||C-Plan (Carbon Planner) allows local
authorities and developers to assess and reduce the carbon
impact of new developments.
The Energy Centre for Sustainable Communities (ECSC)
has announced the launch of C-Plan - a revolutionary
web-based software service which allows developers and local
planning authorities to measure, monitor and report on the
carbon impact of new developments. ECSC provides sustainable
energy expertise to a wide range of public and private sector
As local planning authorities come under increasing pressure
from the UK government to adopt sustainable energy targets,
they are finding that assessing new developments for compliance
requires a level of technical expertise they seldom have in-house.
At the same time, developers are facing the impact of new
and pending legislation - such as the Planning and Climate
Change Supplement to PPS1, the EU Energy Performance in Buildings
Directive and the Housing & Regeneration Bill.
C-Plan has been designed in response to demand from
local authority planners for a tool to meet these challenges.
It provides developers with online templates to submit appropriate
evidence of compliance with sustainable energy policy and
uses a 'traffic light' system to indicate when a development
starts to meet planning policy targets.
For local planning authorities, C-Plan allows development
control officers to use simple graphical indicators to support
their decision-making and provides policy officers with rich
reporting tools to monitor the impact of policy across all
developments on a regional or authority-wide basis.
The fact that the service is browser-based means it is extremely
scalable and easy to roll-out across organisations and regions.
C-Plan has been successfully trialled in Woking Borough
Council, has just gone live in Three Rivers District Council
and is now being rolled-out to other authorities.
ECSC brought together local authority planners during the
development of C-Plan to work alongside its own in-house
team to ensure the product meets their requirements. C-Plan’s
database was built on a platform of sound academic building
services research in collaboration with the Department of
Engineering Systems at London South Bank University.
David Pitcher, Commercial Manager at ECSC, commented - “C-Plan
is the first solution which links up planners, developers,
consultants, administrators and policy officers in a single
collaborative environment. We are confident that C-Plan
will enable developers and planners to meet the challenges
of responding to climate change and carbon reduction and we
aim to make C-Plan the foremost tool for this purpose.
“Local authorities and developers will quickly discover
that, as well as being extremely user-friendly, C-Plan
is built on robust and academically-sourced data. Our long-term
vision is that C-Plan will ultimately speed up the
planning process and improve efficiency in delivering low
and zero carbon development.”
Peter Kerr, Chief Development Plans and Transportation Officer
at Three Rivers District Council, said - "Although we've only
been using C-Plan for a short time, it has already
become an important tool in allowing us to implement policies
to tackle climate change. We were getting increasingly concerned
about how to properly quantify and report on the carbon efficiency
of new developments. C-Plan's innovative online platform
now allows us to monitor this easily and efficiently - making
the whole process seamless and much more targeted."
ECSC is owned by Thameswey
- an energy and environmental services company which is part
of Woking Borough Council.