DEVELOPERS have been warned all future proposals for housing estates will be thoroughly examined to ensure they meet with carbon cutting ambitions.

A meeting of Darlington Borough Council’s planning committee heard Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat members express frustration over developers being allowed to submit plans without detailing any measures to combat climate change.

The authority’s Green Party has repeatedly called on the council to ensure all developments, including the authority’s own, to meet higher environmental standards, such as energy efficiency, and to do so the meeting was told the council needed to adopt specific policies.

Councillors heard a proposal to convert former agricultural buildings at West Newbiggin Farm, near Sadberge featured few environmentally-friendly elements that would become essential in the coming years, such as electric vehicle charging points.

Councillor Hilary Allen said bearing in mind the council had committed to a zero carbon target it was concerning there wasn’t any sustainable forward-looking features of the development.

The meeting heard other local authorities had policies that each new development had to be zero carbon.

Councillor Gerald Lee told an agent for the developer: “There is an awful lot of thought and concern for our carbon emissions. It saddens me that you don’t take the opportunity when you submit ideas like this to quantify and describe what you would do to reduce carbon emissions.

“There is nothing in our planning policy, but each Darlington Borough councillor is very keen to see our carbon emissions reduced and on all the applications we get every developer will be getting questions.”

Ahead of councillors passing the plan, the developer’s agent said consideration had been given to energy conservation, the proposal had met regulations and would lead to a long-term positive use for the buildings.