Climate change to be at the heart of planning
A cross-sector coalition of organisations – including leading planners and countryside and environmental organizations – has drawn up draft planning guidance that would transform the system’s ability to meet the challenge of tackling climate change. The draft guidance has been unveiled to MPs at a launch in Westminster, which was addressed by the housing and planning minister John Healey. The coalition, which has been brought together by Friends of the Earth and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), has made detailed suggestions for improving the planning process by making it fairer and ensuring that it plays its part in slashing carbon emissions and meeting the targets set out in the Climate Change Act. Proposals include:
Setting renewable energy targets for local councils;
A duty on local authorities to map out green energy opportunities in their area that would enable them to meet their targets – especially potential community-based schemes;
The establishment of a technical body to monitor progress;
Setting up an education programme on climate change for councillors and planners.
Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Dr Hugh Ellis said: “Justice and sustainable development have to be at the heart of the system. It’s not about mindless deregulation, it’s about putting the planning system to work to save our communities.” To read the position statement of the planning and climate change coalition, click here.