Work supporting Cornwall Council’s commitment to tackling climate change and support communities has been given the green light by the local authority’s cabinet.

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This will pave the way for a transformation of the council’s property estate, which includes many buildings inherited from Cornwall’s six former district and borough councils. With an ageing and costly estate, the council plans to reduce the number of buildings by approximately two-thirds, creating new ‘service hubs’ which will deliver services for residents.

The move is expected to cut the council’s buildings carbon emissions by around 70% and support high streets by increasing the number of people working closer to town centres. The programme will also enable staff to work closer to home, significantly reducing the commute-related carbon footprint.

During the meeting, cabinet also recommended that a document aimed at making sure building developments contribute to ambitions to be net-carbon neutral by 2030 be submitted to the government. The document will now be presented to full council, which will make the final decision.

If adopted, the Climate Emergency Development Plan document will sit alongside the Cornwall Local Plan and other policies and will be used for decision making on all development proposals.  

Cabinet also confirmed that the council will take part in Defra’s Farming in Protected Landscapes initiative, with a grant of up to £989,188 to support more sustainable methods of land management within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.