In July 2015 the new Conservative government relaxed the 2016 zero carbon targets for new house building which had been in place since 2007. Please visit RCI magazine and Sustainable Energy Association for reaction to these changes.

There is no point in engineering a head-to-head confrontation, which the government will inevitably win, but it may be possible to specify higher standards in Kirkstall if we can show that these are achievable. The 2015 Treasury Report still includes some low-carbon strategies. Our proposed policy only applies to major developments, and in practice only the Tesco site is presently available.

It may be possible to achieve zero carbon performance at this location with a combination of renewable technologies, high insulation standards and good building design. In particular, there could be a major role for water-source heat pumps abstracting heat from the River Aire. This technology was recently pioneered by Vickers Lubricating Oils in South Leeds.