This site is no longer maintained
This website should only be accessed for School Messenger, SIS or planning agents information.

Climate Emergency Development Plan Document

Public Consultation on the Climate Emergency Development Plan Document (DPD) under Regulation 19 Pre-submission

Consultation 26 February – 5pm 16 April 2021

Continue reading

Work has continued throughout this year on the Climate Emergency DPD. It is an important part of the Council’s plan to address Climate Change. We thank all who have responded to the climate emergency. We are now asking for your thoughts before we submit for examination. This pre-submission consultation is under Regulation 19 of the planning act. 

Download the Climate Emergency DPD.


 A proposed amendment to paragraph 19.3.2 of the Climate Emergency pre-submission draft under Regulation 19 has been issued.  Due to an omission, Porthtowan should have been included within the list of candidate Coastal Change Management Areas.   The amendment proposes that Porthtowan is included within the list of ‘candidate Coastal Change Management Areas (cCCMAs) within paragraph 19.3.2 of the DPD. Erratum 

What is the document all about?

Cornwall declared a climate emergency in 2019. Our aim is to become carbon neutral by 2030. This needs the combined effort of the Council and everyone else in Cornwall. Businesses, residents and visitors all need to act to help make this huge step. 

We continue to call on Westminster to give us powers and funding to help deliver our ambitions. All services across the Council have a part to play. Planning is an important part of the solution to improve housing and infrastructure. Making sure that our children and grandchildren have a Cornwall to live, work and thrive in.

These Planning Policies impact on the way that places grow and change. They will help to protect and shape the future of Cornwall. The policies in the Cornwall Local Plan (CLP) do not do enough to protect against climate change. The Climate Emergency DPD replaces and introduces some policies. All aimed at protecting our environment, whilst sitting alongside Government legislation. 

The policies make development more sustainable. We have gathered evidence from experts and stakeholders throughout the DPD process. This evidence helped us to identify the right policies. Our aim is that they are flexible, allowing us to keep up with changes in technology. Supporting information will give advice on how to interpret each policy. 

Planning for a Carbon Neutral Cornwall

What can planning do to help?

Planning policies affect buildings or changes to the landscape. The Government sets national planning policy. It also set Building Regulations and other legislation that we must consider. We are not always able to make our local rules stricter. Planning follows a long and often-complicated legal process. It uses language that sometimes means very little to anyone but planners or lawyers! But this is to make sure that rules are legal and enforceable (or sound in planning terms). The Climate Emergency Development Plan Document encourages better development, that uses less energy. Developing buildings that survive future climate change and that help protect the planet.

We asked at early scoping if the themes we were considering were right, and the majority agreed. When considering the areas planning policy can impact our themes have remained constant.  

The Themes in the DPD: 

Climate Change Principles for Cornwall 

An overarching policy that sets out the aims of all the policies in the DPD 

Natural Climate Solutions 

These policies protect ecosystems helping nature to reduce the effects of climate change. This can be by keeping greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere or by reducing flood risk. Forests, peat bogs, salt marshes and seagrass beds all help to protect where we live. They also help during the dry spells or droughts that may happen because of climate change. Land that is not good for growing food is useful for creating natural solutions. Taking harmful carbon from the atmosphere. 

These can also become havens for wildlife and plants giving us more green spaces to enjoy and learn from. These planning policies aim to help conserve nature. More detailed information is available on the natural climate solutions topic paper.

Agriculture and Rural Issues

Agriculture contributes around 20% of Cornwall's Carbon footprint. It is important that proposals or development on farms reduce emissions. To support food production agriculture has fewer planning restrictions than other developments. Yet, farming and estate management can impact on the habitat for pollinators, bees and insects. It can also affect biodiversity, natural flood defences, food and fuel. It can affect access to the countryside and the activities that we enjoy helping to keep us fit and healthy.

The policies allow development whilst committing to improving agricultural practices and estates. This will ensure that eco-system services continue to support the wider community. Improvements to land will help towards our aim to become carbon neutral. 

More information is available on the agriculture and rural issues topic paper.

One Planet Development/Alternative living

Supporting self-sufficient lifestyles could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We’re proposing a new policy based on the Welsh ‘One Planet Development’ policy that was raised during Scoping consultation.

Low impact means being self-sufficient, in a way that is positive for the environment. This means respecting the landscape and cultural heritage on and surrounding the site. It also means increasing biodiversity, improving air, water and soil quality.

A one planet development aims to be self-sufficient in energy, water and waste. It should also provide a large proportion of food and income from the land.

This would be a move away from national and local policy on development in the open countryside. It is critical that proposals prove they have a low impact approach. For more information see the One Planet development/alternative living topic paper.

Town Centre Design and Density 

Town centres are in decline as shopping areas change and retail stores close. This isn't unique to Cornwall and has become much worse as a result of the pandemic. Government changes to planning rules and uses have tried to help slow this decline. Having more homes in town centres could help support town centres and reduce the impact of climate change. These policies aim to help to change the focus of our town centres and keep them alive. Investing in public transport and cycling routes helps to give more choice. It can make it easier to use our cars less and helps connect people to jobs. Mixed-use buildings, with good public transport and green spaces help keep towns vibrant. View the Town Centre Design and Density topic paper.

Sustainable Transport 

We need to travel in ways that are healthier and kinder to the planet. A fifth of all harmful greenhouse gas emissions in the UK come from road transport (mostly from cars). Currently there are very few ultralow-emission vehicles that use fuel other than diesel or petrol in Cornwall. A big challenge in reducing traffic is changing our behaviour. It's very easy to use your own car and people often see buses or trains as less convenient. When a new development is planned, we want to make it easier to choose other forms of transport. This can promote health as people find walking, cycling or taking the bus or train a better option. Policies can make sure that new development has access to public transport. They can also include as many safe walking and cycling routes as possible. By supporting a good mix of houses, schools, business and local services, more people are able to work locally. Other policies can make sure that charging points for electric vehicles are available. More detailed information is available in our transport topic paper

Renewable Energy 

We all use electricity and the amount we need could double over the next 50 years. Only a third of energy we use currently is from renewable sources. The rest comes from fossil fuels or sources that affect the atmosphere and cause pollution. In the future we will need around five times the current amount of renewable energy. We must make changes, reduce demand and become carbon neutral. Renewable energy comes from a range of sources. Wind turbines that make the most of our windy conditions. Wave Power - capturing the power of the sea. Photo Voltaic or Solar Panels - using the warmth/ light from the sun. Deep Geothermal or hot rocks - using naturally occurring heat in the earth to generate energy. We encourage all forms of renewable energy in this growing sector. By encouraging everyone to make the right decisions we can use less energy. By making it possible to store more of the renewable energy we generate, we can keep it and use it in Cornwall. We are promoting Smart grid technology to support the electricity network in the South West. More information is available on renewable energy and mine water energy and deep geothermal in these topic papers.

Sustainable Energy and Construction 

In Cornwall fuel poverty affects over 31,000 houses. More people and houses in Cornwall have this problem than in other areas in England. Energy efficiency is important to protect the environment and to reduce fuel poverty. We have a lot of very old houses in Cornwall and they cost more money to heat and are difficult to keep warm. This policy looks at ways that new and existing housing can be improved. More detailed information on sustainable energy and construction. is available in this topic paper.

Coastal Change and Flooding 

Worrying news stories, over the last few years show coastal damage and flooding. These events are happening more often with violent storms causing damage. That could also be because of the rising sea levels caused by global warming. We need to make sure we look after our coastline which can suffer from coastal erosion. Planning policies can make sure that development is in the right places. Not too close to the sea, on the beach or a cliff edge! Policies can ask developers or builders to carry out surveys to make sure the site isn't in a flood prone area. And to show that new building won't cause issues for nearby communities or buildings. Cornwall Council want natural climate solutions to be a priority for developers. This will form part of the policies in the Climate Emergency DPD. More detailed information is available on coastal change and flood management

We received many great ideas and suggestions but not all under planning control. We have shared all this feedback with our colleagues across the council. This DPD is one of many Cornwall Council projects to help address Climate Change. 

Public Consultation

This public consultation will last for 6 weeks between 26 February and 16 April 2021 (days have been added to cover bank holidays)

You can view or download the Climate Emergency DPD. 

We are holding a series of virtual sessions on the following dates:  

16 March 3.30pm – 5pm

17 March12.30pm – 2pm 

18 March 2pm – 3.30pm 

19 March 1.30pm – 3pm 

Please email: to book your place.

You can respond to the DPD using the response form or by using the contact details below:


Or call: 0300 1234 151 

Or write to: Climate Emergency DPD, Climate Emergency DPD

Cornwall Council – Planning, 

3B Pydar House, Pydar Street

Truro, Cornwall. TR1 1XU

You can view or download the evidence we have used to prepare the Climate Emergency DPD: 

Links to: 

Policy Map  and Interactive Mapping

Viability Report and Appendix

Energy Review and Modelling Report

Sustainability Appraisal 

Habitat Regulation Appraisal 

Regulation 18 consultation Statement of Consultation and Appendix 1, 2, 34 and 5

Focused energy & sustainable construction Statement of Consultation and Appendix 1, 2 

Duty to Co-operate