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LOCAL PEOPLE COULD LOSE THEIR RIGHTS IN ENERGY REVIEW - LGA

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Ahead of the publication of the government's energy review expected later today, Local Government Association Envir...
Ahead of the publication of the government's energy review expected later today, Local Government Association Environment Board chair David Sparks said:

'Local people would lose their right to have a say on new development in their area if government proposals to force local planning authorities to accept energy plants that are decreed essential go ahead.

'Public consultation is an important part of the local planning system. Only councils, with their local knowledge, have the ability to make decisions which are suited to local circumstances.

'A key aim of the review is to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Finding alternative energy sources to fossil fuels is one way of doing this but it is also essential to reduce the demand for energy in the first place.

'Councils are doing a great deal to achieve this not only in their own buildings but also by working with local people. For instance, Middlesbrough has a five year climate change community action plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 12.5 per cent by 2010.

'Authorities are also promoting renewable energy sources, like wind turbines and solar panels, through the local planning system. Planning polices which require environmental sustainability to be incorporated in the design and construction of all new developments have been put in place by many councils.

'The London Borough of Merton was one of the first councils to require renewable energy in new developments. Ten per cent of the energy needs of developments over a certain size will have to be met by onsite renewables.

'Councils have been promoting efficient energy supplies for decades. Southampton, Manchester, Nottingham, and Sheffield all operate district heating schemes which generate high levels of efficient energy.'

COUNCILS NOT TO BLAME FOR PLANNING DELAYS, SAYS LGA

Note

140 authorities in England and Wales have now signed up to the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change, committing their authorities to taking action on climate changed supported by work from a development group including the LGA.

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