be as close to zero-carbon as possible
  • Homes to reach ‘excellent’ instead of ‘very good’ energy efficiency standard – and targets to be set out as a guide to meeting government’s zero-carbon policy by 2016
  • Council to produce borough wind map so householders don’t waste money on wind turbines in unsuitable areas
  • Developers to use recycled construction materials and low-carbon materials

Business in our communities

  • Lewisham to be earmarked as a hub for the ecotech ‘green’ industries of the future, encouraging expertise, training and job creation in the borough through the establishment of a green business park or centre of excellence
  • Local parades and neighbourhood shopping areas recognised as vital community hubs and prioritised for help over ‘destination’ shopping and out-of-town shopping
  • Measures to stop multiple betting shops or other non-retail uses squeezing out vital shops and killing off local parades

Community composting / Waste

  • First choice for dealing with household waste would be neighbourhood re-use, recycling and community composting schemes like the popular Pepys estate project that turns local people’s kitchen waste into a valuable compost instead of sending it to a landfill site or to burn at the incinerator – such facilities would become commonplace in large developments
  • All homes to have dedicated space for recycling or composting

Biodiversity and natural assets

  • Trees felled as part of a development to be replaced and native hedgerows encouraged as boundaries and habitats
  • Lewisham from the air will become a patchwork of greenery and wildlife with 50% of new building roofspace as living roofs
  • Protection against building on backland, infill and garden sites
  • The council would use its compulsory purchase powers to buy land necessary to complete the Thames path and other river walks as close to the riverbanks as possible so our riverbanks are open to everyone to enjoy

Water / Floods

  • Developers would have to install water saving devices, water harvesting systems, living roofs, cisterns, water sinks and SUDS
  • Developers would have to build homes with safer power and water supplies in the case of flooding and design them to increase flood victims’ safety and comfort
  • Developers to underwrite flood insurance for 20 years from occupation
  • Local rivers would have naturalised flood defences and flood plains to lessen the danger from flash floods
  • A new rule discouraging the paving of gardens as driveways


  • The Council will actively support service improvements for orbital rail routes across south London
  • More home zones and 20mph zones identified to keep children safe
  • Easier for developers to build car-free developments
  • Active support for car clubs from council and developers
  • Cyclists’ needs prioritised and cycle improvements compulsory in new developments instead of token gestures


leenewham said...

This is excellent Sue. I hope the developers embrace this along with good design.

One thign that would be really useful woudl be proper guidence for homeowners on better information. For instance, can you get a grant for solar panels, can a group of householders club together to buy them, what are the planing regs on this, is it better to install underfloor heating or radiators, and which radiators are better?

It's very difficult to get accurate information on this outside of Mr McCloud on grand designs!

A central database of really great, easy to follow information on this subject would be invaluable, especially if it has user reviews, the green parties view and if there is any governmental help available.

Keep up the good work anyway, the Greens have made a real difference in this council.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lee
Thanks for your comments.
This post from a year ago has some background info on solar panel grants etc in Lewisham:

Since then, Lewisham has also become a pilot area for Green Homes (, a London-wide scheme that was part of the package of Green Budget amendments at the London Assembly.

Do you live in Brockley conservation area? There seem to be some inconsistencies in the local planning stance on solar panels in conservation areas at the moment eg St Peter's Church panels were allowed, but a friend's application for solar panels in Blackheath Conservation area were not. Hopefully this will soon change and the need to combat climate change will take precedence. I think we need more 'test cases'!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, still haven't mastered how to paste links into comment boxes commpetently, here's the link again:

leenewham said...

Thanks sue.

i still think a central database of this sort of information woudl bea good idea..perhps I should start a website aboutit. Anyone in the green party I should contact about it?

Also I have seen a really good labelling scheme which communicates how products and services affect you, the environment and the people who make them (so basically ethical and enviromental issues). It's called Grin and it's very well thought through.

Have a look here:

Thanks again Sue.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lee
Try speaking to either Richard Hurford or Heather Watkinson at the council on 020 8314 6339. They are the Sustainable Resources team and can give advice on solar panel installations etc. The council website also has some good information and links to start with:

The Green Homes website could do with being expanded a little really, but they are fairly new, so maybe they will.