Radical change needed to green planning, says charity

The planning system needs radical reform to deliver the new homes the UK needs in a sustainable way, an eco-planning charity has said.

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The Town and Country Planning Association called for a more coordinated Government approach to prevent administrative planning blockages in small-scale developments on one hand, and to deliver UK-wide sustainable development and transport infrastructure on the other.

“The planning system is the best tool we have to meet social justice and environmental objectives. But we need to unlock resources in local authorities if we are to deliver homes and infrastructure in a sustainable way,” said TCPA director Gideon Amos:

“We need a far more co-ordinated approach from central Government to plan and fund infrastructure to get development moving.”

And if individuals are to have the freedom to implement renewables and resource-saving measures, the planning process needs smoothing out to allow for this.

“For local planning we need a radical liberalisation of rules on minor, typically householder development, that clog up the planning system with inconsequential debate,” Mr Amos said.

He also called for more resources and support for sustainable planning: “It’s not good enough that the Planning Delivery Grant is set to finish in a year’s time.

“Local communities, particularly those being asked to accept significant development, need a well-run, properly funded and far-sighted planning team to support them. Phasing out funding for planning could be disastrous.”

Goska Romanowicz

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