Speaking at a symposium on London’s environment, Meacher admitted that sustainable development will require co-ordinated effort and changes to land use planning. He agreed that local authorities need guidance from the Government on how to develop the non-statutory Sustainable Development Frameworks (SDF). “I’m well aware that it’s fine in rhetoric but the challenge is to make policies compatible and to put them in practice,” said Meacher.

Asked by edie when draft guidance on SDFs will be published, Meacher said: “There’s a very good chance it will be before the end of the year.”

Meacher’s speech opened a day-long symposium entitled London’s Environmental Issues, organised by The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.

The power and responsibility of the London Mayor and members of the Greater London Authority (GLA) Assembly to ensure that transport and planning policy promote sustainability were also highlighted by Meacher, who joked about his difficulty in getting to the conference due to transport difficulties. “I’m the Environment Minister, thank god I’m not the Transport Minister,” he said.

Despite Meacher’s enthusiasm for sustainable development in the UK, a planning policy academic from South Bank University questioned the Government’s depth of commitment to the policy, citing the Prime Minister’s recent announcement that he intends to disband the UK Round Table on Sustainable Development.

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