Group maps green action

An environmental coalition wants local development frameworks to have renewable energy targets in its draft guidance proposals.

The Planning and Climate Change Coalition featuring more than 30 organisations, including planners and countryside groups, proposed changes to PPS1 and PPS22 on Tuesday to planning minister John Healey and MPs.

He responded: "This is a position statement that is important to informing wider public policy and parliamentary debate. Planning can play a world-changing role in trying to set a framework that allows us to see long-term challenges of climate change."

Healey revealed that the government plans to combine part of PPS1 and PPS22 with draft consultation due out by the end of the year.

The coalition, set up by Friends of the Earth and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), wants renewable energy targets for councils, a duty on them to map out opportunities in their area, a technical body to monitor progress and climate change education for councillors and planners. It also called for a review of PPG13 on transport, which is seen as playing a critical role in emissions.

TCPA chief planner Hugh Ellis said too many authorities believe that the Merton rule, which promotes a ten per cent renewable on-site energy policy, is sufficient. "We need to go beyond that. Soon it will be part of the building regulations."

TCPA energy policy manager Kate Henderson told Planning that regional targets for expanding renewable power have not always led to sites being allocated. "Authorities need to state where, for example, large-scale wind projects are suitable."

The coalition's statement was produced following policy meetings over the summer. In July, the government pledged to "set a clear framework for delivering infrastructure and cutting emissions" in the renewable energy strategy.

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