Last updated: 13 September 2018 

1. Latest News: Consultation on a new Sustainable Construction Checklist.

*** Update Sept 2018: The consultation on the Sustainable Construction SPD Checklist has now closed. The SPD is being revised to take account of the comments received and will be presented for adoption in October. The SPD will be implemented immediately following adoption. Current applicants have the choice of using the old Checklist, found in the section at the right of the Sustainable Construction Checklist page, or the draft Sustainable Construction Checklist SPD at the link below. Whilst the new requirements in the SPD will not come into force until the SPD is adopted, we would encourage applicants to use the reporting formats in the draft SPD instead of the old Sustainable Construction Checklist which is now out of date. ***

Tackling climate change is a key priority for Bath and North East Somerset Council, and it is recognised that buildings which minimise carbon emissions and are designed to be resilient to the future climate can also provide greater occupant comfort and lower energy costs. 

The Draft Sustainable Construction Checklist Supplementary Planning Document sets out how development is to comply with the existing policies within the “Responding to Climate Change” section of the Bath & North East Somerset Placemaking Plan. This new SPD augments the existing Sustainable Construction & Retrofitting SPD which contains useful information about sustainable construction measures, retrofitting in local building archetypes and guidance on historic buildings. 

Current applications

During the consultation period applicants should refer to, or complete, the Draft Sustainable Construction Checklist Supplementary Planning Document - A MS Word version is available via this link for easy of completion. Whilst the SPD is subject to change following consultation, it contains important guidance on the policies in the adopted Placemaking Plan. The SPD will come into effect immediately upon adoption. 

Why are we consulting? 

This consultation is your chance to comment on the SPD. The draft SPD document consists of two sections; the first is guidance on how to complete the Checklist, the second is the Checklist itself as a series of tables for applicants to complete. 

Hard copies of the SPD can be viewed at the following locations during opening hours:

Council Offices

  • The One Stop Shop, Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JG
  • The Hollies, Midsomer Norton, Bath, BA3 2DP
  • Civic Centre One Stop Shop, Temple Street, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1LA


  • Bath Central Library
  • Moorland Road, Library
  • Paulton Library @ THE HUB
  • Radstock Library
  • Saltford Library
  • Weston Library
  • Larkhall Community Library
  • Chew Stoke Community Library
  • Combe Hay Community Library
  • Southside Community Library

How to make comments

Before responding please have a look at the Draft Sustainable Construction Checklist Supplementary Planning Document online or in paper form at the Council’s offices and libraries.  When you’ve had the opportunity to do this:

What happens next 

Following the public consultation all contributions will be scrutinised and the SPD amended accordingly. The Council’s response to the issues raised will be made public. 

The SPD will then require formal approval and adoption by the Council for development management purposes.

Training opportunity

We would like to provide applicants with the information to successfully complete the Sustainable Construction Checklist and to provide members of the public with the information to comment on Checklists that are submitted through the planning process. 

If you would be interested in short, reasonably priced workshops on sustainable construction and the SPD, please complete the short survey to indicate topics that would be of interest. If there is sufficient demand, you will be notified about the workshops in due course.  

Back to the contents list 

2. The Sustainable Construction & Retrofitting SPDSustainable Construction & Retrofitting Supplementary Planning Document

The Council has produced a user-friendly ‘how to’ guide to Sustainable Construction & Retrofitting. It includes:

  • 9 Sustainable construction principles to help you green any new build project
  • Explanation of how the 5 main house types in the area are built
  • Introduces 24 retrofit options from energy and water efficiency to heating and domestic renewable energy
  • What planning, building control & listed building permissions you may need
  • Local case studies and diagrams, photographs and sketches

The Sustainable Construction & Retrofitting SPD was recommended for adoption on 13th February 2013.  The adoption statement for the SPD, and a copy of the accompanying letter, can be viewed here.New Planning Guidance on Sustainable Construction and Retrofitting

Relevant background documents include:

The Sustainable Construction case study on p18 of the SPD won a  Design Quality Award in February 2013

Back to the contents list 

3. Sustainable Construction Case Studies

Ralph Allan Yard demonstrates accomplished sustainable construction, reaching Code for Sustainable Homes level 5.  The brownfield site was transformed into a sustainable and community orientated development.  This case study material highlights its features and achievements.

Keynsham Civic Centre will be amongst the most energy-efficient in the country, with work to install one of the largest council-owned solar panel systems in the UK. The 750 solar panels – which cover an area equivalent to more than four tennis courts – will generate over 230,000 units of electricity each year, equivalent to the annual energy use of almost 70 homes. This will benefit the Council by around £50,000 every year, and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 125 tonnes. Over 20 years the benefits are expected to reach almost £1.5 million, and avoid CO2 emissions of 2,355 tonnes. This case study material highlights its features and achievements.

  • Case Study (5.5 MB)

Back to the contents list

4. Permitted Development Checklist for domestic energy efficiency and microgeneration

The new Permitted Development checklist for energy efficiency and domestic renewables is now available.

Back to the contents list

5. 25 Green Tips Download the 25 Green Tip postcards via the links on the left

A series of 5 beautiful postcards, hand drawn by Conservation Architect David McLaughlin, have been produced to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the WHS designation and promote energy saving and retrofit.  Each postcard contains 5 green tips.  They can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

Back to the contents list  

6. Bath Green Homes logoBath Green Homes

Bath Green Homes is a collaborative project brought to you by B&NES Council, Bath Preservation Trust and Transition Bath and many other local groups and volunteers.

A project to inspire and inform the community about:

  • Making our homes warmer and cheaper to heat
  • Retrofit of our traditional and listed homes
  • Domestic generation of renewable energy
  • Low energy and sustainable design of new homes

Following the success of the 2012 and 2013 projects, Bath Green Homes is getting ready for 2014 with a programme of events from September to November 2014 and an Open Homes Weekend on 27th and 28th September 2014.

A range of local retrofit case studies can be seen here.

Back to the contents list

7. Listed Building GuidanceSustainable Construction & Retrofitting Supplementary Planning Document

Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Guidance For Listed Buildings and Undesignated Historic Buildings was adopted for use by the Planning Department on 11th September 2013. 

Relevant background documents include:

In addition to this local guidance, the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA) have recently (June 2015) produced a toolkit to be used when considering options for retrofitting or refurbishing traditional buildings. Their Responsible Retrofit Guidance Wheel encourages exploration of the measures’ advantages, disadvantages and interactions between different in combination impacts.

Back to the contents list 

8. Non-domestic Renewable Energy

The Council in collaboration with Regen SW has produced Informal Guidance Note: Renewable Energy in the Green Belt in Bath & North East Somerset (April 2013).

Back to the contents list

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