Stop the Heathfield Power Plant

Following Teignbridge District Council’s declaration of a climate emergency in April 2019, in July application 19/01342/FUL was received by Teignbridge District Council for a 2.5MW gas-fired peaking power plant at Heathfield. This application has received over 300 objections. As a result of these Bovey ward Councillor Sally Morgan has called in the decision, so that it would be decided by the full planning committee. The planning officer has now recommended approval to the planning committee, which will meet at 10am 18th February 2020 at Forde House in Newton Abbot.

We will be there at 9.30 and will have a speaker against the application.

A Climate Emergency means that we must not add more fossil fuel burning plant to our electricity network. Teignbridge’s existing local plan has a policy S7, which states that CO2 emissions must be reduced by 48% on 2009 levels by 2033. The applicant claims that this plant supports renewable generation (which it does not), and contains several serious factual inaccuracies including that in 2018 52% of electricity generation was from renewables, where 33.3% came from renewables and 19.5% from nuclear.

The planning officer’s report states that the determination that the application was compliant with policy S7 was “finely balanced”, so had the correct statistics been used it is reasonable to assume that the balance might have swung the other way.

Teign Energy Communities (TECs) has done a detailed analysis of statements in the applicant’s planning statement and the planning officer’s report: http://teignenergycommunities.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/TECs-Heathfield-Power-Station-S7-Analysis-v1.0.pdf

Audrey Compton has written to the members of the planning committee:

Dear Cllr
I am extremely concerned about the application for a Gas Power Station at Heathfield and hope very much that you will be voting against it.
Thousands of us were so encouraged when TDC decided to aim for the District to be carbon neutral by 2025. The all-party agreement on this was also very heartening – having a planning officer recommend passing an application for a fossil-fuel powered generating station is not heartening. To achieve the Councils unanimous ambition means that we all need to reduce our electricity use, not continue as before.

The application asks that the station should be allowed to be used 46% of the time in order to fill gaps in renewable power, this will NOT help us become carbon neutral by 2025.
All it will do is encourage everyone to carry on as usual; which means letting down all of our young people and condemming them to an immeasurably worse life than our own!
Added to the very significant CO2 emissions from this generator are the Nitrous oxide emissions – which are very dangerous to health and will be close to a popular walking and cycle path.
How can TDC measure the impact/contribution this plant will make to the overall Teignbridge Carbon emissions (S7) without this number. An estimate based on 46% operation is quite significant at around 0.25% of total Teignbridge emissions! And what are the expected CO2e emissions per kWh electricity generated? TDC needs to look at the development of storage for renewable energy to smooth out energy supplies, if it truly wishes to decarbonise.

I am one of the four who started ACTion on Climate in Teignbridge last year – we now have around 250 members as well as 250 people who belong to our Facebook page.
Over 50 of us are very active in all of the different areas that we cover: the Built Environment, Energy, Ecology, Food, Farming and Forestry, Transport, Public Engagement and Procurement.
We will be at Forde House to observe the Planning Committee on the 18th – and hope that we can once again celebrate the outstanding leadership of our Councillors.

with best wishes for the future,
Audrey Compton

Applications for similar gas-fired plant at Ivybridge (South Hams 3354/19/FUL ) and Woodbury (East Devon 19/0591/MFUL) have already been refused permission partly on the grounds of climate emergency.

Subjectivity and Climate Change

In her 2016 PhD thesis, Gillian Westcott examined the part played by subjective attitudes to climate change in determining the policy and actions of local authorities in South West England.  

The research used interviews with officers and members of seven local authorities in the area, conducted during the years 2010 to 2013. While much has changed since then, the views expressed could well be relevant to today’s community energy workers and others who engage with local authorities on climate change issues. Read more here.

What you can learn from Energy Performance Certificates

All domestic and commercial buildings in the UK available to rent or buy must have an Energy Performance Certificate. The Certificate provides details on the energy efficiency of a building, gives it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient), and tells you what you can do to improve that rating. It is valid for 10 years.

An EPC lets the person who will use the building know how costly it will be to heat and light, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.

In the Teignbridge area EPCs have been issued for more than 37,000 of around 54,000 dwellings. Nearly two-thirds of these (62% or 23,137) are rated D or worse, with just 58 rated A. Only 27 dwellings have zero or negative carbon emissions, but of those, 10 are new estate houses built by Redrow in Kingsteignton. This shows it can be done so why aren’t all new build estate houses zero carbon? Most have a B or C rating.

Total emissions from dwellings rated D or below currently amount to 127kt of CO2, against 31kt for the higher rated ones.

The top recommendations in Teignbridge EPCs for improving energy efficiency are to install: solar panels (29,642 certificates), solar hot water heating (26,591), low energy light bulbs (24,075), a new condensing boiler (11,994). There are also various insulation recommendations.

If all the suggested improvements were carried out, only 5,949 dwellings  (16%) would be rated D or worse and emissions per dwelling would drop by nearly half, from 4.23 tonnes to 2.37 tonnes. But those low rated dwellings would still account for around a third of CO2 emissions.

EPC data is a useful starting point for Parish and Town councils that have declared a climate emergency. It will help to set carbon targets and implement initiatives designed to reduce emissions.  For more details, and maps showing current and potential CO2 emissions by parish, please visit https://actionclimateteignbridge.org/index.php/energy-performance-certificates-epcs/

Climate Workshop for Councillors and Clerks

Calling District, Town, Parish Councillors and Clerks throughout Teignbridge. You are invited to attend a forum on climate action to share knowledge and ideas. Choose a date and venue below and sign up.

Are you worried about declaring a climate emergency, wondering what the implications are for your council and community?

Are you struggling to take the next steps after making a declaration, or to formulate an action plan?

Have you made progress with your action plan that you could share with others?

Would you like to find out how other councils are developing their plans?

If any of these apply, please come along!

ACT (ACTion on Climate in Teignbridge), the voluntary group helping Teignbridge District Council tackle its carbon reduction initiative, has been in contact with like-minded groups around the country and has decided to hold a forum to share ideas and success stories.

ACT is currently putting together a comprehensive Climate Emergency Parish Pack and your experiences could contribute to it.

Speakers at the event include Phil Shears, Managing Director of Teignbridge District Council, as well as members of ACT.

There are two sessions for this event; one in Dawlish on Thursday 13th February 2020, the other in Ashburton on Wednesday 19th February 2020.

Dawlish Event

Thursday February 13th 2020 7pm to 9pm

If you would like to attend this event please click here.

Ashburton Event

Wednesday February 19th 2020 7pm to 9pm

If you would like to attend this event please click here.

Britain’s first zero emissions street


A heavily-polluted road which is partially enclosed will become Britain’s first zero-emissions street where all petrol and diesel cars will be banned.  Read more here:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/16/britains-first-zero-emissions-street-ban-petrol-diesel-cars/

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/dec/17/london-to-get-uks-first-zero-emission-street

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/barbican-estates-beech-street-to-become-britains-first-24hour-zeroemissions-road-a4315221.html

https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/polluted-square-mile-street-to-become-uks-first-zero-emissions-road-20191216

https://londonist.com/london/transport/beech-street-to-become-london-s-first-zero-emission-road

Climate Emergency Question Time well attended

The event at Coombeshead Academy last thursday was well attended.

Here is a video of some of the answers. For most questions only one of the candidate’s answers is shown, in the hustings each candidate was given equal time to answer.

And some pictures from the event.

  • Arriving at the event

What people said about the event

Audrey Compton said:

Thank you so much for coming to Climate Questions on Thursday – it was a brilliant evening. Our six Green, Labour and Lib Dem candidates for Central Devon and Newton Abbot (Mel Stride and Anne Marie Morris DIDN’T come, I’m afraid) answered lots of the questions you’d sent in – and agreed on so many Climate and Environmental issues. How about a Climate Coalition, chaps? We also celebrated ACT’s achievements over the last five months – and looked ahead at our plans! Then we enjoyed mulled wine, mulled apple juice and delicious, local, unpackaged mince pies!!!! It was a really good evening – special thanks to nearly 30 ACT members who helped on the night and made it happen.

Dick de Vicq said; ” The event was well organised, well attended, and lively – with useful discussions over mulled wine/ tea afterwards. “

Gordon Hook said: “I attended the Action on Climate in Teignbridge hustings at Coombeshead Academy last evening. I’m pleased I did; a good night.
An almost full theatre witnessed six of the nine candidates standing for election next Thursday in Newton Abbot and Central Devon, answer a large number of questions, which had been pre-submitted by members of the audience.”

November 2019 Newletter

Action on Climate in Teignbridge’s November Newsletter.

ACT members have been busy!

ACT‘s sub-groups have submitted a wide range of policies for the Teignbridge Local Plan Review – with Fuad and Jules making especially important inputs to the Built Environment areas, where the 2019 Amended Climate Act is changing carbon targets for the better. Our Group is now working closely with the Council on a range of different subjects and we are very happy to be forming this close relationship.

Sub-groups: If there is an ACT sub-group that you would like to join, then do let us know by clicking on update your preferences. We currently have these six sub-groups: Built Environment, Food, Farming and Forestry (3Fs), Ecology, Procurement, Public Engagement and Transport. If getting to meetings is difficult, don’t worry, we have several members who email comments when we send the agendas round – we really value your input!

ACT‘s new website is going to be up and running very soon! Enormous thanks to Jules for his hard work and expertise – we think it is going to be a great asset.

Dartmoor National Park: Nearly one third of our Teignbridge Parishes are within, or partly within, Dartmoor National Park. So, a group of us will be meeting their Chief Executive, Kevin Bishop, very soon to discuss the best ways of working together on the Dartmoor Climate and Ecological Emergency. We are also working with groups that have been formed on the Moor.

Councils who have declared a Climate Emergency – or who are thinking of it – are asking for advice and presentations to help them write Climate Action Plans. ACT has been putting together a Parish Pack, with a wide range of information, from Declaring a Climate Emergency to setting up a Community Fridge or a Community Garden. There is also an increasing demand for ACT’s interactive Climate Change talks around the District – with particular interest in what we can all do in our own lives. Get in touch if you or your Council would like more information.

Funding: We have gone from having just a few pounds in the pot to having £500! Cllr Richard Keeling (Chair of Teignbridge District Council) and Cllr Lorraine Evans have each given us £250 from their Councillors ‘pot’ that they can give to organisations that help their local communities. We’re very grateful!

Forthcoming Events:

Thursday 5th December: Now that we know who our candidates are, we’re inviting them all (Newton Abbot and Central Devon) to a Local Candidates Climate Change Question Time at Coombeshead Theatre. As soon as we have their responses, we will be sending out invitations to ACT members and members of local climate change organisations (not to the general public). When you book your place, you can also submit a question. We will select a representative set of questions that we can ask them on the night.

A Climate Forum for Councillors: this will be in the New Year and will be an opportunity for our District, Town and Parish Councillors to ‘get up to speed’ on climate issues. It will also be a great opportunity for everyone to share ideas and find out which are working best!

And finally:

We need to talk about Christmas…

In our imagination we see happy friends and families cuddled up together on the sofa, sharing a delicious meal or walking across a snowy hillside. No wonder we look forward to our mid-winter festival!

But the reality is different – with stressed parents dashing around trying to achieve this impossible dream, while avoiding borrowing too much more money; anxious grandparents trying to buy the right gift tokens for their grandchildren. Everyone doing their best to work out what everyone wants for the festive season.

So, what do we want for Christmas and the New Year? What better present could we give to our young people than hope for the future of their world?

So, why don’t we put more of our efforts into fighting climate change? Is it because advertising has ‘programmed’ us to shop? Is it because shopping gives us a quick ‘high’ – followed by some nasty doubts when we get home? Is it because we can make shopping decisions on our own – but to tackle climate change effectively, we need to work together?

Whatever the reason, could a simple Christmas with tiny, plastic-free presents and moderate amounts of local food make us happier?

Just think of the TIME we’d save – time to be together.

Think of the MONEY we’d save – no loans to repay.

Think how much less FOOD would be wasted – and how much less STUFF would be binned.

Less ships carrying plastics around the world, less intensive food production, less CO2 emissions.

Surely we could try!

Climate Emergency Question Time

Local candidates answer your questions

Thursday 5th December 7-9pm at Coombeshead College’s Bushell Theatre.

With mulled wine and minced pies.

Deciding how to vote has never been so difficult, and climate change and the environment aren’t getting as much cover as they deserve. So, ACTion on Climate in Teignbridge has invited all of the candidates standing for the Central Devon and Newton Abbot constituencies to our Climate Emergency Question Time.

When you book your place, you will have the opportunity to submit a question on how they would fight climate change and help our ecosystems recover. We will choose a representative selection which our Chair will ask every candidate. If any candidates can’t attend, we will ask them to send someone to represent their views – not simply their Party manifesto’s.

We will also be celebrating ACT‘s first 5 months, in which we have been supporting the District of Teignbridge on its journey to becoming carbon neutral. After Question Time there will be mulled wine, mulled apple juice and mince pies – a good time to socialise and share views on the best ways to reach our ambitious goal! We now have around 200 members from all over the District, of which 50 are very active – but there is always room for more. We’d would love to see you there and hear your views! Please share this with any other Teignbridge Environment Groups.

Directions and parking.

Questions submitted in the forum The deadline for submission of questions is mid day on 3rd December.

Please bring your own mug – no glasses for safety reasons.

Sorry this event is now full.

Read the Candidate’s statements

Central Devon

Alison Eden (Liberal Democrats)

Accepted

Mel Stride (Conservatives)

Has not responded to our invitation

Lisa Robillard Webb (Labour)

Accepted

Andy Williamson (Green Party)

Accepted

Newton Abbot

Megan Debenham (Green Party)

Accepted

David Halpin (Independent)

Declined

Anne Marie Morris (Conservatives)

Withdrawn

James Osben (Labour)

Accepted

Martin Wrigley (Liberal Democrats)

Accepted

TDC formally accept our support proposal

ACT has met Jackie Hook, TDC climate emergency portfolio holder and David Eaton, climate emergency lead officer, on several occasions, to discuss a joint approach for delivering on the TDC declaration. We have also gathered over 150 proposals for possible action from members of the community, which has been passed to the council.

The coordination group is confident that ACT can help both TDC and everyone in Teignbridge achieve the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2025. This proposal describes ACT’s vision, mission and objectives, and proposes a partnership with the council. Finally, it provides an provisional timeline for getting the relationship established.

TDC formally accepted our role in supporting them in at their full council meeting on 24th Sept 2019.

Our full proposal can be read here.

September 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the first of what will become a quarterly newsletter.

Firstly, and somewhat belatedly a massive THANK YOU to all who attended our Climate Summit meeting.  Especially for all the great suggestions you’ve given us, we’ve already used those in our work discussions the district council.  

So, what’s been happening since the Climate Summit meeting on 4th July 2019?

We’ve been busy setting up structures and starting lots of initiatives.  We’ve managed a lot, but now need more people to get actively involved and help us deliver some of the things you’ve told us are important.
The Coordination group have held regular meetings.  As a result, we have agreed to call our group – Action on Climate in Teignbridge (ACT for short).  We have formulated our group’s aims, working structure and responsibilities in our Terms of Reference document.  ACT’s mission is to assist, encourage and help Teignbridge District Council and town and parish councils, community groups and residents in the district to act together to realise the Carbon Zero target of 2025.
ACT’s Coordination group are positioning themselves to become the main point of contact between all other like minded groups, Town and Parish councils and individuals across Teignbridge.  Offering help and guidance and sharing best work practices. 
We have also formed the following specialist working groups: Built Environment, Transport, Food-Farming-Forestry, Ecology, Fundraising, Procurement and PR. Meetings of the Built Environment, the three F’s and Ecology have already taken place.  Meetings of both Transport and PR are planned.
Please contact me to find out more about what help we need.
ACT’s proposal to Teignbridge District Council, will be considered and voted on Tuesday the 24th September. You can read this and the council’s proposed plans under item 9 of the agenda for the full council meeting.
Our main activities over the next month or so will be; updating our web site, contacting groups and all Parish and Town councils across Teignbridge to become part of this community initiative.
We will also continue working on our legal structure and plan to hold an inaugural AGM in November. This will include the election of officers.
Reading this through prior to sending it out, it does seem slightly boring and matter of fact, but the people involved with these groups are quite inspiring, fun and very passionate. Although some might comment “I do need to get out more”
If you have any questions, ideas or would like to help please contact me.