District heating (also known as heat networking) entails heat being supplied from a local decentralised source directly to homes and businesses through a network of pipelines carrying hot water. This means that households and businesses do not need to generate their own heat or use the National Grid as their primary heating source. District heating can reduce carbon emissions and benefit residents and businesses through cheaper heating and greater security of supply. Where Combined Heat Power (CHP) is used, electricity can also be supplied at reduced cost.
The Stratford-on-Avon District Heat Mapping and Energy Masterplanning Study explored the opportunities for district heating/heat networks in the District and identified district heating priority areas.
This study informs Policy CS.3 (Sustainable Energy) in the Core Strategy. This policy requires all new developments in district heating priority areas to incorporate infrastructure for district heating, and to connect to existing systems where and when they are available (unless it is demonstrated that this would render development unviable).
The identified district heating priority areas are:
A feasibility study on the Canal Quarter carried out in December 2018 concluded that a heat network was viable and feasible at the Canal Quarter.
In order to progress work to the next stage of the project, the Detailed Project Development (DPD) stage, an application for funding was submitted to BEIS Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) on 28 November 2019. This bid included funding to carry out the project as well as a Project Manager to oversee the project on behalf of SDC.
On 27 February 2020 SDC received confirmation that the funding bid had been successful. The next stage will be to commission a Project Manager which SDC is hoping to go out to tender for later this year.
We also encourage developers to incorporate infrastructure for district heating outside of these priority areas, and schemes will be expected to connect to any existing suitable systems.
A Heat Mapping and Energy Masterplanning Study has been produced for the Atherstone Airfield Core Strategy Site Allocation SUA.4. At present it is not identified as a district priority heating area, although this may change if more energy-intensive uses are located on the site in the future.
We are currently preparing a Development Requirements Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which will include further guidance on district heating schemes and the Council's Sustainable Energy policy requirements.
You may also be interested in our renewable and sustainable energy technical evidence page.