In Louth, Lincolnshire, there is a proposal for a new housing development, 149 dwellings on a green-field site on the edge of the town. Although initially opposed by both the Town and District councils the developer now has outline planning permission and has submitted detailed plans to the local authority, East Lindsey District Council (ELDC). An overview is provided by Taylor Wimpy here and the planning documents are available here.
Of course all such developments are controversial, concreting over the English countryside, people have got to have somewhere to live, NIMBY, the town needs growth to survive, too much traffic, there will be a playground for the kids... and the rest.
But let's leave all that aside for now and, for the sake of discussion, accept that new houses will be built on this site and consider whether these are the right sort of houses. Climate Change and Building Regulation
The 2008 Climate Change Act commits the UK to to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% in 2050 from 1990 levels. The Paris climate conference in December 2015 may well produce even stronger commitments. Such reductions will require, with legal force, that fossil carbon is no longer used to heat our homes. How then, will the people in the new homes on this development be kept warm?
Building Regulations only require that new houses comply with Code 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, with some local authorities insisting upon code 4 In December 2006, the UK Government promised that all new homes would be ‘zero carbon’ from 2016 but that promise is no longer likely to be fulfilled. East Lindsey District Council are not currently minded to require 'Code 6', which would make the homes close to 'zero carbon' and similar to the German Passivhaus standard.
We have an emerging contradiction: houses are about to be built which will soon become unusable without significant modifications if legally binding climate change legislation is to be complied with.
To minimise greenhouse gas emissions and consequent climate change potential the development needs to be as low-carbon in both construction and use as possible. The current proposals are for an essentially 20th century approach to building, using concrete block and brick walls mortared with Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) on heavy concrete foundations. Building orientation is not related to solar gain and no solar panels are integral to the construction. Heating is assumed to be by gas central heating with now provision for renewable energy sources planned.
Our proposals call for a low-carbon approach to construction. All mortars should be lime based, using hydrated lime for most above ground situations and naturally hydraulic lime (NHL3.5) for footings, drains and other sub-surface and wet situations. The buildings should be timber famed with straw-bale wall infilling. The roofs should be predominantly south-facing single slopes covered with solar photo-voltaic and solar thermal panels integral with the construction. Window orientation should maximise solar gain. These measures will eliminate almost all need for heating.
The remaining heat requirement can be met in a variety of ways and for security of supply it may be wise to consider more than one energy source. Let us look at the possibilities.
Biomass boilers, either fuelled by pellets, woodchip or logs, are likely to deliver too much heat for one highly insulated house, but if supplying a larger building comprising more than one home, might be appropriate. In the current proposal there is no provision for the siting of a plant room.
Ground-source heat pumps have also not been considered in the current plans. There is no provision of a collection area within the site but the purchase of the arable land to the north and east would allow an extensive array which could be linked either to individual properties on those sides of the estate or as part of a district heating scheme, perhaps in conjunction with a medium-scale biomass boiler to provide hot water for under-floor heating throughout the site.
Heat pumps require an electricity input, though with a large system an efficiency ration approaching 4 should be achievable. If each house has installed solar pv capacity of 4kW, generating an average of 10kWhr/day there will be more than enough net surplus of electricity to supply household needs and drive heat pumps, averaged over the year. In practice there will be a larger surplus in summer and a deficit in winter. Wind power, which is larger in winter than summer, should therefore be part of the mix. If the adjoining fields were included in the scheme there would be space for sufficient medium-scale wind turbines. Alternatively, and to allay the fears of those who find proximity to turbines undesirable, a funding scheme could be initiated that supported investment in off-shore wind farms. That part of the cost of the building that might otherwise be designated for heating could be invested in the wind industry on, say, the Dogger Bank.
Air source heat pumps are less efficient than ground source but have the advantage that they do not require a large area of land. However they do also work best in conjunction with under-floor heating systems where lower temperatures than conventional radiators are appropriate. There appears to be no provision for this in the current plans and retro-fitting would be expensive.
Whatever the mix of energy supply decided upon, the developer should demonstrate how the buildings are to be heated without the use of any fossil carbon for the lifetime of the building.
The proposed development has a high density of housing allowing for only very small gardens. We would prefer to see a lower density and larger gardens that could provide greater resilience for the community in an uncertain future when the ability to grow one's own food could be a significant advantage. An alternative might be to incorporate the neighbouring land to the north and east, not only for ground-source heat gathering but also to provide allotment land for the residents. The loss of agricultural land would be more than compensated for by the increased productivity per unit are that labour-intensive allotment gardening has over industrial agriculture. Enough land to grow a significant proportion of household food would be a valuable contribution to the sustainability of the community.
A permanent installation of 12 bells around the U.K. rung by the sea at high tide.
This project is to make a permanent installation of the Time and Tide Bell at the high tide mark at a number of diverse sites around the country, from urban centres to open stretches of coastline. The rise of the water at high tide moves the clapper to strike the bell. Played by the movement of the waves, the bell creates a varying, gentle, musical pattern. As the effect of global warming increases, the periods of bell strikes will become more and more frequent, and as the bell becomes submerged in the rising water the pitch will vary.
The first bell was installed in July 2009 at Appledore, Devon: the second on Bosta beach Gt. Bernera, Outer Hebrides in June 2010: the third at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London in September 2010: the fourth installed in Aberdyfi, Wales, July 2011. A fith is being installed on Anglesey and our Lincolnshire coast could host the sixth.
The integrity of the Time and Tide Bell project nationally is in the choice of the sites and how they connect. The Time and Tide Bell is to create, celebrate, and reinforce connections, between different parts of the country, between the land and the sea, between ourselves, our history, and our environment. Each of the sites bring something particular and unique to the whole group. The sites presently under development for installation this year are Orford Ness and Aberdeen.
"This is an inspired project. The link between ourselves and the elements are in danger of being lost in our 21st century life. The importance of that link, given climate change, is more important than it ever has been and such a beautiful reminder of the importance of tides and sea levels is truly inspirational." Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer, House of Lords.
Transition Town Louth is bringing the sixth Time and Tide Bell to Lincolnshire's coast, a proposed Marine Conservation Zone, is an art project by sculptor Marcus Vergette that draws attention to our littoral position between two contrasting environments of land and sea. The off-shore habitat has been neglected in the past but holds a large part of Lincolnshire's wildlife, perhaps half our species. The Bell seeks to enhance our relationship with it, considering the implication of global warming for sea level and marine life.
Transition Town Louth's Biodiversity Campaign is run by an inclusive group of people who recognize the reality of Peak Oil and Climate Change, but are determined to be optimistic and work to develop the transition to a sustainable community, resilient in an uncertain future, where the quality of life in our town and countryside is enhanced for both people and wildlife.
Transition Town Louth is now affiliated to the Pro Wind Alliamce. This is a group of organisations across the East Midlands that are seeking to promote the use of renewable wnergies and, in particular to counter the anti-windfarm lobby./p>
Here is our Lincolnshire Pro Wind Alliance Blog/a> and you can join the conversation at the Yahhoo Group, ProWA.
Transition Free Press will be a quarterly, 16 page, full colour, tabloid size newspaper. The mission is to report and reflect on the transition to community resilience. It will provide a sense of reality and will confront and evaluate issues.
It will be editorially independent and ‘working with’ rather than ‘working for’ the Transition Network. So while Transition Free Press springs from the Transition Movement, it will run alongside it, rather than being an official in-house publication.
While the various forms of online and digital media have an important role to play is spreading Transition ideas, there is still a gap that only print can fill. While people dip in and out of news online, in print they can take time to read and reflect. By being in print, Transition Free Press can be read anywhere and reach places and at times that digital media cannot reach.
Thursday 16th October at 7.30pm at the Trinity Centre, Eastgate, Louth.
Click to download
For the last 25 years David Fleming has visited Louth every summer spending a few days working on his book, sometimes in our garden, sometimes with a pint of Tipsey Toad at the back of the Wheatsheaf. On the way, as a major influence on Rob Hopkins, he was instrumental in starting up the Transition movement. In the last couple of years he gave memorable talks to Transition Town Louth. It was in Louth that he met his two research assistants, Beth Stratford and Beth Barton, who have done so much to bring his life's work to fruition.
Rob Hopkins writes on his blog: "Following his death, his family and friends have set to the task of making sure that his life’s work does finally see the light of day, and I’m delighted to announce that copies will soon be available. I’m delighted, as would he have been, to know that his insights, his humour and his brilliance, are now more widely available. I’ve already ordered mine…"
The book is printed in a hardback first edition of 500 copies, comprising David’s final draft, comprehensive footnotes, bibliography and references and many wonderful wood cuts and illustrations. All proceeds from sales of Lean Logic will be used to promote David’s work and passions.
Copies may be obtained for £30 or £25 each for two or more (plus £5 per copy for postage and packing if required) by sending a cheque payable to Lucy Barlow to: Lean Logic, Court Farm House, North Street, Fritwell, Oxon OX27 7QX.
Fuel Rationing Will Be Needed Before 2020 According To Major New Report
New parliamentary report warns of coming energy scarcities and outlines a rationing system which could ensure fair access to energy and guarantee emissions reductions
18 January 2011, London: A report launched today by the Lean Economy Connection, commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, calls for a nationwide system for ensuring fair and equal access to fuel as energy scarcities develop. Dr Caroline Lucas MP; Dr Jeremy Leggett, chairman and founder of Solarcentury and SolarAid; and John Hemming MP spoke at the launch, held at Portcullis House, Westminster this morning.
The report, entitled Tradable Energy Quotas, sets out a detailed proposal for a scheme which would ensure fair and equal entitlements to fuel and energy under conditions of scarcity, while also guaranteeing that the government meets its commitment to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.
The report proposes an electronic energy rationing system called TEQs (Tradable Energy Quotas). Under TEQs, units of ‘energy credit’ are distributed free to all adults. Surplus units can be bought and sold, meaning that there is no upper limit set on the number of units owned by one person. Businesses and government bid for their energy units at a weekly tender, creating revenue to help fund the infrastructure and skills that the economy needs to end its dependence on fossil fuels.
Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party, said: “TEQs have long been Green Party policy, as we believe that we need a fair and transparent system to reduce energy demand and give each person a direct connection to the carbon emissions associated with their lifestyle. The TEQs scheme would guarantee that the UK’s targeted carbon reductions are actually achieved, while ensuring fair shares of available energy.”
Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solarcentury, said: “What I like about TEQs is the fairness of it. When the energy crunch hits us, government and industry must ensure equitable access to available energy within a national budget. TEQs is the kind of approach we will need if we are to mobilise the infrastructure of a zero-carbon future fast, under pressure. It would increase the chances of working our way through the grim times to renaissance-through-resilience."
The report warns that, without a scheme such as TEQs, the UK will not only fail to achieve the steep emissions reductions promised by the Climate Change Act, but will find itself unprepared for energy scarcities when they arise, and unable to sustain an orderly market. Fuel poverty would rapidly develop, leaving the most vulnerable people in society at risk.
Speaking at the launch today, John Hemming MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, said: “What is needed is an intelligent response both to climate change and to fuel depletion. We therefore welcome the model set out in the Lean Economy Connection’s report, which addresses both sides of the problem. It is the first coherent proposal to attempt to do this, and it merits close attention.”
Shaun Chamberlin, Director of the Lean Economy Connection and co-author of the report, said: “It is essential that we prepare now to mitigate the energy shortages of the future. We are calling on the government to move beyond research and into the development of a framework to reduce carbon emissions, to ensure that the UK is ready to implement energy rationing at short notice.”
Commenting on the need to involve citizens fully in the task of controlling climate change, Mr Chamberlin added: “Tradable Energy Quotas are the only way we can reduce carbon emissions and at the same time guarantee that everyone gets fair access to limited energy supplies. This is also an alternative to carbon taxation; we are in difficult times, and we should not take money away from people when they need it the most. TEQs is about motivating people to cooperate in the common challenge of drastically reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.”
Copies of the report, Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs): A Policy Framework for Peak Oil and Climate Change, can be downloaded or ordered from www.teqs.net/report.
Cornmarket, Louth, Sunday 26th October 2008
Town Hall, Louth, Friday 5th December 2008
Town Hall, Louth, Saturday 7th March 2009
Louth St James Market, Sunday 25th July 2010
Listening to David Fleming's talk, August 2009.
Archived Stuff from 2008 and 2009
This gives us a £1000 grant and lots of support.
The Transition Together project forms small, social groups of friends, neighbours and colleagues and then supports them in taking a number of effective, practical, money-saving and carbon-reducing steps. A workbook helps each person to build their own Practical Action Plan that improves household energy efficiency, minimises water use, reduces waste (and consumption), explores local transport options and promotes the great value, healthy food available locally. It also helps everyone to understand what’s behind the rising energy prices and climate change, and what this means for them, their family and their local community.
Please take a look at the website and then e-mail us any ideas you may have. We will have to work
hard to spend the money wisely and constructively, helping to give Louth a more resilient future.
More on the T-tog page
Arctic Warming is one of a series of articles relating to global warming and peak oil written by ex-Ludensian physisist, engineer and climate scientist, Chris Vernon.
Ocean Acidification the Facts EPOCA (European Project on OCean Acidification) 10th December 2009.
This introductory guide is written especially for policy advisers and decision makers worldwide and is a wake-up call about the double impact on our seas of climate change and ocean acidification caused by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. It sets out the basic facts about the alarming and progressive acidification of the ocean that is threatening our marine ecosystems. The Earth’s geological record shows that previous episodes of ocean acidification were linked to mass extinctions of some species, and it is reasonable to assume that this episode could have the same consequences. There can be little doubt that the ocean is undergoing dramatic changes that will impact many human lives now and in the coming generations, unless we act quickly and decisively.
Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment
"This volume provides a comprehensive, up-to-date account of how the physical and biological environment of the Antarctic continent and Southern Ocean has changed from Deep Time until the present day. It also considers how the Antarctic environment may change over the next century in a world where greenhouse gas concentrations are much higher than occurred over the last few centuries. The Antarctic is a highly coupled system with non-linear interactions between the atmosphere, ocean, ice and biota, along with complex links to the rest of the Earth system. In preparing this volume our approach has been highly cross-disciplinary, with the goal of reflecting the importance of the continent in global issues, such as sea level rise, the separation of natural climate variability from anthropogenic influences, food stocks, biodiversity and carbon uptake by the ocean. One hundred experts in Antarctic science have contributed and drafts of the manuscript were reviewed by over 200 scientists. We hope that it will be of value to all scientists with an interest in the Antarctic continent and the Southern Ocean, policy makers and those concerned with the deployment of observing systems and the development of climate models." Scientific Committee on Antarctic Reseach 1st December 2009.
Incredible Edible Todmorden article in The Independant, Sunday 29th November. More on Todmorden and their recent Conference.
The Copenhagen Diagnosis Essential pre-COP15 reading from twenty six of the world's leading climate scientists who contributed to IPCC AR4. It sums up the current state of the science. 25th November 2009
The Ralph Miliband Lecture ‘The Politics of Climate Change’ Ed Miliband 19 November 2009
How Relocalization Worked John Michael Gree, The Archdruid Report. 18 November 2009
The November Transition Network News is now available.
Hello lovely TTL! just to let you know that Maggie, James, Sarah flores and myself had a v successful subgp meeting today regarding the louth community garden. We have ideas for land, aims and objectives and we're meeting with King edwards tomorrow to discuss a potential bit of land to dig! Watch this space and more to talk about on tuesday...see you there, Anisha
There is an fantastic opportunity to do a permaculture course in eco-town Sieben Linden in Germany, with European grant funding (if you can use the training to do adult education - I think TT can do a project that would involve that...) if you get an application in by 15 Jan! Here are the details. If you want any help with the grant application form, feel free to contact me as I have completed one (it does take a while!) but I've decided I can't do the course due to family commitments. Looks amazing! Here are the details Laura.
Saturday 30th January 10am - 4.30pm Vanson Centre, Bradley Road, Grimsby.
The Lincolnshire Wildlife trust is asking for support for the Donna Nook scheme. Information and links to ELDC here.
Press release from ELDC
LOUTH’S recently appointed Town Centre Manager, Mark Barnes, is looking to set up a group of people to start work on promoting Louth as a ‘Food Town’.
The idea behind this group is to start promoting Louth as a destination where visitors and residents can enjoy the highest quality local produce.
Louth as a Food Town will be promoted locally, regionally and nationally, so that residents and visitors can appreciate what excellence Louth displays from all aspects of the food industry.
Mark, explained that while we are going through the process of building a Town Centre Partnership for Louth there are some obvious projects that can be developed in parallel and will only build on the success of the town and of the Partnership: “Louth will be recognised as offering an unrivalled range of local produce supplied by businesses that care about only dealing in the best quality food and the work needs to start now. I am looking for a group of people from the industry who will work with me to promote their wares and sell the distinctiveness of the food produced locally.”
Anyone interested in taking part in the project should contact Mark on 07917 628149 or email email@example.com
Rob Hopkins is delighted to be able to announce that Transition Town Totnes has been selected as one of 10 ‘first movers’ in the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s ‘Low Carbon Communities Challenge’. Read Rob's article, which has implications way beyond Totnes, here
Maybe a political agreement that did not actually protect huminity from the realities of peak oil and global warming, but allowed our 'world leaders' to go home satisfied, would have been worse. At least it is now clear that we cannot wait for others to solve the problems for us. That's what Transition is all about. But that's just my view. It might be worth reading what our Climate and Energy minister, Ed Miliband has to say, here in the Guardian.
In response to the enthusiasm displayed at last weeks meeting at Kenwick Park, I propose the creation of an interim Town Centre Partnership. The purpose of this is to allow democratic decisions, representing the whole community, to be made about our activities for 2010 and beyond. This will be an informal Partnership which will end at a date no later than 30th June 2010 where the constituted body will take over. The focus of the Interim Town Centre Partnership will be to identify the correct model and also identify the key leaders. It will also allow new members to have the opportunity to emerge and join the work of the official Louth Town Centre Partnership. This will work in parallel with the Food group who will be encouraged to use all the assets available within the interim Town Centre Partnership.
In an attempt to enable as many of you as possible to be involved, I have reserved the upstairs meeting room of the Trinity Church and Community Centre (Eastgate, Louth, Lincolnshire LN11 8DJ) where I will hold two meetings on Wednesday 9th December, one at 14.00 and one at 18.00. If these times are inconvenient, then I will be there from 9.00 until 19.30 for you to call in to discuss your thoughts. I hope that you are able to pop in and ideally attend one of the meeting times.
Please let me know whether you will be able to attend and what time is most convenient for you. Following this meeting, from January 2010, we will be in a position to start work on an exciting future for Louth and I am sure that you will leave with much to consider.
Kind regards, Mark Barnes, Louth Town Centre Manager, 1st December 2009.
Press release from East Lindsey District Council 29th November 2009
The people of Louth demonstrated a real passion to support their town at the Your Louth Needs You workshop held last Thursday. The event, organised by East Lindsey District Council and Louth Town Centre Management, was attended by 65 people and was an opportunity for the local community to determine how a newly formed Town Centre Partnership for Louth will work for the future prosperity of the town. Organisers were very impressed by the enthusiasm of the people of Louth who had given up over half their working day freely to attend the workshop. Having organised many events like this nationally the Mosaic Partnership, who ran the workshop, stated that it was one of their most successful workshops yet.
Louth Town Centre Manager, Mark Barnes, said “I am so excited; people worked so hard and demonstrated a huge passion for their town. I am privileged to have the opportunity to work with such enthusiastic people; Louth should be proud of its community.”
Jennie Dunbar of the Friends of Charles Street Recreation area was equally positive, saying: “I had a fantastic time and found the experience very rewarding. Everyone I have spoken to found the day equally enjoyable and worthwhile. I certainly feel renewed vigour and am genuinely excited about the future for Louth.”
Cllr Jill Makinson-Sanders of Louth Town Council and Meridian Links, added: “I think what the whole exercise did show was that there is a great deal of public support for positive action and that Louth would work better if we drew all the strands together more effectively. Onwards and upwards, it's an exciting road ahead and if we all can have fun getting there what a journey it will be!”
Mark Barnes who is employed by the District Council now plans to start work immediately to form the partnership: “People will start to see a real difference in Louth by early 2010 and there will be a lot of opportunities for the whole community to get involved in and benefit from. The future vitality and prosperity of the town really is in the hands of the community.”
There will be a report compiled from the day and this will be on general release by very early in the New Year.
If you were unable to attend the meeting but wish to be involved then Mark is still looking for volunteers to work within the Partnership especially from people under the age of 21. Please contact Mark on 07917 628149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org