Changes to MK Planning Energy Policy

The new Plan:MK2016 – 2031 (adopted March 2019) introduced a new Sustainable Construction & Renewable Energy Policy. It is envisaged that this type of policy is likely to become more widespread as Planning Authorities seek to drive development towards zero carbon.

The new policy replaces the previous Local Plan Policy D4 which introduced sustainable construction requirements that pre-empted higher national energy standards in buildings.

Policy SC1 Sustainable Construction confirms that development proposals will be required to demonstrate how they have implemented various requirements including the following:

  • Materials & Waste Reduction
  • Energy & Climate Change
  • Water Usage
  • Retrofitting

Materials & Waste Reduction

The policy encourages the reuse and recycling of land and materials where possible. It looks to encourage the incorporation of green roofs to improve water management and provide space for biodiversity. The policy encourages developers to consider the lifecycle of any proposals including how they can be adapted to meet changes in social and economic needs.

Energy & Climate

Policy SC1 encourages the implementation of the energy hierarchy for new developments.

It also encourages schemes to consider energy storage and demand management to support local and national energy security priorities.

SC1 also requires developments of 11 or more dwellings and non-residential developments with a floor space of 1000 sq.m or more to submit an Energy & Sustainability Statement to demonstrate how the proposals would meet the following requirements:

  • Achieve a 19% carbon reduction improvement upon the requirements set within Building Regulations Approved Document Part L 2013.
  • Provide on-site renewable energy generation, or connection to a renewable or low carbon community energy scheme, that contributes to a further 20% reduction in the residual carbon emission.
  • Make financial contributions to the Council’s carbon offset fund.
  • For dwellings calculate Indoor Air Quality and Overheating Risk performance.
  • Implement a recognised quality regime that ensures the ‘as built’ performance meets design.
  • Establish a recognised monitoring regime to allow the assessment of
    energy use, indoor air quality, and overheating risk.

Water Usage

Policy SC1 also establishes that new dwellings will have to limit water consumption to 110 litres/person/day and wherever possible incorporate water reuse and recycling and where viable implement rainwater harvesting.


Under the new Policy, proposals which would result in considerable improvements to the energy efficiency, carbon emissions and/or general suitability, condition and longevity of existing buildings will also be supported.

For further advice check the consultancy service that EES can provide for developers.

Share our news: