The developer building 258 homes in Stowmarket has applied to scrap a requirement to offer air-source heat pumps as an add-on.

Crest Nicholson claims the pumps cannot be offered as an extra because they require an alternative version of the heating and hot water system for each house.

Planning permission was granted for the 9.54-hectare site, including 91 affordable homes, off Stowupland Road.

East Anglian Daily Times:

According to the application: “To make an air source heat pump an effective source of heating and hot water for the new homes, both the heating and hot water systems need to be designed to take account of the different source of heat and hot water: an air source heat pump cannot be used as a ‘bolt-on’ or supplementary to a standard system and requires a completely different system of pipework and storage in order to function effectively.

“Should an air source heat pump be offered as an optional extra, an alternative version of the heating and hot water system for each house is needed, undermining the focus on fabric first construction and minimising energy use by requiring a second design to be created for every one of the 258 new homes.”

The application has sparked a backlash from local councillors.

East Anglian Daily Times:

James Patchett, the Green representative for Stow Thorney, said: “I am not in support of any application to remove conditions that benefit the environment.

"We should be pressing developers to be building more sustainable, more efficient, more affordable to run homes. If we set a precedent of allowing developers to step back from their environmental responsibilities where will this path lead us?

“I have received a number of complaints from residents about this developer with regards to alleged unnecessary removal of hedgerows and established trees at the Diapers farm development. This developer previously built a large number of houses in the Cedars Park estate along with various infrastructure items such as balancing ponds.

"I have been trying to hold this developer to its obligations of maintaining one particular balancing pond which is overrun with yellow primrose.

“Although in isolation these issues may appear unrelated to the issue when you put them together it paints a picture of a developer that pays lip service to the environment. If we allow this condition to go, where does it end?”

The application will be discussed at the Mid Suffolk District Council planning committee next week.