Hastings Climate Change Strategy

Hastings Climate Change Strategy

Strategy Summary


In July 2019, Hastings Borough Council declared a climate emergency and developed a Climate Change Strategy alongside a two-year action plan. The declaration commits the council to working with partners and the community to become carbon net zero and improve resilience to climate impacts.


The vision is to create a carbon-neutral, climate-resilient town that enhances the well-being of its residents, conserves natural resources, and protects the environment for future generations.


  1. Achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
  2. Improve the resilience of Hastings to climate impacts.
  3. Promote sustainable economic growth.
  4. Foster community engagement and education on climate issues.

Evidence Base Synopsis

Hastings-Specific Information

  1. Climate Change Impacts
  • Hastings is vulnerable to rising sea levels, increased flooding, more intense storms, and severe heatwaves.
  • The town faces potential disruption to social and economic activities due to these climate impacts.
  1. Carbon Emissions
  • The council aims to significantly reduce carbon emissions through various measures, including energy efficiency, renewable energy adoption, and sustainable transport.
  1. Energy Efficiency
  • Evidence suggests potential for reducing electricity and heating demand through energy-saving measures and retrofitting buildings.
  1. Renewable Energy
  • Adoption of renewable energy sources, including solar panels and wind energy, is crucial for meeting decarbonization targets.
  1. Transport
  • Strategies include promoting walking, cycling, and public transport to reduce vehicle mileage and associated emissions.
  1. Community Engagement
  • The council emphasizes the importance of community involvement in achieving climate goals and enhancing local resilience.
  1. Natural Solutions
  • Blue-green infrastructure and biodiversity net gain are key strategies for enhancing climate resilience and carbon offsetting in Hastings.

The strategy and actions outlined reflect a comprehensive approach to addressing the climate emergency, aiming to create a sustainable and resilient future for Hastings and its residents .


1.  Communication, Lobbying, partnership working
HBC corporate actions
1.1Create a brand/image for Climate Change communications and use with all comms to do with behaviour change, engagement and positive
environmental impacts
Encourage others to take climate and environmental action
Increased visibility of Council’s climate actions
1.2Keep the Council’s climate change web pages up to date and continue to develop media to engage new audiences and keep people and organisations engagedRaised awareness of climate change and actions you can take at home, in your business etc
Actions by the council to enable the borough to become net zero carbon by 2030
RefActionOutcome and co-benefits
1.3Continue to share the climate strategy and action plan with partners and work with Government departments, SELEP, the Energy Hub, ESCC and other regional and local organisations to identify existing and forthcoming funding to support specific projects and actions.Investment in climate change action plan commitments in order to meet certain KPIs
1.4Keep the Climate Change and Environment Communications and Engagement Plan up to date reflecting local, regional, national and international environmental campaignsRaised awareness of environment and climate change issues
2 Governance and decision making
HBC corporate actions
2.1To reflect the climate action the council is planning to take, meet with all council service areas and engage with HBC staff to update the action planClimate emergency is integrated across all service areas, policies strategies and projects
2.2Provide staff and councillor training on the council’s climate change strategy and action plan to ensure our decisions take into account climate change implicationsIt will be clear to cllrs, officers and the public the climate change
consequences of all decisions
2.3Investigate climate/carbon E-learning opportunities available through the councils current learning portal that could be mandatory for all staffAll staff will increase their environmental awareness to enable carbon reduction in their work and private life
2.4Update job descriptions to include climate change as part of the standard result area for all jobs incorporating climate
change into the Council’s behavioural framework
Climate change becomes a core job requirement for all roles.
Increased climate change awareness amongst staff and requirements with service provisions
2.5Set up green champions network for interested staff to support the council’s climate change workIncreased awareness, engagement and support to deliver the climate emergency and reduce the Councils and boroughs greenhouse gas emissions
2.6Prepare an annual  report to cabinet each March and 6 monthly update report in October providing an update about the action plan and information about the towns and the council’s carbon emissions.Cllrs are kept informed and up to date about progress being made to deliver the climate change action plan
Actions by the council to enable the borough to become net zero carbon by 2030
2.7Working in partnership with Rother District Council, Wealden District Council and the East Sussex Procurement Hub update the council’s sustainable procurement policy to ensure our supply chain for goods and services contributes to net zeroReduced emissions from procurement.(scope3) Increased local spend and resulting improved community wealth Supports value for money and the wider economic, social and environmental benefits
3   Renewable and low carbon energy (power and heat)
HBC corporate actions
3.1Continue to identify further opportunities to install solar PV on council owned buildings and large 3rd party roofs in the boroughHelp to support the council and businesses to reduce their carbon emissions and operational costs
3.2Ensure the council purchases green electricity for its operational assets e.g. Muriel Matters HouseContinue to minimise the council’s Scope 2 emissions through renewable energy electricity
Actions by the council to enable the borough to become net zero carbon by 2030
3.3Identify opportunities/sites for onshore wind turbines and other renewable energy schemes within the refresh of the Local PlanIncrease supply of local renewable energy, creating greater local energy security and supporting the decarbonisation of the energy system
3.4Work with UK Power Network (UKPN) to support the transition to a smart grid capable of meeting the requirements of a carbon- neutral Hastings; develop a greater understanding of local grid constraints so that investment in EV infrastructure and development of new renewable & low carbon energy assets can be achievedReduction in carbon emissions
3.5Enable community energy schemes and explore the potential for micro-grids in housing developments on
council land
Community energy schemes are supported to deliver projects locally

Increase in community owned local energy generation
3.6Ensure Local Plan policies deliver strategic energy infrastructure developments, transport and housing that seek to support the transition to a carbon-neutral Hastings and the decarbonisation of
the electricity grid.
The transition to net zero for the town is supported through planning policy
3.7Working in partnership with ‘Your Energy Sussex’ and local authorities across East and West Sussex continue to promote ‘Solar Together Sussex’, and similar initiatives to encourage the uptake of renewable and low carbon technologies in owner occupier homesIncreased energy security Increased in local energy generation
Reduced carbon emissions from local homes
Reduced fuel poverty Support local supply chain
3.8Investigate the potential for low carbon heat networks in large scale redevelopment and new development projects taking advantage of govt funding for feasibility studies and capital infrastructureTown wide carbon emissions reduced
4 Reducing energy demand from homes and the built environment
The existing building stock accounts for 75% of existing CO2 emissions – reducing demand for electricity and heating could reduce borough-wide emissions by 30%. Retrofitting and improving the energy efficiency of  all tenures of existing housing (owner occupied, private rented, and social housing) will be required to meet net zero
HBC corporate actions
4.1Review the Council’s estate to understand the current carbon/ energy performance of its assets and develop a long-term asset management plan and associated carbon reduction plan for council assets to ensure the council assets meet EPC requirements EPC C by 2025 for new tenant and 2018 for existing tenants.This will ensure that our assets are energy efficient and meet landlord EPC requirements
Reduced carbon emissions Improved energy efficient stock
4.2Undertake further energy/carbon efficient retrofits of Council operational buildings if cost-effective to do so e.g. LED lighting at MMHReduced carbon emission and energy bills from council buildings
Actions by the council to enable the borough to become net zero carbon by 2030
RefActionOutcome and co-benefits
4.3Complete housing stock condition survey (waiting for the census data to be released for housing)Provides baseline information to inform housing strategy and long- term planning for retrofitting the existing housing stock.
4.4Use the Housing stock condition survey to inform the decisions about a future HMO licensing scheme and continue to take action to address category 1 hazards for excess cold, damp and mould in the private rented housing.Reduced health inequalities from poor quality housing Reduced carbon emissions from housing sector
4.5Share the findings of the BEIS funded MEES project which targeted EPC F and G rated private rented stock to inform the approach the council will take to enforcing future EPC standards of EPC C for new tenancies by 2025 and existing tenants by 2028.Adequate resources in place to support housing work
Improved housing stock and living conditions
Reduced carbon emissions from private rented housing
4.6Develop and implement the actions defined in the Hastings Housing strategy TBAHousing standards in the private rented sector Improve
Reduced fuel poverty reduced health inequalities
4.7Work in partnership with other local authorities, private and social landlords through East Sussex Housing Officers Group (ESHOG) and East Sussex Energy Partnership to develop a strategic approach to decarbonise all tenures of housingCarbon emissions are reduced as far as practicably possible from housing
Reduced fuel poverty and improved health outcomes
4.8Work in collaboration with East Sussex Housing Officers Group (ESHOG) and East Sussex Energy Partnership and others  to develop bids for the local authority delivery strands of the Governments Home Upgrade Grants and other associated funding schemes such as the Social Housing decarbonisation schemePublic and private sector housing can access funds to help retrofit and improve energy efficiency
Worst energy performing homes are improved and EPC rating of local housing increases
Reduced risk of cold, damp and mouldy homes Improved health outcomes
4.9Support and facilitate access to the Warm Homes East Sussex schemeFuel poverty in the borough reduces
Those most vulnerable benefit from energy efficient advice and measures and other support as required Improved health outcomes
4.10Continue to promote guidance from Historic England about how to improve the energy efficiency and climate resilience of the local historic housing stock and create conservation and design  guidance for the local plan5000 properties in the borough are in conservation areas or a listed property
4.11Deliver the Town Living Towns Fund project12 Retrofitted, affordable homes
Reduced fuel poverty Worst energy performing homes are improved and EPC rating of local housing increases
Best practice example of how to retrofit Grade 2 listed property
4.12Influence new housing developments on council land to make sure new housing developed is as low carbon as technically feasible and affordableAll new homes are designed
and built to be as low carbon and energy efficient and as possible within budgets available
4.13Support the ‘Partnerships for people and place’ project researching the challenges of retrofitting/ improving the energy efficiency of the private rented stock – a partnership project with ESCC, CAB1066  BEIS
Findings of the research shared with partners
4.14Support the delivery of the Green construction, energy and vehicle training centre Towns Fund project at the Ore Campus ESCGNew green skills training centre open and course running
Increase in green skills and job opportunities
5 Transport
HBC corporate actions
5.1Continue to review the Council’s fleet and identify opportunities for fleet replacement with zero and ultra low carbon vehicles and the use of electric bikes. Install associated work place charge points for electric fleetReduced carbon emissions and improved air quality EV Vehicle fleet being procured
•    wardens and parking service 1 van, 2 cars EV ordered •    IT and leisure – one Van ordered
5.2Introduce a cycle to work scheme to encourage more active travel for staff Reviewing other actions to support this such as a secure bike store and potential battery charging for EV bikes.Gradual modal shift to reduce private
vehicle travel and sustainable travel becoming the norm Increase number of staff commuting to work and meetings by bike Improved physical and mental well being
Actions by the council to enable the borough to become net zero carbon by 2030
5.3Continue to keep under review off-street car parking fees and consider the introduction of an emission-based scheme to encourage the switch to cleaner, more efficient vehicles.Improved air quality Reduced emissions from vehicles
5.4Work in partnership with ESCC to deliver new cycling and walking initiatives as detailed in the East Sussex Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) and seek opportunities for funding.Additional cycling and walking routes Increased active travel opportunities
Improved health and well being
Improved air quality
5.5Work in partnership with ESCC to deliver on-street EV charging infrastructure and where technically feasible the off street EV charging infrastructureIncreased charging infrastructure for electric vehicles
Improved air quality Reduced emissions form transport
5.6Work in partnership with ESCC to develop the Local Transport Plan (LTP4) to inform the transport policies and priorities for the county and future investment including meeting net zero carbonImproved air quality
More active travel options Reduced reliance on the car
5.7Ensure all new housing developments provide infrastructure for electric vehicles, active travel and car sharing optionsThe decarbonisation of transport is supported Improved air quality
5.8Encourage the use of public transport by visitors to Hastings and those attending the towns events to reduce the need to
travel by car
Improved air quality
 Convert Biffa waste fleet to HVO from April 2-23Reduction in Co2 emissions from waste fleet by 85-90%
6 Biodiversity, green infrastructure and nature recovery
RefActionOutcome and co-benefits
Nature and ecosystems play a huge role in regulating the climate, absorbing carbon and can help us to adapt to and mitigate climate change. Biodiversity and ecosystems are a crucial part of our effort to combat climate change and working with nature brings multiple benefits.
HBC corporate actions
6.1Develop an in house Grounds maintenance service and new service specification to manage the town’s parks and open
Greater control over maintenance specification Enhance local biodiversity
6.2Improve and reduce mowing practices on the council’s land, in parks and open spaces and grass vergesIncrease in biodiversity and habitat for insects Reduction in waste arisings from mowing
6.3Reduce the use of chemicals on council’s land and lobby ESCC to do the sameImproved habitat for insects Increase in biodiversity
6.4Increase wildflower and pollinator planting where suitableImproved habitat for insects
6.5Continue to develop sustainable planting schemes within parks and open spaces, seafront beds and decorative planters to reduce the need to replant annual plants and conserve waterReduction in waste arisings from annual planting schemes
Reduced need for watering Increase in biodiversity
6.6Continue to manage the Cemetery grounds to allow for minimal mowing  and maintenance whilst enabling public access to the site and plant new trees as part of the Queens Green Canopy project in
the century Grounds
Increased biodiversity Reduction in waste arisings from mowing
Actions by the council to enable the borough to become net zero carbon by 2030
6.7Working in partnership with Surrey Wildlife Trust to deliver the blue green infrastructure strategy  and biodiversity net gain study
to inform the local plan policy
Increased climate resilience Improved health and well- being through greater resilience to extreme heat and flooding
6.8Prepare the council for biodiversity net gain and potential off-site provision creating an understanding of where the delivery of nature-based solutions and habitat improvements can be achieved within the borough – develop a pipeline of projects for biodiversity net gain and ‘offsetting’Improved local habitats Increased resilience to climate change impacts
6.9Complete the open spaces study to inform the local plan about the amount, value and quality of open space to see if it will match future population levels of demand for access.Access to open spaces Improves health and well being
6.10Provide support and advice to potential tree planting projects as required to help to ensure the native species are planted in the right place/habitat.Carbon capture Improved biodiversity
6.11Review land holdings for possible biodiversity and nature based climate solutions (as part of the council’s strategic asset mngt review )Partnership projects created Increase in biodiversity Improved health and well being
6.12Continue work with community group and organisations e.g. Education Futures Trust, Speckled Wood, Ground Work Trust, Green House Project, Bohemia Walled Garden, the Garden Town TeamIncreased awareness of climate change and the local environment Enhanced biodiversity New skills for green jobs
6.13Expand the sustainable land management practices at Hastings Country Park, to include regenerative agriculture approaches including the creation of woodland pastureIncreased biodiversity through an increase in woodland pasture though the repurposing of arable land
6.14Continue to provide volunteer opportunities within the management of our parks and open spaces so that local people can
gain new green skills
Increased environmental awareness
Increased green skills
6.15Work in partnership with ESCC and the garden town team to deliver the public realm and green connections towns fund project to green the town centre and improve active travel choices in the town centreIncreased biodiversity Increase climate resilience Increased cycling and walking

Improved health and well being
6.16Support the delivery of the Broadening Futures Together – partnership project between Plumpton College & Education Futures Trust (EFT) to providing opportunities to gain green skills in land managementIncreased green skills
7 Food land must be managed to provide food (and building materials) as well as managed to preserve biodiversity. Agriculture systems are threatened with reduced productivity due to a decline in the number and variety of plants and animals in the agricultural (and surrounding) environment Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for 10% of total UK GHG emissions; emissions from agriculture can be reduced by changing the mix of food we eat.
HBC corporate actions
7.1Support local food growing through Local Plan policiesprotect and enhance green spaces and increase opportunities for allotments and food growing spaces
through the green infrastructure network.
7.2Support and promote the Hastings sustainable fishing fleet e.g. through the fish fayres and Hastings fish brandDecrease carbon footprint by encouraging residents and hospitality businesses to buy local, sustainable fish which can be indicated by the fish brand logo and promoted at fish Fayres.
Actions by the council to enable the borough to become net zero carbon by 2030
7.3Support local food growing initiatives by making Suitable council owned land availableMore residents can access local food and grow their own
7.4Support the local Hastings and Rother food partnership funded by ESCCCreate local food security Increase local food production and distribution Increased food security and
reduced food poverty
7.5Support initiatives that promote or enable low carbon and nature-friendly farming locally e.g. roof top farming, Town Grown Food growers’ networkIncrease and educate number of residents able to grow their own food. This will decrease food miles, enable more cheap, healthy food options and increase biodiversity
7.6Continue the support of community orchards through the provision of land where resources such as water are nearby e.g. Church Wood Community Orchard, Brembrook Road and The BowlCreates additional, local, free food resources and engage and educate residents in community growing.
8 Reducing emissions from waste and supporting a circular economy
The best way to reduce emissions from waste is to produce less. While consuming less, reusing, upcycling, recycling, and recovering materials and energy are ways to manage our waste. Emissions from waste management activities such as collection and disposal of waste also create emissions, but form a relatively small proportion of emissions from waste as a whole.
HBC corporate actions
8.1Working in partnership review waste & recycling service provision to  align them with the
requirements of increasing recycling and decreasing residual waste especially as the requirements of the Environment Act and food waste collections become clearer
Increased recycling rates
8.2Working in partnership complete the fleet review to produce pathway to zero carbon RCV (refuse collection vehicle) fleetPlan in place to deliver zero carbon waste and recycling fleet
ULEV and alternative low carbon fuels identified
8.3Deliver on zero carbon RCV fleetZero carbon fleet achieved
8.4Compost parks and open space waste arisings, creating a mulch/ compost to reapply to our landReduced need to buy compost
Reduced waste for disposal Improved soil condition
Actions by the council to enable the borough to become net zero carbon by 2030
8.5Support local reuse and repair schemes
which divert waste for disposal, for example Freegle,Freecycle, repair cafes, library of things, Hastings Furniture Service, local charity shops etc.
Encourages a local circular economy and these schemes provide the most help and benefit to people in greater need
8.6Support local community composting schemes to allow those without a garden or allotment to recycle and compost their food wasteReduces organic waste added to landfill which will reduce methane emissions. Compost can be used to improve soil and promote healthy plant growth and reduce need to buy compost
8.7Promote the Christmas tree recycling scheme which collects trees and turns them into a compostable material for use in the parks.Less dumped Christmas trees
Recycle green waste into compost
9 Water Climate change is already affecting water access for people around the world, causing more severe droughts and floods. Increasing global temperatures are one of the main contributors to this problem. Climate change impacts the water cycle by influencing when, where, and how much precipitation falls
HBC corporate actions
RefActionOutcome and co-benefits
9.1Once asset management plan is completed for non- domestic buildings ensure water consumption is addressed in all of the council’s assetsPreservation of water resources
Water wastage is minimised, and costs saved
Actions by the council to enable the borough to become net zero carbon by 2030
9.2Complete the new Local Plan and ensure that planning policies and guidance reflect our strategic goals for water minimisationNew development is low carbon, energy and water efficient and is resilient to future climate change
9.3Ensure planning policy reflects the need to avoid substantial development
on flood plain
Essential flood plain is retained and flood risk is minimised
9.4Work in partnership with the Environment Agency and the Southeast coastal group  to explore the options viable to manage the risks posed by sea level rise and coastal erosionShore line management plan in place
Reduced risk of coastal flooding
Minimise vulnerability and provide resilience to flooding and coastal change
 Update the Strategic flood risk assessment – level 1 to inform local plan policies in light of new guidance from the env agencyMinimise vulnerability and provide resilience to flooding and coastal change
RefActionOutcome and co-benefits
10 Adaptation and resilience the climate is changing so we need to plan for and be prepared for a certain level of climate breakdown. We can limit CO2 but we cannot mitigate its effects entirely. We will need to adapt to social and economic disruption caused by climate change. Our vulnerabilities and risks include rising sea level, impacts on land use, warmer wetter winters, more intense storms and severe summer heatwaves.
HBC corporate actions
10.1Ensure the blue green infrastructure plans and biodiversity net gain build future climate resilience for the town thought natural capital solutions and carbon offsettingBuilding community climate resilience to heat waves and flooding
10.2Continue to adapt the planting schemes in our parks and open spaces in response to hotter drier summers and more intense winter rainfall and wetter winters.Increase resilient planting Increase in biodiversity
Actions by the council to enable the borough to become net zero carbon by 2030
10.3Ensure our coastline is protected from sea level rise through the delivery of the Shoreline Management Plan and the council’s coastal protection programme supported through govt fundingThe councils statutory flood risk management responsibilities are met Increased community resilience to climate change Minimise vulnerability and provide resilience to flooding and coastal change
10.4Carry out annual recycling of beach shingle as required to protect the coastlineBeaches are sustained and the coastline is protected Minimise vulnerability and provide resilience to flooding and coastal change
10.5Working in partnership with Sussex Nature partners to develop a Sussex Nature Recovery Strategy to ensure the future resilience and adaptation of local habitatsSussex and Hastings is a place where people and nature thrive