More than 9 out of 10 people in Ringwood are concerned about reducing their carbon footprint, according to a recent survey undertaken by Ringwood Neighbourhood Plan. The committee behind the plan, which aims to provide a better future for the town, spoke with almost 100 local residents with 95% concerned about climate change.
The survey demonstrated a strong appetite for new housing in the area to be built to high environmental standards, with respondents commenting that “if it’s a new build, it should be stipulated in law that it’s energy-efficient”, “we have to stop building houses that are designed with the 1960s in mind” and “we have the technology – everything should be as efficient as possible.”
More than 93% of respondents feel that any new housing built in the area should be built to the highest environmental standards, and more than three-quarters believe they should be carbon neutral.
Councillor Gareth DeBoos, who leads the environment sub-group of the Neighbourhood Plan, welcomes this local insight and has challenged developers to do more: “Using modern methods of construction, energy-efficient housing can be built to about the same cost as a conventional home. Apart from the climate change benefit, people living in these houses have much lower energy bills. Some developers are already stepping up. For example, Crest-Nicholson, the developer of the Moortown Lane site, has built an award-winning eco-village near Bicester with high energy efficiency homes.”
Other responses show this is more than just talk, with most people making changes to reduce their carbon footprint. The majority of respondents have installed double or triple glazing, insulation and draught-proofing, and have also purchased highly energy-efficient appliances. It was felt that the cost of retrofitting energy-efficient measures was the main barrier to doing more in your own home, but rising energy bills were also a concern and reason to implement positive change.