Climate change impact assessment                                                                                                                                                                                                           


The purpose of this assessment is to help us understand the likely impacts of our decisions on the environment of North Yorkshire and on our aspiration to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2030, or as close to that date as possible. The intention is to mitigate negative effects and identify projects which will have positive effects.


This document should be completed in consultation with the supporting guidance. The final document will be published as part of the decision making process and should be written in Plain English.


If you have any additional queries which are not covered by the guidance please email 

Please note: You may not need to undertake this assessment if your proposal will be subject to any of the following: 
 Planning Permission
 Environmental Impact Assessment
 Strategic Environmental Assessment
 However, you will still need to summarise your findings in in the summary section of the form below.
 Please contact for advice.












Title of proposal

CYPS Schools Condition Capital Programme 21/22 (including Public Sector Decarbonsation Grant)

Brief description of proposal

A programme of improvements at schools including refurbishment works and replacement of building fabric and infrastructure that has failed.


Central Services

Service area

Strategic Resources

Lead officer

Paula McLean

Names and roles of other people involved in carrying out the impact assessment

Jon Holden, (Head of Property Service), Katherine Edge, (Senior Property Officer), Kristina Peat, (Operations Manager, Energy and Carbon), Capital Project Officers, Deborah Hugill, (Senior Strategy and Performance Officer), Andrew Dixon, Strategic Planning Manager (Education and Skills).

Date impact assessment started

14th May 2021.





Options appraisal

Were any other options considered in trying to achieve the aim of this project? If so, please give brief details and explain why alternative options were not progressed.


The Schools Capital Programme is developed on an annual basis to address priority issues identified within the schools portfolio, including those arising from the condition of buildings or elements within them, and to ensure that the portfolio remains compliant and fit for purpose.  Individual projects are identified after consideration of information submitted by individual schools and data that is maintained by the County Council.  This includes a consideration of the detailed data that is maintained in respect of the maintenance backlog that totals approximately £23.5 million



For 21/22, a programme of improvements at schools has been developed, and includes replacement of prefabricated classrooms and HORSA (Hutting Operation for the raising of the School leaving age) units at nine schools, refurbishment works to classrooms, toilets, kitchens and design technology facilities.   The programme also includes a number of planned maintenance projects to replace failed building fabric – i.e. roofing, a number of boiler replacement works and a number of window replacement schemes (funded by grant received via the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme).



Where improvement projects are developed, a holistic approach is undertaken to the feasibility study to ensure that backlog maintenance elements are considered and incorporated into the project.  For some projects, option appraisal work is undertaken to assess the most suitable solution both in terms of buildability, and value for money, whilst also having regard to the future education needs of a site.  All schemes are developed taking account of DfE area guidelines and building bulletins, and also building regulations requirements including those associated with energy consumption



What impact will this proposal have on council budgets? Will it be cost neutral, have increased cost or reduce costs?


Please explain briefly why this will be the result, detailing estimated savings or costs where this is possible.


The Schools Capital Programme will have no impact upon the County Council’s revenue budget.


The programme is funded from the DfE’s School Condition Allocation and also the additional funding received via the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.


In the event that any additional running costs are incurred then these are met from within the School’s own delegated budget.






How will this proposal impact on the environment?

N.B. There may be short term negative impact and longer term positive impact. Please include all potential impacts over the lifetime of a project and provide an explanation.

Positive impact

(Place a X in the box below where relevant)

No impact

(Place a X in the box below where relevant)

Negative impact

(Place a X in the box below where relevant)

Explain why will it have this effect and over what timescale?


Where possible/relevant please include:

·      Changes over and above business as usual

·      Evidence or measurement of effect

·      Figures for CO2e

·      Links to relevant documents

Explain how you plan to mitigate any negative impacts.


Explain how you plan to improve any positive outcomes as far as possible.

Minimise greenhouse gas emissions e.g. reducing emissions from travel, increasing energy efficiencies etc.


Emissions from travel




There will be an increase in emissions from travel during the development of the scheme, visits to site by NYCC officers, consultants etc, prior to the scheme, and to a lesser extent afterwards.  During construction there will also be travel requirements for  contractors.   Where a school is being expanded then there is the potential for increased traffic (staff and pupils) on completion of the project.

Meetings are now held via Skype or Teams and the last 12 months has enabled us to develop the use of these more fully.  However, visits to sites do still need to occur.  The Authority also uses a regional framework for procurement with contractors being located within North Yorkshire or surrounding Council areas. 


Emissions from construction




There will be a negative impact during the construction period.

These will be mitigated through design and specification


Emissions from running of buildings




The improvement of the building fabric and installation of updated infrastructure will improve efficiencies and running costs.


Setting up a more robust monitoring programme of carbon emissions for future years.


The Energy & Sustainability traded service helps and advises schools (that take the service) how to run their properties as efficiently as possible and also educate pupils about climate change.









Minimise waste: Reduce, reuse, recycle and compost e.g. reducing use of single use plastic





For all projects, consideration is given to which elements can be re-used but this is limited more to projects such as kitchen, laboratory and design technology refurbishments.  Retention must be balanced against efficiencies of retaining the “kit”, which may be old and inefficient.


Elements assessed on a project by project basis.

Reduce water consumption




Items such as the inclusion of sensor taps,  in toilet refurbishments to reduce water consumption.  For much larger projects, most usually included in the CYPS Basic Need programme, rain water harvesting will be considered.


Assessed on a project basis depending whether the scheme involves changes to the water infrastructure.

Minimise pollution (including air, land, water, light and noise)





Construction may have a temporary impact on air, light and noise.  However, we expect our contractors to be “considerate” whilst undertaking such works  i.e. dust suppression when cutting, minimising working periods to reduce impacts on site users and neighbours.  Schemes requiring planning are always governed by working times.  Where schemes on completion, impact on noise and light, these are developed having regard to regulations that are in place, including building regulations and planning which may require necessary assessments – i.e. noise impact assessments, before determination.

It depends on the element affected, but may be mitigated by time restrictions (i.e. for Multi Use Games Area  lighting), or by design to mitigate noise including fencing/landscaping.


Ensure resilience to the effects of climate change e.g. reducing flood risk, mitigating effects of drier, hotter summers




We ensure that schemes are designed having regard to climate change and current building regulations.  We have historical data on our sites in relation to flooding.  Schemes above 1000m2, or those in a high risk flood zone will need to be assessed by the Lead Local Flood Authority. 



Enhance conservation and wildlife





During construction there may be a conservation impact but mitigating measures are taken into account– see next column.  Projects that extend the accommodation, always take into account external areas in relation to design, and also bio-diversity – via the net gain proposals of an increase of 10% for schemes requiring planning permission.

Projects sometimes impact on wildlife i.e. bats and newts.  Where there may be an impact, ecology consultants are appointed and assessments are completed and mitigation undertaken as necessary, i.e. works undertaken at a different time, temporary measures put in place, for example “newt fencing”, watching brief.


Safeguard the distinctive characteristics, features and special qualities of North Yorkshire’s landscape





These are taken into account where the project requires planning permission.

These may be conditioned as part of the planning conditions.  i.e. screening of an extension.


Other (please state below)












Are there any recognised good practice environmental standards in relation to this proposal? If so, please detail how this proposal meets those standards.


Schemes are developed having regard to current DfE recommendations and guidelines and the requirement of planning and building regulations where these are needed. 


The DfE generic design brief and output specification technical annexes are being incorporated into the project briefing documentation used by the Capital Programme Team. These suites of guidance are reviewed and updated by the DfE twice a year and the November 2021 release will have more focus on carbon reduction.


The Beyond Carbon Programme, which includes a Property and Infrastructure Working Group, is considering a range of issues associated with the reduction of carbon emissions arising from the construction and operation of property and will be making recommendations for future action.





Summary Summarise the findings of your impact assessment, including impacts, the recommendation in relation to addressing impacts, including any legal advice, and next steps. This summary should be used as part of the report to the decision maker.


The assessment identifies an overall long term positive impact on carbon reduction through improvements to the schools property portfolio. Shorter term negative effects have also been identified as a result of construction and implementation. These will be mitigated as much as possible.


The size of the school estate means that it is an important factor in the Council’s overall carbon reduction plan. In developing and delivering schemes every opportunity is explored to provide a solution that assists with carbon reduction. However, given the size of the maintenance backlog, the need for modernisation, and the limited funding available, schemes cannot be prioritised for inclusion in the programme solely on the basis of carbon reduction. 


Schemes included in the 21/22 programme will improve the condition of the school estate, by reduce backlog maintenance and by development and improvements to the building fabric and infrastructure and incorporating new technologies where possible.


The work of the Property Infrastructure and Carbon Group in 21/22 will help feed options into future programmes of work as well as the development of baseline data which will allow the outcomes of projects to be monitored in the future, along with the development of the School Estate Vision and Strategy.






Sign off section


This climate change impact assessment was completed by:



Paula McLean

Job title

Capital Programme Manager

Service area

Strategic Resources


Central Services


P A McLean

Completion date



Authorised by relevant Assistant Director (signature):   Howard Emmett


Date:  25th May 2021.