District heating pipework
District heating pipework

A local development order (LDO) is being proposed for district heating networks in the area to the east of Exeter, in and around the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone.

The LDO is a way for East Devon District Council, as the Local Planning Authority, to put in place a simplified planning system by granting planning consent for development as specified. LDOs encourage economic development and investment by improving the speed and predictability of development proposals. 

If it is approved, the LDO means underground pipework and small units above-ground could be installed to serve the district heating networks from Skypark Energy Centre and Monkerton Energy Centre. Initially, the district heating system would provide a low carbon energy solution using gas and in future could be carbon neutral using renewable energy.

Councillor Ian Thomas, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for finance and Chair of Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone Board, said:

East Devon District Council has declared a climate emergency and is committed to clean growth and low carbon development. We aim to achieve carbon neutral status by 2040 by establishing an accurate carbon footprint and developing a local climate change action plan.

District heating is a key part of the strategy for supporting zero carbon development in the West End of the District both for residential and commercial development. The Local Development Order will help to facilitate the roll out of the necessary pipe work.  We are also working to ensure that we address carbon emissions at source in terms of the generation of both heat and power.  

I encourage people to get in touch if they have comments or queries about the Order.

People can view the documents during a 28-day period of consultation, from Wednesday 11th March until Friday 1st May. The documents can be viewed online.

If you would like to receive printed information by post, or to talk to us on the phone, please email enterprisezone@eastdevon.gov.uk or ring 07870 824 884.

People can comment on the proposals by emailing enterprisezone@eastdevon.gov.uk or writing to Simplified Planning Project Manager, Enterprise Zone, East Devon District Council, Blackdown House, Border Road, Honiton, EX14 1EJ.

The LDO proposes to grant permitted development rights for underground pipes and cables and some minor above ground works. Developers would not need to apply for planning permission for the permitted works, as long as they comply with the Order.

Following the consultation, all comments will be taken into account and the LDO may be amended accordingly.  When it is finalised, the LDO will be submitted to East Devon District Council Development Management Committee for consideration by the Summer.