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PLANNING SYSTEM MUST SUPPORT RENEWABLES - SAYS MINISTER

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Housing and planning minister Yvette Cooper today urged all local authorities to include on-site renewable energy m...
Housing and planning minister Yvette Cooper today urged all local authorities to include on-site renewable energy measures in their local development plans to help tackle climate change.

A Department for Communities and Local Government survey of local plans published today reveals many local authorities are now adopting new requirements in their plans for on site renewable energy in new developments. The government is now urging all local authorities to do the same and will include this request in the new planning policy guidance on climate change due out later this year.

Speaking at the TCPA/Renewable Energy Association conference, Ms Cooper set out the government's clear long term ambition to support the move towards zero carbon development.

She said:

'We need to seize on new development as an opportunity not a threat.

It is time to rethink the way we build. It is time to rethink the way we design our homes and communities, if we are to build communities for the future that are truly sustainable.

'Our long term ambition should be zero carbon development and we believe the Thames Gateway offers a fantastic opportunity to lead the way in environmental improvements for new developments. We do not know yet how fast we can get there, but the development industry should be clear about our aims and should start planning now for new investment and innovation to meet our goals.'

The government also wants to reduce planning restrictions on small-scale microgeneration equipment for people's homes. A review of planning permission rules aims to make it even easier for people to do their bit to help the environment.

Ms Cooper added:

'It is patently absurd that you should be able to put a satellite dish up on your house but should have to wrestle with the planning process for small scale microgeneration which is no more obtrusive. We want far more microgeneration to be treated as permitted development.'

The government's forthcoming draft planning policy statement on climate change will be an opportunity to consider further how the planning process can help combat climate change by extending the contribution of renewables from both on-site and off-site sources.

Notes

1. Since PPS22 was published in August 2004, 121 emerging development plans have come forward in England. 29 of these were new style plans where a policy reflecting paragraph 8 of PPS22 could reasonably be expected. 90% of those new-style plans (26 out of 29) did include a paragraph 8 policy. A further 13 old-style plans also included paragraph 8 policies.

2. The full survey results can be found here.

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