Environment

News and in-depth coverage of environmental issues and the effect of climate change on town planning.

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High Court blocks council's bid to halt 70 new homes in Hampshire countryside

High Court blocks council's bid to halt 70 new homes in Hampshire countryside

The High Court has rejected a council's bid to prevent plans for 70 homes in the open countryside in Hampshire, after a judge found that the proposal's economic and social benefits "substantially outweighed" any harm to the countryside and despite the local authority's plentiful housing land supply.

Brokenshire overrules inspector to refuse Hertfordshire energy from waste plant

Brokenshire overrules inspector to refuse Hertfordshire energy from waste plant

Communities secretary James Brokenshire has overruled a planning inspector and refused plans for an energy from waste plant in Hertfordshire, after concluding that the benefits of the scheme would not outweigh "significant adverse landscape and visual impacts" and traffic and road safety concerns.

Government fleshes out net gain measures in revised natural environment planning guidance

Government fleshes out net gain measures in revised natural environment planning guidance

The government has issued revised guidance with fresh details on how planners can implement "net environmental gain" requirements when assessing development proposals, including new advice on protecting wildlife.

Strengthen AONBs and boost social housing delivery in protected landscapes, says review chief

Strengthen AONBs and boost social housing delivery in protected landscapes, says review chief

Areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) should be given "a greater voice on development" and actions should be taken to deliver more social housing in AONBs and national parks, the head of a government-established review body charged with examining the future of such areas has said.

Campaigners lose legal fight over Oxbridge expressway 'preferred corridor' decision

Campaigners lose legal fight over Oxbridge expressway 'preferred corridor' decision

A bid by campaigners to challenge the Department for Transport's (DfT's) selection of a "preferred corridor" for the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway on environmental impact grounds has been blocked by the High Court after a judge ruled that the scheme's route had not yet reached a stage where formal environmental or habitat assessments were required.

Judge overturns council's 'irrational' decision to ignore house extension's impact on solar panels

Judge overturns council's 'irrational' decision to ignore house extension's impact on solar panels

A High Court judge has overturned a planning consent for a house extension in Kent after finding that the loss of light the scheme would cause to a neighbour's solar panels should have been a material planning consideration for the local authority on climate change grounds.

Latest Environment Opinion

Third runway likely to break record, by Angus Walker

Heathrow Airport Ltd launched a statutory consultation on 18 June on its proposals to build a third runway and associated infrastructure. It is called "statutory" because it is required under the Planning Act 2008, which created the consenting system for nationally significant infrastructure projects, before an application can be made.

Climate change demands priority, by Graeme Bell

We have little more than a decade to save the world. I'll get onto that after I've written this report for a decision on a change of use from A1 to A5.

Developers risk ruin if they refuse to go green, by Chris Brown

We have a responsibility to consider our carbon use while building, says Chris Brown.

Green emphasis needs funding, by Catriona Riddell

As we continue our way back to place-based plan-making and away from 'planning by numbers', it is heartening to see the government appearing to recognise the role that natural capital - the global stock of natural resources - plays in sustainable growth.

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Environment In Depth

Policy Summary: Guidance on managing environmental noise and maintaining quiet areas

Policy Summary: Guidance on managing environmental noise and maintaining quiet areas

POLICY: Noise Action Plan: Agglomerations (Urban Areas).

How we used a neighbourhood plan to make schemes deliver net green benefits

How we used a neighbourhood plan to make schemes deliver net green benefits

Pioneering environmental approaches are at the heart of a plan for Lewes in the South Downs National Park, writes Colin Marrs.

Policy Summary: Environment Agency draft strategy for combating flood risk

Policy Summary: Environment Agency draft strategy for combating flood risk

POLICY: Draft National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England.

What the government's 2050 net zero carbon emissions target means for planning

What the government's 2050 net zero carbon emissions target means for planning

From a push for more renewable energy to anti-flooding measures, the government's new net zero target is likely to have significant implications for planning, most commentators agree, but could also throw up a number of challenges for practitioners.