‘One Planet’ pilot communities


Wales has an aim to become a ‘One Planet’ nation within a generation. Our proposed communities are therefore designed to fit witin this definition to act as a test-bed for how communities everywhere might strive to become ‘one planet’.

What is a ‘One Planet’ development?

We only have one planet, but the average citizen of a developed or fast-developing country has an ‘ecological footprint’ so large that if everyone on the planet lived that way we’d need at least three planets to support them.

On average, per human being on the planet, it is as if we had 1.5 planet earths (and rising).

Humanitys ecological footprint

[image from WWF’s Living Planet Report]

In other words we are using up more resources than can be replaced, and creating more pollution than the planet can absorb.

But there are options and strategies for households, businesses, communities, towns and even cities to strongly reduce their ecological footprints.

In Wales, we are lucky. The Welsh Government has a unique policy to support One Planet Development. Here is how it works:

Through Technical Advice Note 6 (TAN 6) and Planning Policy Wales (PPW) it sets out land use planning policies to support sustainable communities, at present in a rural context.

Section 4 of TAN 6 defines One Planet Developments as applying Low Impact Development principles in the Welsh context and being exemplars of sustainable development. It stipulates the following characteristics of a ‘One Planet’ Community:

  1. Affordable housing for various sizes of household;
  2. Buildings that are at least Zero Carbon throughout their entire life-cycle;
  3. An initial ecological footprint of 2.4 global hectares per person or less and clear potential to move towards 1.88 global hectare;
  4. Carbon analysis;
  5. Close-to-zero waste;
  6. 100% renewable energy;
  7. Land-based enterprises to satisfy around 65% of the minimum needs of the occupants;
  8. Rainwater harvesting, both for fresh water drinking and for other purposes;
  9. Greywater and Blackwater ecological treatment with nutrient recovery;
  10. Provision to protect against extreme weather events such as flooding or drought;
  11. Low or zero carbon transport plan;
  12. An increase in biodiversity caused by the planting of more native species;
  13. Assessment of impact on the local community;
  14. Encouragement of the use of Welsh language and culture.

This is a link to a PDF briefing paper on how One Planet Development supports the duties of public bodies under recent Welsh legislation.

Find out about our prototype project and what these communities in the Heart of Wales area could be like.