Leading the way on green policies

Date published: 08 November 2010

OLDHAM Council has proved its green credentials by scooping a top environmental accolade at the Climate Change Leaders Awards.

The council won a North-West Climate Leaders Award at a ceremony at the Preston Guild Hall for its planning for climate change.

The award recognises departments, teams and individuals who are at the forefront of delivering exemplary climate-change services to local citizens and businesses.

It highlights high-quality and innovative services which minimise the potential impact of climate change, help their local area adapt to unavoidable impacts and also deliver efficiency savings

Oldham Council was recognised for its implementation of a new planning policy requiring major developments in the borough to provide 10 per cent of their predicted energy needs from on-site renewable energy sources.

To help deliver this, officers developed a new supplementary planning document to provide further guidance on the renewable energy policies contained within the Unitary Development Plan.

Since its introduction in 2005 the council has granted planning permission to more than 120 major developments which have used a variety of renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, solar power, air and ground-source heat pumps and biomass technologies.

This has already resulted in the borough’s carbon footprint falling from 5.5 per head emissions in 2005 to 5.2 over the past five years and, as part of this award, the council has received a £2,000 reinvestment grant for training to encourage more sustainable local developments.

Councillor Mark Alcock, cabinet member for citizens and neighbourhoods, said: “We are delighted to have won this special award in recognition of the hard work that has been done at Oldham Council to combat climate change.

“Since this policy was introduced, more than 120 major local developments have received planning permission requiring them to provide 10 per cent of their needs from on-site renewable energy sources.

“We were the very first authority in Greater Manchester to introduce this type of policy and this award — alongside other achievements such as the dramatic improvements in our recycling rates — shows we are proactively addressing the issues and challenges that climate change presents.”