Environment

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

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Environment News

Sharma backs 158-turbine wind farm off Norfolk coast against recommendation to refuse

Sharma backs 158-turbine wind farm off Norfolk coast against recommendation to refuse

Energy secretary Alok Sharma has approved plans for a 1.8 gigawatt wind farm off the Norfolk coast, despite inspectors recommending that the project should be refused due to the potential impact on protected habitats.

Ombudsman tells Warwick Council to pay £1,000 over bat roost failures in homes consent

Ombudsman tells Warwick Council to pay £1,000 over bat roost failures in homes consent

A district council has been told to pay a local wildlife group £1,000 after failing to properly consider the impact that a planning application for a new housing estate might have on local bats, the local government watchdog has announced.

Government adviser says it must act "immediately" to seize coronavirus-created opportunity to tackle climate change

Government adviser says it must act "immediately" to seize coronavirus-created opportunity to tackle climate change

The government must act “immediately” to ensure that it takes the opportunities presented by the Covid-19 crisis to “deliver a robust answer to climate change”, its independent advisor on climate change has said.

Garden community proposals 'being used by councils to fund roads infrastructure'

Garden community proposals 'being used by councils to fund roads infrastructure'

Garden community proposals are being used by councils to finance major road schemes, undermining the government's claims that such communities would support public transport, walking and cycling, according to a report.

Jenrick refuses Cambridgeshire energy-from-waste plant on heritage grounds

Jenrick refuses Cambridgeshire energy-from-waste plant on heritage grounds

The housing secretary has refused plans for an energy-from waste facility in Cambridgeshire, after concluding that the scheme's benefits would not outweigh harm to a local scheduled ancient monument.

High Court allows legal challenge against Sizewell C enabling works to proceed

High Court allows legal challenge against Sizewell C enabling works to proceed

Campaigners have been granted permission to bring a judicial review against a local authority's consent for preparatory works for a new nuclear power plant in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) in Suffolk.

Latest Environment Opinion

Why curbs on cars may not survive the pandemic, by Cliff Hague

Since, broadly speaking, the distant consequences of actions are more uncertain than the immediate consequences, it is seldom justifiable to embark on any policy on the ground that, though harmful in the present, it will be beneficial in the long run.”

Let's follow climate experts' scientific advice as well, by Graeme Bell

In early March my wife and I were in Galicia touring the paradors, the heritage hotel chain run by the state.

Why the country's biggest infrastructure projects have hit problems, by Angus Walker

With news that a third runway at Heathrow is being delayed, pretty much all the country's largest infrastructure projects are having problems of one sort or another.

Is biodiversity net gain currently allowable for NSIPs? By Angus Walker

The Environment Bill was published on 15 October. It contains a provision that every (with exceptions yet to be specified) new planning permission must include a condition that development cannot begin unless a "biodiversity gain plan" has been submitted and approved.

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Environment In Depth

Why Epping Forest Council's block on 100-plus housing applications due to air quality concerns is set to last for a while

Why Epping Forest Council's block on 100-plus housing applications due to air quality concerns is set to last for a while

Following Natural England concerns about the impact of new housing on air quality in a protected woodland, an Essex council has put the processing of more than 100 planning applications on hold, while the examination of its 11,400-home draft local plan has also ground to a half. Both the council and observers do not expect a solution to the planning impasse any time soon.

How the ruling rejecting Heathrow expansion will affect other projects and policies

How the ruling rejecting Heathrow expansion will affect other projects and policies

Experts predict that last week's landmark Court of Appeal ruling on Heathrow expansion will have wide-ranging consequences for how climate change is treated by the planning system and potentially puts a series of projects and policy documents at risk.

The planning work needed now HS2's future has been confirmed

The planning work needed now HS2's future has been confirmed

The government's announcement of support for the High Speed Two project after months of uncertainty signals the resumption of years' worth of determining applications for local authorities and opportunities for consultants, say observers.

How the Environment Bill will change the planning system: the Planning briefing

How the Environment Bill will change the planning system: the Planning briefing

How the revised legislation will affect applicants and authorities. By Isabella Kaminski.