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Climate positive planning

Somerset West and Taunton Council has declared a Climate Emergency and are committed to working towards carbon neutrality by 2030. Planning can play a key role in tackling the Climate Emergency in relation to both mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. This has been identified in the Somerset Climate Emergency Strategy and SWT’s own Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience (CNCR) Action Plan

Planning plays an important role in determining the location and mix of development, the details of how that development comes forward, and how future residents and occupiers of development travel and interact with their immediate environments. It can also play a key part in enabling buildings to be or become carbon neutral and energy efficient by introducing low carbon heat sources and renewable energy. Planning also plays a key part in bringing forward new renewable energy generating infrastructure.

The CNCR Action Plan identifies a number of potential actions to be taken forward in relation to planning which are required to meet our target of carbon neutrality. However, in many cases, these will require changes to policy. Such changes will be explored through the Local Plan review 2040.


In the meantime, the Council has produced a draft Climate Positive Planning: Interim Policy Statement on Planning for the Climate Emergency with a view to ensuring that the Council is maximising use of existing policy in relation to planning for the Climate Emergency.

The Statement is not in itself planning policy, and is not part of the statutory Development Plan, therefore:

  • It cannot alter existing or set new planning policy;
  • It can only clarify existing planning policy requirements, and provide additional explanation and guidance;
  • It underlines that the Climate Emergency is a material consideration;
  • It identifies how the requirements of development plan policy may be viewed in assessing development proposals.

The Statement is being consulted on from 23 November 2020 to 4 January 2021.

To respond to the consultation, we encourage you to use the consultation portal.

Alternatively, you can email responses to or write to us at Strategy team, Somerset West and Taunton Council, Deane House, Belvedere Rd, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1HE.