Manchester should go net-zero in 2023 says task force

Manchester should adopt net-zero carbon targets for all new buildings in its 2023 local plan, according to a council task force.
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Manchester should adopt net-zero carbon targets for all new buildings when it introduces its new local plan in 2023, according to a task force of private, public and third sector representatives brought together by the city council.

The Manchester Climate Change Partnership, an influential group consisting of contractor Laing O’Rourke, developers Muse, Bruntwood, and  Urban Splash, and consultants Aecom, Arup, BDP, Buro Happold and WSP has also said that all new developments should be required to deliver a significant reduction in embodied carbon in construction from 2023, with more stringent requirements introduced in future.

The city council has cautiously welcomed the ambitious plan to make the city an exemplar for climate change action ahead of an autumn-winter consultation on the refreshed local plan. Luthfur Rahman , deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester is committed to becoming a zero carbon city. The partnership’s roadmap, including the proposed Manchester New Build Standard, is a welcome contribution to the important discussion about how we will achieve this goal. The issue of climate change will be at the heart of the forthcoming refresh of Manchester’s Local Plan. We will look at how our planning and development system can support zero carbon objectives, and we will consider the partnership’s proposals as part of this process.”

In the task force’s report it was acknowledged that the viability of developments will be impacted by the building cost of achieving the Manchester Standard. For net zero carbon in operation, this is estimated to increase by 4-6% for office developments and 8-10% for residential developments. For the reductions proposed for 2023 in embodied carbon, this is estimated to be 20-30% across offices and residential assets.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority, made up of the 10 Greater Manchester Metropolitan Borough Councils and the office of Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, has previously stated in its Five Year Environment Plan that: “We want Greater Manchester to be a clean, carbon neutral, climate resilient city region with a thriving natural environment and circular, zero-waste economy… For our city region to be carbon neutral by 2038 and meet carbon budgets that comply with international commitments.”


Image: Salford City mayor Paul Dennett and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.


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