Planning For Energy Infrastructure and Environmental Sustainability

Planning For Energy & Environment - 2 December 2014



Chair’s Opening Remarks

Paul Ekins, Director; Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Setting The Scene: Planning For A Changing Environment

With the mounting threat of global warming and its widespread impact, a ‘greener’ agenda is on everyone’s minds. There is now an imminent need to start planning for these changes in the surroundings. TCPA’s Chief Exec explores:

  • The latest climate science, the scale of the threats of climate change and its impact on Britain
  • Policy and framework in place to respond to these threats and the disconnect between high level policy aspirations and policy reality
  • Planning for a changing environment and the pathways to a low carbon future
  • Best practice from Europe on planning for sustainable development including lessons from the pan-European SPECIAL project (Spatial planning and energy for communities in all landscapes)

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive, Town and Country Planning Association

Planning For Renewable Energy Schemes


The Financial Viability Of A ‘Green’ Agenda: A Developer’s Perspective

This session aims to bridge the gap between what local planning authorities deem viable to provide, and what development proposals can actually support, by promoting an understanding of:

  • The approach and criteria used by developers in order to assess development proposals of renewable energy projects 
  • The risk and return involved for developers and investors
  • What viability evidence is required in order to support proposals
  • The extent to which government subsidies make renewable energy projects commercially viable
  • How to include features that support the energy and environment agenda into new developments without compromising commercial viability

Richard Mardon, CEO, Airvolution Energy


Networking Break And Morning Refreshments


Trends And Analysis: The Latest Applications And Appeals For Renewable Energy Projects

An overview of the latest trends in both the recent successes and failures of applications and appeals for onshore wind farms and solar farms in the UK, highlighting the common elements which contribute to these decisions.


CASE STUDY: How We Did It? The Triumph Of Westmill Wind Farm; The UK’s First Community-Owned Onshore Wind Farm

Westmill Wind Farm has been operating successfully since 2008. It stands a short distance north of the A420 Oxford to Swindon road near the villages of Watchfield and Shrivenham. During this case study, Terry Gashe from Ferax Planning will take you through the background to the proposal for the onshore wind farm, the constraints identified and the steps taken to address them. This will include a detailed explanation of the process and the numerous stages that had to be gone through before permission was granted for this ground-breaking scheme.

Terry Gashe, Planning Consultant, Ferax Planning


Question Time Panel Debate: The Peaks Vs. The Pitfalls Of Renewable Energy Developments

Following the ongoing debate over the effectiveness of wind turbines and solar panels as an energy source and their cumulative visual impact on the landscape, this is a chance to pose your questions to a panel of experts, subsequent to an in-depth discussion on:

  • The efficiency and energy gained from wind turbines and solar panels in justifying their impact on AONB and the loss of agricultural land
  • Issues concerning the cumulative visual impact of wind turbines and solar arrays on local communities and the landscape of the countryside
  • Whether this visual ‘pain’ is evenly distributed and how much weight should be attached to this
  • The concern around the lack of clarity from the government in supporting renewable energy projects

Panellists include:
Nick Clack, Senior Energy Campaigner, CPRE
Peter Goatley, Barrister, No. 5 Chambers
Richard Mardon, CEO, Airvolution Energy


Networking Lunch

Sustainable Development And Planning For The Environment


Planning And Environmental Impact Assessment: A Legal Perspective

Richard Buxton, Senior Partner at Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law shares his expertise and practical advice on:

  • The recent and forthcoming changes to the rules and legislation on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • The stages in an EIA including screening, scoping and the Environmental Statement
  • How mitigation can help to reduce impacts to an acceptable level

Richard Buxton, Senior Partner, Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law


Green Infrastructure: Effective Delivery From The Frontline

A detailed practical guide from Laura Kitson, Green Infrastructure (GI) Co-ordinator at Central Bedfordshire Council, on how they have addressed the key issues when planning for Green Infrastructure, including:

  • How to promote GI in terms of policy to mitigate the risks posed by climate change
  • The delivery of fully multi-purpose GI networks
  • How to achieve physical and functional connectivity between sites at all levels 
  • The extent to which GI can be included in emerging planning policies
  • How GI policies can be integrated in planning decisions

Laura Kitson, Green Infrastructure Co-ordinator, Central Bedfordshire Council


SuDs:  Making It Happen And Maximising The Benefits

The role of planners in ensuring Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are effectively integrated within the wider development is imperative, giving rise to a number of challenges. This session explores the practicalities behind:

  • How best to encourage the uptake of SuDS in new developments to manage surface water drainage
  • The masterplanning process and best-practice examples from AECOM's work on the SE7 Guidance and NW Camrbridge
  • How SuDs can make a valuable contribution to Green Infrastructure
  • The costs and benefits of retrofitting SuDs

Pat Harmsworth, Town Planner, AECOM Design and Planning


Keynote Address: How Environmental Enhancement Strategies Can Assist In Securing Planning Consent

Andy Cook, Director: Envrionmental, Pegasus Group


Networking Break And Afternoon Refreshments


The Successful Delivery of District Energy

  • The factors that determine successful delivery of district energy –understanding the business case
  • The role of planning in defining the need and opportunity
  • Making best use of the planning tools available to drive investment in district energy  both in Planning Policy and Development Management activities

Sean Rendall, Operations Manager, Thamesway Sustainable Communities

Unconventional Extraction And What The Future Holds


Question Time Panel Debate: To Frack Or Not To Frack?

Our panel of experts share their views on the most current and controversial topic on the energy agenda. The discussion will look at:

  • The environmental risks and impacts involved in hydraulic fracturing and how it is going to affect the countryside and local communities
  • Is there a case for fracking in providing the UK with greater energy security and growth?
  • Recent and forthcoming regulations and policies surrounding unconventional oil and gas: the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle - is the public interest being protected?
  • Dealing with planning applications for test drilling for shale gas
  • Safety case and risk assessment for fracking and how planners can mitigate the impacts
  • The view to change property rights to allow drilling without landowners’ permission

Panellists include:
Richard Glover, Partner and National Head of Planning, Squire Patton Boggs
Naomi Luhde-Thompson, Planning Advisor, Friends of the Earth England Wales and Northern Ireland
Peter Chadwick, Head of County Planning, Hampshire County Council


Chair’s Closing Remarks

Conference Brochure

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Event Partners

Pegasus Group


This event is CPD certified
Up to 5 CPD points available
CPD Certified

Programme Highlights

  • The Financial Viability of A ‘Green’ Agenda: A Developer’s Perspective

  • Trends and Analysis: The Latest Applications And Appeals For Renewable Energy Projects

  • Question Time Panel Debate: The Peaks Vs. The Pitfalls Of Renewable Energy Developments

  • Green Infrastructure: Effective Delivery From The Frontline

  • Question Time Panel Debate: To Frack Or Not To Frack?