'C-Plan' developed with South Bank University uses traffic light system to collect evidence of sustainable energy plans

The Energy Centre for Sustainable Communities (ECSH) has launched a web-based software which measures the carbon impact of new developments.

The energy consultantcy said the C-Plan software plugged a knowledge gap, allowing local councils to meet the requirements of climate change legislation such as the Planning and Climate Change Supplement to PPS1, the Emergy Perfomance of Buildings Directive and the Housing and Regeneration Bill.

C-Plan, which works in a web browser, means development control officers can fill in templates with appropriate evidence. They then see how well their plans fit sustainability requirements by means of ‘traffic light indicators.’ When the lights are red, more reductions must be made; when they are green, the policy meets targets.

The technology was developed with academics at the Department of Engineering Systems in London South Bank University. It has been trialled in Woking Borough Council.

Three Rivers Council, Hertfordshire, has just bought the package. Peter Kerr, chief development plans and transportation officer, said: “Although we’ve only been use C-Plan for a short time, it has already become and important tool in allowing us to implement policies to tackle climate change.”

The software answered concerns about how to quantify and report on the carbon usage of new developments, he said.

David Pitcher, ECSC commercial director, said: “C-Plan is the first solution that links planners, developers, consultants, administrators and policy officers in a single collaborative environment."