Archive for category Green Building

Planning Committee Meeting

Abstract

This report outlines the process in which a planning application was analysed at the planning committee meeting. It discusses the role of different members present in the meeting in the planning application process. Different stages of planning application process have been studied, which include pre-application advice, application submission, role of validation team, role of development control officer and planning committee involvement. Different types of applications have been mentioned. The planning application selected for analysis has been described. The planning officer’s report contents have been briefly summarised. The stages in the process of planning application assessment have been explained in detail. Lastly, the planning application process has been critically analysed.

 Background study of Planning Application Process

Planning takes places within the context of a system which is defined by Legislation, Regulations and Orders, Case Law, National policy and advice (NPPF), local plans (Neighbourhood plans), appeals and enforcement.

Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) evaluate planning applications. This will be either District/Borough/City/Unitary/County/London/Borough/Metropolitan/National Park.

The applicant has an option to get free “Pre-application advice”. The applicant can discuss the documents with the council in presence of planning officers and get advice on the list of required documents for application approval. This is an optional service and depends on the applicant’s desire to use it. Instead, the applicant can directly submit the application to Local authority.

The application is then passed on to the Validation team who is responsible for checking all the documents against the local list (where all the policies relating to the application are considered) in order to validate if relevant. The application is then forwarded to the Development manager or Development control Officer (DC).

DC stage has two options.

  1. It is delegated by the officer. In this case, if the planning application is straightforward, the consent is given by the DC officer alone.
  2. Sometimes, there is a need for the planning committee to intervene and decide if the application is to be approved or refused. The DC officer sends his comments to the committee regarding his thoughts and analysis of the application.

Role of Planning Committee

Major and contentious applications are dealt with by Planning Committees. They also inspect the sites before coming to a conclusion. The Planning Committee includes Councillors from all political parties and areas of the City. Officers of the Council also attend to answer questions about the reports.


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Development of Lammas Ecovillage, UK

New revolutionary Ecovillage development in the UK | Lammas

It is one ecovillage in the UK to attain prospective planning permission. The permission was achieved in 2009 after three years of planning campaign (1). It is situated in Northern Pembrokeshire, Wales. It consists of only 9 households spread over an area of 75 acres. The concept of the development of ecovillage was to provide the residents with a sustainable lifestyle. The aim was to help residents learn to grow their food, fulfill their own water and energy needs without depending on mains (2).

Wood fired Kitchen

Wood fired Kitchen

 Locally available materials have been used for construction. The materials include local timber, straw bale insulation and locally sourced aggregate. Green techniques have been incorporated in the design of ecovillage. Use of masonry stove, passive solar heating and a wood fired kitchen. Department of Energy and Climate Change funded the ecovillage project (3).

Roof made from local materials

Roof made from local materials

The project was designed in a way that it could be replicated anywhere across the country. Each household purchased a 1000 year agricultural lease from the organization that provides them security and autonomy. They employed systems of Permaculture which were used in Australia in 1970s. These techniques helped in maximizing the land productivity. It emulated the natural ecosystems, increase in biodiversity in the local area. It also helped in increasing the productivity organic food. There was a considerable decrease in the levels of carbon pollution (4).


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Casestudy of Toyota, Japan | Ecological Sustainability

Sustainable City in Japan – Toyota

Toyota, a city in Japan has been working to achieve ecological sustainability and has been taking effective measures to strive towards it. Toyota is called the eco-ful town. It has earned its renown for building a life sized model of sustainable living and demonstrating it successfully. Use of renewable energy and achieving energy efficiency has been its prime goal.

Map of Toyota, Japan

Map of Toyota, Japan

Design of Roads in Toyota

The roads laid in the city of Toyota have been paid special attention to. The roads are coated with water retaining and thermal insulation substances to minimize heat emission.

The transportation system has been very well developed in Toyota. It is called as “Demand responsive transportation“.


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Effect of Economic breakdown on Construction Industry

Poor Economic state of the World | Effect on Construction Industry and its prevention

Sudden Economic change is extremely bad for Construction industry of any country. The status of Global markets determines the behaviour of an individual country. For example, if the economy of United Kingdom is suffering due to employment problems in the country or financial crisis; it affects the whole of Europe. On the whole, the economy of Europe plays a great role in moving the market.

The first and foremost bad effect of the market would be:

Banks going bankrupt. Banks are the main sources of capital for major construction projects.

Construction industry is capital intensive.

Because of the banks going bankrupt, there is not enough capital in the market that could be utilized for new projects. Because of less money in the market, people are unable to afford luxury homes, offices. This has two major effects on the construction industry:

  1. Since, people do not have the money to buy buildings, Existing projects are stalled due to increasing raw material cost and decreasing real estate value. No more gigantic home loans available.
  2. After analyzing the scenario of the bad economic conditions of the market, the builders decide to scrap the idea of new constructions and decide to wait for the right time to start the project. This brings recession in the construction industry which affects architects, engineers and mainly workers badly.

Financial Crisis in the country will result in major construction firms going bankrupt which in turn would be responsible for the loss of thousands of jobs.

Is it possible to prevent this from happening? If yes, then how?

A new system of design is needed to ensure very low energy footprint, sustainable development and optimum use of local materials.

A renewed focus is needed on Green building Design


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Growing Need for Environmental Sustainability

Chronic Need for Environmental Sustainability

Everyone is aware of the fact that the life on earth is degrading day by day. The quality of life on earth has gone from best to worst in the past 150 years.

For people who do not agree with the concept of Sustainability

The concept of sustainability is brought up for the betterment of human species and not for the earth. The Earth can survive without humans. Sustainability is for us to survive on earth.

The video illustrates the story of our Mother Earth or rather I should say “Sad story of Earth”….

Earth was beautiful and Green before humans started using Earth’s resources ruthlessly… The earth is now in the devastated condition and if this continues for the next 50 years, it will bring with it the end of Human life on Earth by the next century.

We should all work towards making our environment green and sustainable because we are the ones who are responsible for getting it into such a bad ruined state.

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