Minister highlights importance of climate change guidance

Published on Friday, 08 February 2013 09:31
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

The Planning and Climate Change Coalition, which represents over 60 cross-sector organisations, has strongly welcomed Baroness Hanham's comments in the House of Lords earlier this week, recognising the vital importance of the planning system in tackling one of the greatest challenges facing us as a nation – climate change.

Speaking in debate on Monday, Baroness Hanham, who is leading the Government's Growth and Infrastructure Bill through the House of Lords, said:

"Planning has an important role in tackling climate change and making the transition to a low-carbon economy. We want to ensure that new development is future-proofed against climate change as decisions are made."

We recognise that it [climate change] is one of the great challenges facing the nation and the planning system has an important role to play, both in mitigation and adaptation. The planning regime can co-ordinate and galvanise community action on renewable energy and help to deal with the growing risks of flooding from severe weather and sea level rise."

Last April, the Planning and Climate Change Coalition, led by Friends of the Earth and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), published the first sector-led guidance of its kind since the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) took effect in Spring last year, Planning for climate change – guidance for local authorities. The Coalition has been campaigning for this cross-sector guidanceto be given formal recognition by Government in order to raise its status in planning law.

Highlighting the work of the Planning and Climate Change Coalition, Baroness Hanham added:

"I also recognise the work of the Planning and Climate Change Coalition in producing cross-sector guidance, which has already helped local authorities to deal with the detail of how to take action."

Hugh Ellis, TCPA Chief Planner, said

"Given the scale of the challenge in tackling climate change, it is of vital of importance that government as well as the private sector and the public, work together to adapt and mitigate our built environment. The growing impact of extreme weather and flooding across the nation are a powerful incentive to re-think how we plan for the future. The planning system has a crucial role in meeting this challenge and along with strong leadership from central government, we hope that the 'Planning for climate change guidance' will help local authorities, communities and their private sector partners deliver real action on the ground."

Naomi Luhde-Thompson, Planning Campaigner at Friends of the Earth said:

"We're delighted the Minister recognises the important role that planning and the Government's cross-sector guidance has in helping local communities meet the climate change challenge."

"The new planning system must help the nation seize the huge opportunities from developing clean British energy from the wind, waves and sun and wean the UK off increasingly expensive fossil fuels."

"We hope this new guide will encourage local authorities, businesses and communities to plug into clean British energy – with more Government support to help make this happen."

Source: ©TCPA

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