Cllr Cottle-Hunkin's motion passes for more renewable energy and better insulated buildings.

November 3, 2019 10:00 PM
By Cllr Chris Bright
Originally published by Torridge and West Devon Liberal Democrats

We are all very aware of the climate crisis we are currently in. The Torridge District Council has already declared a climate emergency, and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030. Discussions lead by Devon County Council and involving most other district and borough councils in the area are already taking place.

But Cllr Cottle-Hunkin wasn't satisfied with leaving it there. At Torridge District Council's meeting last week, Cheryl brought forward a motion which already had the support of Great Torrington Town Council.

The motion recognised the importance and urgency of the climate crisis and the need to work on solutions to the problem. It stated that Great Torrington Town Council would support a planning policy which would make it compulsory for all new builds to have sources of renewable energy fitted and ready to use, and that Torridge District Council should lead the way on this and fit solar panels to the roof of Great Torrington's swimming pool and other Council-owned buildings across Torridge. Cheryl gave special mention to the importance of energy efficiency of buildings in both design and materials used. Cllr Cottle-Hunkin asked that Torridge District Council supported this motion and lobby the Government where necessary.

To support this motion, Cheryl gave a blistering speech, speaking about rising global temperatures, extreme weather events, rising sea levels, while also highlighting that almost 80% of the global energy demand is from fossil fuels, and the need for that to change. She also spoke of other projects on the global stage where renewable energy and energy efficiency has been the forefront of their decisions and how this is also saving money.

  • In California, solar panels have recently become mandatory for all new homes that are to be built from 2020 onwards and she believes we should demand something similar in the UK. (I agree)
  • A new social housing development by Norwich City Council is using the German Passivhaus standards and is some of the most energy-efficient housing in the UK. It is based on super-high insulation, absolute air-tightness, and harvesting the sun's energy through south-facing windows, with the aim to keep as much heat inside the home as possible. This translates into a 70% reduction in fuel bills for tenants and means that heating bills should be just £150 per year.

The Motion passed with a majority, and will now be taken to the Climate Change Working Group for further consideration by the council.

solar panel installation in Devon