Bristol’s new network of pipes that could heat your home.
As our attention was turning to Christmas, the city council started a public consultation on a local development order (LDO) for Bristol’s heat network. This network of underground pipes will deliver low-carbon heat and energy across the city.
Holding the consultation over the holiday period wasn’t ideal, but the LDO is an essential part of the City Leap deal with the council’s private sector funders, and they need it in place as soon as possible. We have responded to the consultation and followed up our concerns in a meeting with the city council officer who is tasked with getting the LDO in place before they move to City Leap.
LDOs grant permitted development rights (PDRs) for what would otherwise require planning permission. This LDO is largely modelled on national PDRs for utilities such as telecoms and electricity and is needed to avoid planning applications for the pipe network, supporting apparatus and construction compounds. The energy centres which supply the heat don’t form part of the LDO.
In our response we support the principle of heat networks. They are an essential part of the route map to the city’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030. Our concern with the LDO is its scope, which includes public parks and green spaces across Bristol and the lack of attention to community engagement.
[Image: Bristol City Council]