Mid-Devon District Council uses a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to calculate the contributions needed to mitigate air quality impacts from new developments. The SPD was adopted after wide consultation, which raised awareness of the expected health and environmental benefits. Through the process set out in the SPD contributions from new developments support 50% of the cost of measures within the new Air Quality Action Plan.
Contained within the SPD is a formula for assessing developer contributions to the Air Quality Action Plan under different scenarios. The formula assesses the air quality effects of developments by estimating the number of trips they will generate, and from this directly calculates the contributions needed to mitigate these effects. The impact on air quality will be related to the scale of development and trip generation that depends on the use class. Some exclusions/reductions are provided for, such as affordable housing and small dwellings.
As an example of the success of this approach, a section 106 agreement for a large Tesco development in Crediton has contributed to the upgrade the town’s bus service, refurbishment of the railway station and provided £1.2M to re-direction of traffic away from populated areas.
The approach has received high level legal backing: in 2009 Mid-Devon mounted a successful high court challenge to overturn a decision by a Planning Inspector, who judged that a developer did not need to conform with the SPD.
Following the success of Mid Devon’s ECO Star vehicle fleet recognition scheme, Mid Devon has been working to reduce emissions from taxis. This includes the introduction of minimum emission standards for their licensed taxi operators. Mid Devon is also currently developing and looking to pilot an extension of the ECO Stars scheme for taxi’s and will share experience nationally with the burgeoning national ECO Stars group, the LESP and Defra. For more information, please contact Simon Newcombe at email@example.com
The Mid Devon ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme was launched by Mid Devon District Council on 16th March 2011, following the scheme’s two year success in South Yorkshire.
ECO Stars Mid-Devon will provide recognition to operators of van, truck, bus and coach fleets based on their emissions and for the best practice they demonstrate in fleet management. The Scheme uses a Star rating system (1-5 Stars) to assess individual fleet vehicles and the overall operation – at its heart the Scheme promotes efficient fuel management – helping operators to reduce operating costs and reduce vehicle emissions.
The Scheme is free to join. Members receive a Membership Pack which includes their overall Star rating Certificate, individual details for each fleet vehicle and an operational efficiency ‘road map’. The ‘road map’ is bespoke for each operator and includes a review of their current fleet composition, fuel management processes, driver skills development, vehicle specification/maintenance, use of IT support systems and fleet performance monitoring. The ‘road map’ also offers ideas to help improve efficiency, thereby supporting members to progress through the overall Star rating system, working towards achieving the highest rating, 5 Stars.
The Scheme has been running since January 2009 in South Yorkshire and now has over 30 members (including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Stagecoach and FIRST, as well as locally-based operators) and over 5,000 vehicles registered. Gregory Distribution Ltd is the first local member of the Mid-Devon Scheme and, following their fleet and operational assessment, enters as a 5 Star operator. Other early members of the Mid-Devon Scheme include:
The Mid-Devon Scheme now welcomes applications for membership from van, truck, bus and coach fleet operators based within Mid-Devon, as well as operators based outside of Mid-Devon, whose fleets spend a significant proportion of their time within the area.
Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Waste Management and Recycling at Defra, announced his support of the scheme at the launch event on 16th March 2011. He said, "I'm pleased to support the launch of the ECO Stars scheme in Mid Devon. It builds on the success of the ECO Stars South Yorkshire scheme over the last two years and is a good example of a local authority working together with commercial vehicle operators to help improve efficiency and air quality. ECO Stars is the kind of practical measure which local authorities can introduce as a part of their air quality action plan."
By implementing the key measures recommended by the ECO Stars scheme, a typical HGV operator could expect to reduce fuel consumption by a minimum of 5% in the first year. Based on 80,000 miles per year at 8mpg and an average of 1 GBP per litre of diesel, there would be a saving of the equivalent of £2,300 per vehicle. For an operator with 10 vehicles this equates to a saving of one whole tanker of diesel! (Figures from Department for Transport Freight Best Practice Programme)
For more information on ECO Stars scheme visit www.middevon.gov.uk
Mid Devon case study - PDF Document (118kb)
View Mid Devon SPD › - PDF Document (412kb)