Publication Local Plan, Chapter 17: Energy

Creating a fairer Salford by:

  • Supporting improvements in energy efficiency and energy security, which can help to reduce fuel poverty amongst poorer households
  • Enabling contributions to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from across the city
  • Protecting residents from the adverse impacts of energy generation

17.1 Salford has set an ambitious target to become carbon neutral by 2038 [1]. The same target has been established for Greater Manchester as a whole, with an ambition that all new development should be net zero carbon by 2028 [2] . Energy use in the construction and operation of development is currently a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. If Salford is to achieve carbon neutrality then it will be necessary to minimise energy demands from existing buildings and new development and to increase the generation of energy from renewable sources.

17.2 Where energy use is necessary, then priority should be given to utilising the most sustainable sources. Within Salford, the scale and location of development means that there are particular opportunities to create and connect to district heating and cooling networks in parts of the city, through both new development and the retrofitting of existing buildings.

Policy EG1 - Sustainable energy

All developments shall accord with the following energy hierarchy (in order of preference): 

  1. Minimise energy demand
  2. Maximise energy efficiency
  3. Utilise renewable energy
  4. Utilise low carbon energy
  5. Utilise other energy sources

The retrofitting of existing buildings with measures to reduce energy consumption will be encouraged. 

Working towards the target that all new development shall be zero net carbon from 2028, the principles of the energy hierarchy shall be adopted to achieve the following standards:

  1. All new build residential development: Exceed the fabric energy efficiency required under Part L of the Building Regulations 2013 by 19% and meet the standard required by any subsequent revision to Part L
  2. New build non-residential development of 1,000 square metres or more: At least BREEAM very good and meet the standard required by any subsequent revision to Part L of the Building Regulations.

District heating network development areas

Within district heat network development areas  shown on the Policies Map and in Figure 14, where there is an existing or proposed district heat network, development (including new build, conversions and changes of use) involving ten or more dwellings and/or over 1,000m2 of non-residential floorspace shall connect into the heat network, or be designed to do so, unless it can be demonstrated that there are more effective alternatives for minimising carbon emissions or such connection is impracticable or financially unviable.

Development and energy proposals that would generate significant surplus or waste heat shall take all practicable measures to utilise that heat to meet local energy needs, including as part of an existing or proposed district heating network.

Renewable and low carbon energy

17.3 Renewable and low carbon energy schemes will be a significant component in making Salford a more sustainable city, especially in terms of reducing the contributions to climate change, improving the security of the city’s energy supply, and helping to alleviate fuel poverty. A positive approach will therefore be taken to them.

17.4 There is a range of opportunities for renewable and low carbon energy schemes in Salford, and the main ones are shown in Figure 14 having regard to practical, technical and policy constraints. Given the size of many new buildings in the city and their associated roof surface areas, there is considered to be particular potential for the use of solar photovoltaic technology development.

17.5 There may also be potential outside the areas identified in Figure 14 and such opportunities are in no way precluded by this plan. The exception to this is wind energy development, which national planning policy states can only be permitted in an area identified as suitable in the development plan [3]. Chat Moss, as defined in Policy GI2, is considered to be inherently unsuitable for wind energy development due to its flat, open nature, deep peat, and the nature conservation proposals for the Biodiversity Heartland within it. The rest of Salford has been identified as potentially suitable, so that the use of wind energy is not unnecessarily constrained, but in practice there will be other parts of the city that will be unsuitable for example due to their landscape/townscape sensitivity or proximity to housing.

17.6 The benefits of delivering increased renewable and low carbon energy capacity will need to be assessed against any potential adverse effects. The type of possible impacts will vary depending on the technology being used, but the need to protect residential amenity is likely to be a common issue for many scheme types. Other considerations will include impact on the local environment or wider landscape, harm to sites of nature conservation value, impact on heritage assets, interference with telecommunications and aviation equipment, and impact on air quality associated with certain energy sources for district heating schemes.

Policy EG2 - Renewable and low carbon energy schemes

A positive approach will be taken to renewable and low carbon energy schemes, subject to the other policies in this plan. Developers are strongly encouraged to incorporate renewable and low carbon energy infrastructure into their schemes wherever possible. 

Standalone low carbon or renewable energy schemes do not, by definition, need to accord with the energy hierarchy in Policy EG1. 

Figure 14 shows the locations in Salford that are likely to have the greatest potential for renewable and low carbon energy based on technical considerations, but there will be other opportunities across the city particularly as technology improves.


All developments are encouraged to maximise opportunities for on-site electricity and heat production from solar technologies. Extensive roof surfaces and walls provide particular opportunities, such as on large-scale commercial or industrial developments, but there is also significant potential for smaller-scale installations including on individual dwellings. 


Wind energy development involving one or more turbines is potentially suitable in all parts of Salford except for Chat Moss (with Chat Moss defined under Policy GI2/1 and shown on the Policies Map). 

Wind energy development will be permitted in a potentially suitable location where it can be clearly demonstrated that: 

  1. Following consultation, the planning impacts identified by any local community that would be affected have been fully addressed;
  2. The proposal would not cause significant harm, both individually and cumulatively with other developments, to the quality and enjoyment of the landscape and related views; and
  3. There would be no unacceptable impact on amenity or safety in terms of noise, shadow flicker, vibration, topple distance, air traffic safety, radar and telecommunications or visual dominance.


The development of hydropower schemes shall protect and take opportunities to enhance the ecological interest, biodiversity and geodiversity of the waterway. 

Such schemes shall: 

  1. Protect and enhance water quality in accordance with Policy WA1
  2. Allow for the movement of multiple species and sizes of fish;
  3. Avoid any adverse reduction in water flows and levels; and
  4. Avoid any physical modifications to the river channel that could adversely affect plant life or invertebrates.

Developers should engage with the Environment Agency at the earliest opportunity in order to obtain advice on permits and licences required and the process of applying to build a hydropower scheme. 

District heating network development areas 

District heat network development areas are shown on the Policies Map and in Figure 14. The need for developments to connect to them is set out in Policy EG1. 

A high priority is given to protecting air quality within the district heat network development areas, and this shall be reflected in the technology and fuels that are used for such networks.


Development of geothermal schemes shall protect the hydrology of the Manchester Mosses Special Area of Conservation.


Temporary energy generation facilities must provide full details of the arrangements for decommissioning and the reinstatement/restoration of the site. This includes all solar farms, freestanding wind turbines and hydropower schemes.

Figure 14 - locations with the greatest potential for renewable and low carbon energy


17.7 The main indicators that will be used to monitor this chapter are:

Indicator Baseline position Target
Total citywide renewable and low carbon energy generating capacity 27,119MWh [4] Significant  increase (2019-2037)
Total heat generating capacity of district heating networks 20MWh at MediaCityUK (combined heat and power and boilers) Significant increase (2019-2037)
New build residential development exceeding the fabric energy efficiency required under Part L of the Building Regulations 2013 by 19% Not available All approved new build residential development
New build non-residential development of 1,000m2 or more achieving BREEAM very good or above Not available Approved new build non-residential development


[1] Set as part of the climate emergency declared by Salford City Council on 17 July 2019

[2] Greater Manchester (2019) 5-Year Environment Plan for Greater Manchester: 2019-2024, p.17 (Aim 1)

[3] Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (February 2019) National Planning Policy Framework, footnote 49

[4] Department for Business, Energy & Industry Strategy (September 2018) Renewable energy generation at local authority level 2017

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