What’s on

Tuesday 7th February, 8pm, Windhill Church Centre

Our next project planning meeting. Everyone is welcome to join.

Thursday 9th February, 7pm-9pm, Bishop’s Stortford

Climate Cafe

A safe and welcoming space where people can explore their feelings around climate change and connect on this most urgent of issues. More information

Contact Joe on joseph.mishan@phonecoop.coop for the venue details.

Sunday 19th February, 11:30am-1:30pm, River Stort

Grow Green Spaces

We’re gradually clearing the area behind the cinema to plant native shrubs and wildflowers. Come and join us to continue clearing the area in preparation for planting in the autumn. Bring a spade, fork, gloves and a drink. Some tools and lots of cake provided. More information

Sunday 5th March, 4pm, Southmill Arts

Cycle Stortford

Our next cycling meeting. All welcome. More information on Cycle Stortford.

News

Old River Lane development

We are objecting to the demolition application for Charringtons House and the United Reform Church Hall because demolition and re-building will waste far more carbon than just refurbishing the existing buildings. The biodiversity impacts, particularly on bats and swifts, have also not need assessed.

Read more here

Goods Yard development

You can still submit comments on the East Herts planning website for the Solum Goods Yard development in the Bishop’s Stortford railway car park.

Our photo here shows the area of watercress and bullrushes at the south end of the site that will be lost if the application is approved.

Presentations

Tuesday 24th May
How to save energy

How to save energy – for the climate and to reduce costs – by carbon reduction expert Chris Dunham.

Download presentation slides

Tuesday 22nd February
‘Where Does Our Waste Go?’

Duncan Jones from the Herts Waste Partnership explained how waste is managed and how our recycling schemes work

Download presentation slides

Latest

Old River Lane – demolition of Charringtons House and URC Church Hall, application 3/22/2546/FULThe Climate Group objects to this application because:– Demolition of buildings and new build on the site is the highest possible carbon approach to the development of the site and so is counter to the District Council’s commitment to do everything it can in supporting the whole of East Herts District to become carbon neutral by 2030– The biodiversity impact of demolition has not been assessed. This assessment needs to take place and mitigation measures identified before any application can be approved.In more detail:The proposed demolition is not consistent with the Council’s Climate Change commitments because it has not addressed and minimised the whole life carbon consequences of the demolition and redevelopment of the siteEast Herts District Council’s 2019 Climate Change motion commits it to “to do everything within the authority’s power to reduce its impact on the climate and moreover do everything we can in supporting the whole of East Herts District to become carbon neutral by 2030”. Yet it has not taken this into account in this proposal to demolish Charrington’s House and the United Reformed Church Hall to allow rebuilding of arts facilities and offices on the ORL site.It is well documented that refurbishment is a lower carbon approach compared with replacement of buildings because demolition results in the carbon embodied in the existing buildings being wasted. Hertfordshire County Council has objected to the application saying there is no supporting plan for the waste generated by pulling down existing buildings. New build also involves huge carbon emissions in producing and installing the fabric of the building.For example: the UK Green Building Council states clearly that the Pathway to Net Zero for the UK Built Environment means developers should prioritise refurbishment or extension over demolition and new build. ukgbc.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/28194152/UKGBC-Whole-Life-Carbon-Road… We have calculated the difference in the carbon footprint for refurbishment of Charrington’s House and the URC Church Hall compared with their demolition and new build on the site. In both cases there is a huge benefit in CO2 terms from refurbishing and reusing the buildings compared with demolishing them and rebuilding, as in the images below.The proposal has not addressed biodiversity considerations and so does not comply with the Council’s biodiversity and sustainability policies and its legal obligationsThe site is thought to be home to bats and swifts. All bat species are designated as protected species and it is an offence to damage or destroy their breeding sites and resting places (even when bats are not present). Swifts are in decline in the UK, their numbers having decreased by 40% from 2008 to 2018. They are amber listed in the UK and the loss of nest sites is thought to be one of the main reasons they are in decline. Swifts nest in tall buildings.The planning application for the demolition of the buildings on the site is not supported by a Sustainability Checklist but should be. There is no consideration in this application of the likely presence of bat roosts or swift nests in the buildings to be demolished.The planning application for the development of the Old River Lane site has a Sustainability Checklist which says that "a previous ecological survey of the site undertaken in 2010 by WSP Environmental, identified bat roosts within one of the on site buildings." It says a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) and Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA) was undertaken on 23rd November 2022. And further ecological surveys comprising Phase 2 bat surveys need to be undertaken during the active bat season which runs from May to September. There is no specific reference to swifts.Phase 2 bat surveys and assessment of swift nesting sites need to be undertaken and any resulting mitigation measures need to be identified before any demolition application can be approved. See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
The latest from our Cycle Stortford project See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Our January monthly meeting is tonight at 8pm, but this time on Zoom. Email us if you would like the joining link andrewu@bishopsstortfordclimategroup.org. (Sorry for the late notice!) See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook