Environment & Sustainability News

We post items of interest on environment and sustainability from other organisations, including the government.

Environment integrated in our Work Groups

All our groups are aware of our environmental concerns and include their consideration in their activities.  As there are other well-founded groups handling environmental issues we have chosen not to form Environment and Sustainability Work Group but to collaborate with gourps such as Guildford Environmental Forum, Zero Carbon Guildford, and Guildford Bycle User Goup((GBUG)

See (More Details>) for our thoughts on the challenges we face..

The environment is a pressing concern for Guildford. It affects all of us and should inform all development.

Guildford is situated in a wonderful natural environment formed by the North Downs. Our town sits on the edge of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The northern part of the borough contains part of the internationally recognised Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.

In all our areas, natural habitats are under continuous pressure from development and over-use. The Society supports efforts to manage our natural environment and to ensure the town and urban areas are linked effectively to the countryside. We wish to see the Wey Navigation preserved and are keen to explore whether moving the AONB to National Park status would be beneficial.

The built environment in Guildford must play its part in providing sustainable living. This includes upgrading existing buildings to the latest environment standards wherever possible. Environmentally friendly buildings can be of high-quality design and economic to build. The Society is also keen to see  buildings  repurposed, rather than knocked down and rebuilt.  Many newer buildings have substantial life left in their steel and concrete structures. Planning policies should encourage sustainable communities which are not car dependent, and respond to the need to minimise commuting. Our Design and Planning Groups review and comment on these issues.

Transport is a critical area for Guildford, where pollution and congestion must be reduced. Active travel, such as cycling and walking, also provides health benefits compared with car or public transport use.  Our Transport Group promotes changes to the local transport system.

The economics of the environment are of particular relevance to Guildford.  New technology such as 5G, emerging from local education establishments and companies, can create new sustainable employment opportunities.  Guildford could also become a ‘gateway’ to the North Downs supporting sustainable tourism.  The Strategy and Economics Group is concerned that Guildford adapts its economy in a strategic manner to meet the challenges ahead.

Waste management in all its forms should not be overlooked. This is an area where technology is advancing, and there are possibilities to improve recycling and to use waste as an energy source.

The Society believes the challenges we face on environmental issues are an opportunity for Guildford to show leadership in the UK. We should also learn from others: for example, from our twin town of Freiburg, in southern Germany, an acclaimed example of sustainable urban living. 

Local Climate Change Policies View article Guildford Borough Council (GBC) has produced a Draft Climate Change, Sustainable Design, Construction and Energy Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).  SPDs provide detailed guidance on how the Council will apply planning policy ... View article Solar Power Planning - Updated 21-5-24 View article The University have applied for a solar farm to be situated to the west of the Research Park. The proposed farm covers three fields which are in the Greenbelt and could also be affected by an extension to the National Landscape area which is still un... View article Flood Risk Management Scheme for Guildford Town Centre View article Guildford Town Centre has a long history of flooding from the River Wey. Flooding risk will get worse with climate change. If measures are not taken flood events are likely to be more frequent and severe. A flood defence scheme to protect Guildfor... View article Solar Energy and Electrical Storage View article Renewable developer Clearway Energy Group has completed a 452-megawatt (MW) solar farm in West Texas, that can power over 190,000 homes annually.  The $660 million facility requires around 5,000 acres (7 Sq/miles or 20 Sq/KM) of land a... View article The Phoenix in Lewes has received planning permission View article The Society has been following with interest The Phoenix development proposed for Lewes for over a year.  We were lucky to have had a presentation from the developers Human Nature last November. The Observer Guardian has published,17/3/24, an... View article Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan Guildford Area View article Surrey County Council, which manages the major roads in Guildford Borough is developing a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for Guildford to help determine where best to prioritise improvements. SCC have run a consult... View article New electric buses- but not from Guildford. View article Dennis Motors or Alexander Dennis as it is now known, is an old Guildford Company which moved in 2020 nearly all its operations out of Guildford.  It has recently announced a new generation of Electric Buses offering more choice, more flexibilit... View article Refuse Collection View article Electric Refuse Vehicles look as if they are becoming a reality.  Kingston upon Thames is replacing its current diesel fleet, helping to improve the borough’s air quality and contribute to the council’s climate targets by signific... View article One of the largest solar parking canopy projects in the UK View article This scheme at the Lakeside North Harbour site will put roof-mounted solar PV arrays across five buildings, solar car park canopies in 3 car parks with battery storage installed alongside.  Solar Park canopies have the added advantage of shelterin... View article A Landmark Decision - Marks and Spencer Oxford Street London? View article The decision by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Michael Gove, to refuse planning permission for the redevelopment of the Marks and Spencer site in Oxford Street has sparked mixed reactions from various stakeholde... View article Carbon Footprint reduced by 40% View article Atrium Ljungberg, a Swedish development company, plans to start construction in 2025 of the world's largest urban construction project in wood.  The first buildings are planned to be completed in 2027. The project extends over 250,000 squ... View article Innovative Eco Friendly Regeneration - Updated 6-23 View article Human Nature  was founded by Jonathan Smales and Michael Manolson who were directors and international trustees of Greenpeace in the 1980s.  Post Greenpeace they consulted widely, as Human Nature,  with major businesses, investors... View article Surrey agrees largest on-street EV chargepoint contract in the UK View article Surrey County Council and Connected Kerb have agreed a contract to instal thousands of electric vehicle chargepoints across the county in the coming years.  Connected Kerb will install public EV chargepoints across the county, with installation ... View article Innovation in timber in Zurich View article Dezeen the online architectural design magazine has a series of articles on the the Timber Revolution in building technology.  The latest in the series examines the Tamedia Office Building in Zurich by Shigeru Ban which is Sw... View article Green Belt SPD and Long Term Environmental Targets View article Guildford Borough Council has produced a Draft Green Belt Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and will be consulting on the document until Wednesday 22 March 2023  This SPD provides detailed advice and guidance on P... View article One of the Lowest Carbon-Emitting workplaces in the UK View article The Bruntwood Property Company has received permission to build Ev0, a £31m office building designed by Sheppard Robson. The building is aimed at being one of the lowest carbon-emitting workspaces in the country.  The Ev0 buil... View article Sustainable Power in Guildford View article The University of Surrey is seeking to become Net Zero.  As part of this initiative the University of Surrey is proposing to build a Solar Power Farm to the west of the planned Blackwells Farm development over the railway to the south of Wood St... View article Timber Frame Mixed Use Scheme approved View article Foster + Partners have had a scheme approved on behalf of a real estate managment company MARK in partnership with Finchatton and General Projects to replace 1950's Housing with two seven storey buildings as part of a mixed use development. Th... View article A Green Box View article Not the most obvious area for innovation but the recent 400 plus car park at National Grid’s HQ, on the outskirts of Warwick is a bit different. The car park is on a sensitive site with the view of the Historic Castle and is operational 24 hour... View article Institute for Sustainability View article The University has been creating a new institute to focus on Sustainability.  It is due to be officially launched at the beginning of November.  The institute works on a pan-university basis and demonstrates the University of Surrey’s... View article Guildford Should Do Better View article A large amount of new housing being proposed in Guildford still fails to meet the challenges of Climate Change, despite the council declaring a Climate Emergency.  There are examples of new houses still being proposed to be built with gas boiler... View article Generating Power at Car Parks View article Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) has started work on a the installation of a state-of-the-art solar panel project which will supply renewable energy. The 4,500 panels at the Babraham Road Park and Ride will transform the s... View article Embodied Carbon View article RPS a UK based consultancy active in wide range of sectors with a particular focus on environmental matters has produced an useful summary of the challenge of reducing Embodied Carbon. Embodied Carbon – what is it? Embodied carb... View article Surrey County Council Looking for Suggestions View article Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular as more people want to reduce their carbon footprint. Surrey County Council estimate that 10,000 electric vehicle chargepoints will be required by 2030. Publicly accessible chargepoints are ... View article Making our Built Environment sustainable. View article The debate about how to make significant reductions greenhouse gas emissions from our built environment that is responsible for approximately 25% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions is getting increasing attention.  Recently the Tulip Scheme... View article Managing Woodland Regeneration View article The woodlands on the pathway from Henley Fort at the top of The Mount to Sunnydown Plantation have been subject to major felling and clearance.  The path now looks very messy with uncleared stumps and branches. A chance encounter with a three... View article Surrey Delivery Plan to Improve the Climate View article Surrey County Council (SCC) has published its Delivery Plan for the next five years, as the first steps on a 30 year plan to get to Net Zero. The SCC plan recognises that climate change is real, and its effects are already being felt worldwide. &n... View article A future for vacant Department Stores View article Two interesting news items concerning how best to use old Department Stores. Repurposing the buildings may in many cases be a better option particulalry when issues with embodied carbon are taken into account. Emporia at Risk SAVE Britains Heri... View article Oxford introduce Britain's first 'Zero Emission Zone' plus e-Bus news. View article Oxford’s pilot Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) has gone live.  The scheme which is a Pilot at this stage, covers 8 Streets in the centre of the city, if it is deemed a success it is likely to be extended. ALL petrol and diesel vehicles ar... View article Still Building New Housing car dependent. View article Transport for New Homes is a Policy Think Tank that believes that “everyone should have access to attractive housing, located and designed to ensure that people do not need to use or own cars to live a full life.”  The group believes... View article Environmental issues finally impacting Planning and Construction? View article The Tulip was proposed as a large tower, it would have been the second highest building in London, which was going to be located near to the Gherkin in the City of London.  The tower was proposed as a visitor attraction and viewpoint. It is a... View article Are Heat Pumps the Answer? View article The government via new grants is hoping to encourage the public to move from gas boilers to heat pumps, as a greener heating alternative. Heat pumps are not a new technology (Air Conditioning is a heat pump), with various models availabl... View article Zero Carbon Home by Largest UK Housebuilder View article Barratt Developments, the UK’s largest housebuilder, is building the first zero carbon house by a major housebuilder to substantially surpass the Future Homes Standard, delivering over 125% improvement.  The ‘Z House’ will be b... View article Going Green -- Heating our Buildings View article The UK government has published a Heat and Buildings Strategy (See Document Below), outlining plans to replace fossil-fuelled heating like gas boilers with low-carbon technologies such as heat pumps. The paper details the options and complex issue... View article AQMA for the Town Centre View article The Joint Committee of Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council have reviewed a report on Town Centre Pollution.  The Committee agreed that to meet legislative requirements it is necessary to declare an ‘air quality management a... View article Plaza Site Guildford - Environmental Issues View article The Plaza Site (Between the Portsmouth Rd and Bury St) 21/P/01811, has now been submitted as a development of ‘Co-Living Accommodation.  The Society will be reviewing and commenting to the planning application in detail shortly. ... View article Skellefteå - Use of timber in modern buildings. View article Skellefteå (pronounced similarly to “she left you”) is not a well known town.  Skellefteå in Sweden has wooden schools, bridges, even car parks; and now it has one of the world’s tallest timber buildings. The tow... View article Refurbishing Buildings to curb carbon emissions View article Construction material manufacture (Steel, Bricks, Cement) creates vast amounts of CO2. Cement alone causes circa 8% of global emissions. A new report  Decarbonising construction: building a new net zero industry  by the Royal Academy of ... View article Managing Pesticides use and pollution more effectively. View article Guildford Environmental Forum has launched a E-Petition on the Guildford Borough website to request the council works to phase out the use of pesticides on our pavements, streets, parks, playgrounds, and other open spaces in Guildford. The petition h... View article Dangerous Levels of Pollution in Guildford View article Highways England conduct a series of pollution surveys on the strategic road network.   The latest survey shows pollution on the A3/A25 to A3/A31 seems to be the highest in the country by some margin and twice the median level of the 3... View article Electric courier vans - Oxford the first city. View article DPD one of the major couriers has announced that Oxford will become its first ‘all-electric city’ in the UK, with all future parcel deliveries being made in the city only with electric vehicles.  DPD using a new depot in Bicester whi... View article Sustainability of Buildings View article The Royal institute of British Architects (RIBA) is getting increasingly interested in the challenges of building with a minimal Carbon Footprint over the entire life cycle of a building. Whole Life Carbon Metric Understanding the impact of our... View article Environmental Impact of Transport View article The transport sector is currently the number one contributor to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and little progress has been made over the past three decades in reducing emissions.  22% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions are d... View article Surrey Hills AONB Extension Proposed View article Natural England has announced proposals for new protected areas across England.  The designation process is likely to take several years and will include local stakeholders at every step. In addition, Natural England will examine if more areas c... View article Preparing the UK for Climate change View article The Climate Change Committee (CCC) is the UK's a independent, statutory body established under the Climate Change Act 2008.  Its purpose is to advise the UK and devolved governments on emissions targets and to report to Parliament on pr... View article The World Energy challenge View article The World Economic Forum’s Energy Transition Index 2020   benchmarks the energy systems of 115 economies, highlighting the leading players in the race to net-zero emissions, as well as those with work to do. The WEF highlight that ... View article Success in campaign to purchase extension to Pewley Down View article Pewley Down  is a protected area and local nature reserve managed by Guildford Borough's Countryside Team and a group of conservation volunteers.  It is much used by Guildford Residents as a place to walk and admire the countryside... View article Plants Trap Pollution View article The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) scientists, who shortly will be moving into their new centre at Wisley, have been studying the most effective plants to remove pollution from the environment. The biggest environmental risk in the United ... View article Adam Sweeting Lecture - The path to net zero emissions in the UK View article The University of Surrey has run another in its Adam-Sweeting Lecture series. The Adams-Sweeting Lecture series was created in honour of two of the University of Surrey’s most prestigious academics – Distinguished Professor of Physics,... View article CPRE Surrey Manifesto View article Surrey Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE Surrey) has launched  “Manifesto for Surrey” which it is calling on all candidates in the Local Elections to endorse.. Tim Murphy, Vice President of CPRE Surrey and Chair of the ... View article
Archived Articles
Keeping the Lights on View article One of the isues with renewable energy is that supplies for most renewables are subject to fluctuation due to weather.  To make renewables viable there needs to be a method of storing excess energy for consumption at a latter time. It appears... View article Nationwide initiative to restore nature in England View article The Nature Recovery Network (NRN) Delivery Partnership, led by Natural England, brings together over 600 organisations to promote  the restoration of protected sites and landscapes and help provide at least 500,000 hectares of new wildlife-rich ... View article Low and Zero Emission Buses £49million funding View article To accelerate the introduction of ultra-low and zero emission buses in Surrey; Surrey County Council are backing a scheme to introduce up to 80 ultra-low or zero-emission buses and 50 community transport minibuses by 2025 with the aim that all buses ... View article Electric Buses become more viable with solid state batteries View article Lithium-ion battery technology, as used in most electric vehicles, has made impressive gains over the years. Today's cells are cheaper than they have ever been, but lithium-ion still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of energy density compared ... View article Flooding Alleviation View article Having endured another period of intense rainfall it is natural to consider what is happening to the Flood Alleviation Schemes proposed for Guildford.  Little has been heard recently of the plans by the Environment Agency to implement a Guildfor... View article Network Rail considering Environmental Pollution View article Network Rail have published a report September 2020 on how they plan to tackle Environmental Pollution across the rail network in years to come.   Andrew Haines Network Rail Chief Executive highlights: The opportunity for ra... View article Working from home won’t slash emissions View article The Conversation Website has published an interesting article on how working from home won’t slash emissions unless a car-free lifestyle is enabled.  An analysis of the National Travel Survey showed that people working from home made just ... View article Solar Power may be the “Cheapest Electricity In History” View article The International Energy Agency (IEA) latest report indicates that solar power is now the “cheapest electricity in history.”  This is a reflection on the declining cost and increasing efficiency of Solar Cells. It is only part of ... View article A optimistic view? A superabundance of clean energy by 2030 View article A think tank RethinkX is predicting that we are at an inflexion point where we are going to experience the fastest, deepest, most profound disruption of the energy sector in over a century. This one is being driven by the convergence of several key t... View article Cycling Infrastructure View article The government is becoming increasingly supportive of cycling as a method of transport.  This is because if properly planned for it is an efficient, cheap and healthy way to travel.  The advent of e-Bikes is also opening up options to make ... View article On your Bike! View article e-Bike Subsidy? The Department of Transport has published Gear change a bold vision for cycling and walking (See document below), with a foreword by that keen cyclist the prime minister. The UK government is planning, according to press re... View article Intensive Investment Offered for Green Towns and Cities View article Government Investment to become like Holland Tucked away in the recent ‘Gear Change A bold vision for cycling and walking’ (See Below - Page 19) is a statement about the government wishing to ‘stimulate a large number of pro... View article Electric Cars – The Material Issue View article The Challenge In the rush to adopt Electric Cars it must not be forgotten that they still pollute even if the energy used to build them and the electricity they use in operation is from sustainable sources. Batteries are a major issue in that they... View article Going Green View article The Council are proposing to install 236 solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of Millmead.  Each of thses cells at maximum power can produce circa 300W of power so about 70Kw. A significant amount of power, although not 70Kw , will be generated... View article Powerhouse Brattørkaia, built by a sustainability alliance View article Mabe this is a lesson for Guildford to create truly sustainable buildings.  The Photovoltaic Cells will pose a design issue in many locations but the ideas and thinking could be utilised in Guildford. Smothered in solar panels, Powerhouse Bra... View article

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