Low Carbon Planning and Housing

The draft Leicester Local Plan defines how Leicester (and the surrounding suburbs) will develop in the next 16 years. At the moment it is business as usual, and we are told that the climate will be factored into the next draft. However, the next draft will probably also be the final draft so we need to make sure that we push for the climate to be prioritised now, as part of this draft’s consultation. The consultation was due to close on 7th June but has just been postponed, which means we have time to do this really well.

You can download our short briefing to help you respond. It says what is missing, and what is needed: Local Plan short briefing.

Our target is to get hundreds of responses pushing for specific policies which will ensure the city:

  • builds housing which can cope with climate change
  • protects green spaces and plants trees
  • ensures new developments are designed to discourage car use as well as supporting walking, cycling and bus use
  • requires new developments to be deeply energy efficient and to generate solar energy.

Our campaign plan looks like this:

  1. Set out our basic position so you can see what we are asking for, and talk/ask questions about it – we’ve done this and you can see it here: local plan outline final.
  2. Write a set of briefings to support people to respond to the consultation – ranging from very simple short briefing for people who only have a few minutes, to a more detailed one for people who want to put some time into it. The short one is now ready and available here: Local Plan short briefing.
  3. Ask you (and everyone else we can reach) to pledge to 1/. write a consultation response and 2/. actively ask and support a specific number of friends to do the same. Please make a pledge here and ask your friends to as well.
  4. Offer online talks about the Local Plan from a Climate perspective to other groups and our own members. Our next talk will be on 29th July, 7pm on Zoom. If you know a group who would like a talk please email us. Or you can watch a recording of a previous 30 minute talk on the same topic here.
  5. Create a walk people can do (from the train station to Victoria Park along New Walk) while listening to an audio track about Climate Change solutions and the Local Plan.
  6. Put together a quick survey people can do to help them think about climate related issues in the Local Plan. This is now up and running and you can do the survey here. We hope to send the results to the Local Plan consultation as part of our response.
  7. Set up an online letter campaign to help people actually write and sent their Local Plan consultation responses.
  8. Come up with other ideas to spread the message wider and get people responding – please email in any ideas you have!

Click here to find out who your councillors are, and here for a link to the draft Local Plan (the council have taken it off their website until the consultation reopens which is why this is a google drive doc, it is however the plan they opened the consultation with). If you would like to see National Friends of the Earth’s guide on what SHOULD be in a Local Plan you can click here.

Here are some examples of attractive high density housing – bear in mind that different people find different things attractive!

This is Maida Vale, a  very popular area in London full of flats in Victorian buildings. It is the most densly populated place in the UK, with 20,000 people living in one square mile. 200-350 dwellings per hectare!



Goldsmith Passivhaus council house development in Norwich, Norfolk. These terraced houses at a density of 83 dwellings per hectare and are designed to use 70% less energy than most homes to run, and provide cycle access, privacy, private gardens and public space. The article here goes into more detail. Another more human based one here. And this one shows the inside of the homes.


Alt-Erlaa: massive and very popular social housing in Vienna, Austria. We are not proposing massively high rise buildings like this for Leicester, but the stepping on the lower floors allows personal outside space, and the flats contain shared facilities such as swimming pools. Leicester could build low stepped flats using some of these ideas.

And some other examples:

Our group wants and is working to encourage Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council to:

  • set annual, measurable carbon reduction goals for Leicester and Leicestershire to achieve net zero greenhouse emissions by 2030.
  • identify both a councillor at cabinet level and a lead officer as Climate Champions who are required to publish annual independent and audited report to the public on progress in meeting climate change targets.
  • The City and County Councils and Leicester & Leicestershire Economic Partnership to review their Local Plans, Strategic Growth Plan and all other future strategic plans in the light of their climate emergency declarations and national carbon reduction targets.
  • Ensure all new buildings in Leicester to be built to gold standard energy efficiency levels and to generate renewable energy.
  • Get all the council housing in the city retrofitted to reduce carbon emissions, fuel poverty and overheating as heatwaves happen more often – to begin with this means externally insulating all solid wall homes.
  • Get support for homeowners to insulate their homes, and push landlords to increase the energy efficiency of their properties.We have an ambition to work for these things in the county as well, but are starting with the city because this where the most homes are concentrated and where the majority of us live. It would be great to have more active people in this group, so do get in touch via the get involved page if you are interested.We know councils do currently have the power to require all new building developments to have energy efficiency standards above national building regulations. The document we have put together for our council to show them that they have this power is Evidence that LCC could adopt 19% plus policy