Kent Innovation Centre low carbon project ditched after “consultant got figures wrong”

The Kent Innovation Centre Image TDC

Plans for the  Kent Innovation Centre in Broadstairs to become Thanet council’s first low carbon building have been ditched due to increased costs and the project consultant getting “the figures wrong.”

The scheme had been granted £1.1million via the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund and was due to carry out works including exchanging gas boilers for air source heat pumps and improving insulation.

However, the project has now been withdrawn because it is no longer eligible for the funding “due to an oversight made by the original consultants and an increase in costs driven by inflationary pressures in the cost of materials.”

Labour councillor Rob Yates said the news was “incredibly disappointing.”

Cabinet member Cllr David Saunders (Conservative) agreed, adding: “The grant money offered came with conditions and time restraints.

“The consultant, given market forces, got the figures wrong and I think anyone involved in any building works will know that materials are in short supply, and the popularity of heat-sink boilers has meant we are now in a situation where it is supply and demand and we simply ran out of budget and time.”

When the plan was initially agreed Thanet council said: “TDC called a climate emergency in 2019 and pledged to become net carbon zero by 2030. TDC needs to aim to decarbonise all estates and activities over the next ten years.”

The aim was to create a completely electric heating supply which would be fully renewable.



  1. Oh dear. How embarrassing. Did they not think to check the figures supplied by the consultant and add on a contingency percentage for unforseen project costs ?

    What a mess.

  2. The problem with all these Climate Emergency schemes is that, whether it’s COP26 or TDC’s aspirations, it’s just an exercise in kicking the can down the road.
    Man made climate change has been with us for over 100 years, and is getting worse, faster. Vague Hope’s and promises to achieve this or that by 2030 (2050, 2070) just aren’t good enough.
    When you have a government that cuts passenger duty on internal flights whilst standing by as rail fares have yet another inflation busting rise, you can see that there’s a long way to go.

    • Totally agree Andrew. There are so many ways we can decarbonise but the government seems to take the wrong option each time. Rail and bus fairs should be lower. Air passenger duty on domestic flights should be increased not decreased. So many people said HS2 was wrong, tax payers reports highlighting it’s costs were spiralling out of control and would take decades to realise the benefits, court cases against those protesting against it, yet NOW they realise it’s too costly and bring in changes that could have been started years ago without destroying ancient forests. The Tory government incentives were lowered for home owners to get solar panels?! Legislation should be passed that all new builds have solar panels and grey water systems. A recent report that 1.3 million homes could be built on brownfield sites yet our countryside is being carved up and paved over at a rate of knots. It just feels like we are banging our head against a brick wall.

      • It baffles me why solar roofs on new build is not mandatory.
        It baffles me why everyone thinks that electric cars is the way to go, when it isn’t.
        It baffles me why new housing developments don’t have district heating schemes with economies of scale and increased efficiency.

        • The electricity distribution network is not designed to accept lots of local generation, on a warm bright summers day electricity use is low so much of the electricity generated by solar panels is exported into the grid, this isn’t measurable accurately and causes issues with grid balancing, It’s why the local DNO ( distibution network operator) needs to be informed of export systems over a certain size and approve them.
          You can’t make something mandatory that can’t be installed.

          • But solar *can* be installed, even if it’s just for local consumption.
            As for problems balancing the grid, that’s just a solution opportunity.
            What’s absolutely clear is that if we carry on as normal, the planet as we know it is doomed.
            Sl take your pick: grid control problems, or the worlds capital cities under water.

          • Sure you could install panels and not connect to the grid, but unless you go down the massively expensive battery route you end up achieving very little in most cases. Might work for the truly dedicated eco enthusiast who boils the kettle only wneh sunny etc, but for your average joe it’ll be a very expensive waste, much better to spend the money on insulation as the best energy is the stuff you don’t need to buy.
            As for improving the national grid and local distribution it’ll be an incredibly expensive task as well and that bill will be presentedto bill payers in due course.
            As for being underwater, ain’t gonna happen as a result of human activity.

  3. Ha ha you could not make it up. How much was the consultants fees for getting the sums wrong. We live in a modest house of 3 bedrooms to increase our insulation and go green we are told would cost £47,000. The man was not joking when he said “we can arrange financing it over 10 years. Goodbye I think we will pass on that one.

        • Projections based on commitments made at COP26 say that the Earth’s temperature will rise by about 2.5 degrees.
          This will result in increased fire storms, hurricanes, flooding, spread of deserts, melting of Antarctic and Greenland ice caps, resulting in sea level rises that swamp most western capital cities.
          Whole nations which have enjoyed stability over centuries will face devastation, resulting in mass migration. And it’s not Ethiopia and Syria: it’s countries bordering the Med, such as Italy, Greece and Soain that will be destabilised. Diseases unknown in temperate regions will sweep across the countryside, affecting people, livestock and crops.
          I think those effects will cost a bib or two to sort out.

          • I think worrying about it so much will cause more health issues.

            I don’t drive and I’ve never produced any offspring, so I’m certainly not going to feel guilty about eating beef occasionally or (pre/post-Covid) an annual holiday abroad.

          • If you only listen to one narrative then of course you’ll get agreement on that narrative. Stop being force fed information and have a look at some other factual information.
            Wild fires destroy fewer acres now than they historically have, many of those in recent years in the states have been as a result of changes in land management practices. Deaths fro advers weather effects are at an historic low. Plus you have to bear in mind that the global population is ever increasing and in itself places huge strains on all sorts of resources.
            The planets weather and temperatures have ebbed and flowed during its entire history and they will do so for eternity.
            If we want to save energy, why not do away with much of the internet and its “ bubble gum for the brain content” there’s no conceivable need for people to be glued to their screens the way they are, but that’ll never be suggested as its the simplest way of getting messages across and controlling acess to alternatve views.

      • Going green is expansive I agree with Bill.
        Going green is a middle class fade because they can afford to do it. But they than drive their kids to school in their big 4×4’s lol

        I couldnt use an electric car as it doesnt have the range I need. Plus I live in a terrace house and cant always park outside my house ! Plus I cant afford a new car plus the car batteries cant be recycled if they catch fire they burn for years.

        How long before the tree huggers start complaining that the leaves that are falling and blocking drains causing flooding because globe warming ;). Its ok to plant more trees but you need to put the funds in place to maintain the drains and the trees.

  4. What would not going green cost, if not the extreme modification of the earth’s climate, resulting in the destruction of many species and their environments?

  5. “The planets weather and temperatures have ebbed and flowed during its entire history and they will do so for eternity.”
    Indeed that is the case.
    But science says that the very rapid rise in temperature since the Industrial Revolution is driven by our burning of fossil fuels. And, unless we stop burning them, the global temperature will continue to rise, with the consequences I’ve outlined above.
    But I guess that you are a climate change denier: no amount of reasoning will change your mind.
    There are people who still believe that the Earth is flat, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
    Speaking of which, would you give me some “factual information” that hasn’t been “force fed” to support your apparent view that everything is ok, there’s nothing to worry about, and we can crry on as normal?

    • I’m not a climate change denier however i do query the claimed extent of mans actions in the process. Just google alternative climate change views/ facts. Then pick some and review the research behind it. I’ve no problem with reducing dependency on burning fossil fuels for energy, they are finite resources that have many other uses than energy and should be conserved for such uses, but there’s bo need to plumge headlong into a carbon zero future in which the environmental costs of mineral extraction , recycling and embedded carbon cost are coveniently ignored.
      If people gave up the internet , didn’t think they need out of season foods and only ate what they needed( whats the carbon footprint of all the medical treatment for the overweight and obese?) they’d save huge amounts of carbon, plus god forbid wear a jumper at home in winter.

      • “Then pick some and review the research behind it.” And that’s the danger. If you just pick the “facts” that support your thesis, you’ll get the results you want.
        That’s why science has a system of peer reviewing of theses, followed by publication in academic journals. The science there is where it’s at. And it says that climate change is catastrophic, and is driven by the burning of fossil fuels.

  6. Some people have a very skewed idea of what is green. Recently I was in a shop where the cashier asked if I wanted to buy some disposable plastic ravers, and when I said I use an electric she claimed that the disposable ones are far better for the planet as they don’t use electricity!

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