XR Dacorum

Extinction Rebellion

Notes from our meeting on Jan 6th 2021

N.B. Since the meeting we have rethought Sunday mornings due to Covid rules, which are more likely to be toughened than relaxed. SO WE’RE POSTPONING AND WILL NO LONGER BE ON BERKO HIGH ST from this Sunday.

OUR NEXT MEETING is on Wednesday 13th January at 7:30.

Topic: Extinction Rebellion DacorumTime: Jan 13, 2021 07:30 PM London


Meeting ID: 969 6478 3418Passcode: 106703

John will find out how XR Chesham used a QR code linking to the CEE website, and how they set up a 38 degrees petition to their MP to support it so we can do the same with Mohindra and Penning. Sue encouraged others to chalk the message: ASK OUR MP to SUPPORT the CEE BILL.

Maria mentioned that XR Tring have drawn up a flyer listing eco businesses in the town. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP do the same here please get in touch.

Maria shared her excellent document (see below) about the two most relevant chapters of the Dacorum Development Plan, itemising demands for the Borough Council.  It’s vital that as many of us as possible respond to the consultation along these lines before February 5th. Sue to invite Paul, Wendy and Rick, all XR members and councillors, to discuss these demands, asking them where we can most usefully apply pressure. Contact us if you’d like to be at such a Zoom meeting.

Dacorum Development plan Scrutiny/Demands 

Climate change and sustainability

General demands:

  • Dacorum declared Climate Emergency in April 2019 and have committed to reducing carbon emissions across Council activities to net zero by 2030.  Any new policies and plans for growth should be based on that declaration so Climate Change and Sustainability policies should not be a just guidance but a demand.
  • A gradual tightening of standards over the Plan period to ensure all new development in Dacorum should be ‘net zero’ by 2030. New developments in this plan should aim to  net zero emission from planning, design, building and operation. Why can’t Dacorum state that?
  • Construction materials have to be of low to zero carbon footprint –they should be cero C footprint for the whole lifecycle.
  • New dwellings to be self-sufficient energy sub-ecosystems producing and consuming renewable energy or exclusively delivered renewable energy guaranteeing cero emissions.
  • New development should guarantee an increase in natural habitats (rewilding) and conservation of current ones.
  • Use of green infrastructure in developments: green walls, beehives, reed bed, green roof, hedgerow, wildlife overpass…etc see below from European Environment Agency
  • Green transport to be implemented to absorb movement of people in Dacorum and reduce emissions:
    •  robust network of electric buses,
    • Incremental pedestrianisation of highstreets 
    • Promote cycling and network of electric bikes for people to move around.


  • Demand before any development goes ahead the delivery of the following documentation that is either in draft or not delivered yet:
  • Climate Change and Sustainability SPD,
  • Detailed Design Guide SPD
  • Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan
  • Final version of Strategic Design Guide SPD- this specifies details and the criteria for the Sustainability Statements to guide developers- VERY IMPORTANT that SPD is scrutinised prior developers submissions!!

Detailed demands by policy

  • SP01 – Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: all new development in the Borough should be net zero by 2030.
    • where carbon emissions cannot be mitigated, collecting contributions towards a carbon off-set fund Question- why cannot be mitigated, if it’s a new development should be carbon neutral!
    •  increasing the area of habitats that fix and store carbon, including tree planting; Demand:  keep natural vegetation in all instances and create new natural planting where possible such us X m2 rewild/ Xm2 built up
    • encouraging on-site renewable and low carbon energy sources on development sites, and stand-alone renewable energy or low carbon schemes; Demand use of only renewable energy with zero emissions.
    • requiring development to have high levels of thermal efficiency, including setting carbon emission targets where applicable; Demand 100% thermal efficiency in new developments; is it already feasible?
    • requiring development to specify construction materials with low embodied carbon, and to minimise building construction waste, including reuse and recycling wherever possible; Demand construction materials with no embodied carbon- is that available in the market?
    • encouraging the use of sustainable transport modes in all new development;Demand electric car charges in dwellings and new business, cycle lanes.
  • DM22- Design and construction
    • Demand green developers- scrutinized and selected according to how green their business, practices, materials, energy feed are and that should be a priority.
    • Demand and prioritise for selection the submission of a Sustainability Statement with their application to demonstrate how the development minimises impact and contributes to the objectives set out in Policy SP10 – Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (pg. 104, 17.21).
    • Define with values what materials with low embodied carbon is if 0 embodied carbon is not available in the market?
    • Ensure that there is a number of mature trees planted/dwelling and a green space/forest per number of dwellings. 
    • Demand always the use of recyclable materials = 0 waste when possible.
    • Energy for the house- demand heat pumps or any other carbon neutral sources.
    • Demand permeable ground surfaces, use of green roofs, green corridors (green infrastructure) and proposals for net-biodiversity gain and positive measures to support wildlife.
  • Policy DM23- Energy and Carbon emissions in new developments:
    • Government 75-80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025 and neutral by 2030- (why not NOW C neutral in new developments?)
    • Demand on-site renewable energy generation
    • Why carbon offsetting and not all carbon zero directly??
    • Demand provision of on-site renewable energy generation, or provision and connection to decentralised low carbon energy sources
    • Ensure implement a recognised monitoring regime to assess the energy use, indoor air quality, and overheating risk for at least 10% or more of the proposed dwellings for the first five years of their occupancy, and ensure that the information recovered is provided to the applicable occupiers and to the planning authority.
    • Select  new residential development that targets certification to the Home Quality Mark and Passivhaus design standards and non-residential development that targets certification beyond BREEAM Excellent
    • Proposals should be designed to enable retrofitting to meet higher energy efficiency standards in future such as heat pumps or other low or zero carbon sources 
    • FAvour Community Heat and Energy Networks
  • Policy DM24 – Low Carbon Community Heat and Energy Networks
    • Create a site-wide community heat or energy network connect to an existing decentralised network 
    • Create a social and community infrastructure provision
  • Policy DM25 -Stand-alone Renewable or Low Carbon Energy- design and potential for renewable or low carbon energy schemes will be given in Dacorum Climate Change and Sustainability SPD.
    • any proposals within the Chilterns AONB or its setting are of an appropriate scale and do not adversely affect the natural beauty or purpose of the AONB 
    • locally important wildlifesites (including ecological corridors)and features would not be adversely affected;
  • Policy DM26- Carbon offset. 
    • Why carbon offset if new development= 0Carbon?

Environment and biodiversity


  • protection of existing natural environments (natural vegetation+ecosystems)
  • expansion of natural environment (rewilding)- demand area to be rewild/new development area.
  • green infrastructure in new developments: green walls, green roofs, wild flower verges, Permeable Pavements, Green Streets and Alleys,Green Parking etc…
  • all proposals to be assessed first on environmental impact assessment focusing on protecting natural vegetation areas; sustainability of ecosystems to protect endemic plants and animals should be part of it.
  • Where there is a reasonable likelihood of the presence of statutorily protected species or their habitats, development will not be permitted unless it has been demonstrated that the proposed development will not result in a negative impact upon those species and habitats.
  • All major development will be required to deliver an overall net gain in biodiversity of 10%, determined by applying the Natural England Biodiversity Metric 2.0 Calculator. 
  • Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) in each H St town in Dacorum to monitor decrease in pollution.
  • Demand: Discharge to non-mains drainage prohibited.
  • Demand- as low light pollution as possible- dim/sensor low voltage lights.
  • Tree protection by demanding  an Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA) including a tree survey identifying existing trees on and adjoining the site with their root protection areas (RPA); where tree protection measures are necessary, a Tree Protection Plan (TPP); and an Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS) that identifies how operations can be undertaken with minimal harm to retained trees.
  • Landscaping: demand  ecological connectivity by integrating planting with the existing green infrastructure network, native broad-leaved species, and avoiding the use of invasive, non-native species; provide irrigation infrastructure and mature trees (>6years old)
  • Demand open land/ area to be developed.
  • Plan says to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment–  demand more rewilding 
  • DEMAND the document with Detailed changes and other corrections to the Green Belt at the Publication Stage of the Local Plan once fully taken into account the results of this public consultation and when  Growth Area allocations in the Green Belt confirmed
  • Plan says that sites removed from the Green Belt will be managed as countryside until required for development– why not release the land as needed in phases: split in phases allows to change strategy if house demand decrease? so more green belt land is protected?
  • Reclaim land for rewilding= natural forest if villages developed.
  • prioritise always redevelopment of previously developed sites (brownfield land), whether redundant or in continuing use (excluding temporary buildings).