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Minister acts to green-up planning

Housing and planning minister John Healey has updated three planning rules, granted nearly £10 million to improve green skills and backed the second wave of eco-towns.

Combined, the new policy statements (Climate Change, Natural Environment and Coastal Change) will give councils a “green planning rulebook” so new sustainable developments are planned and built with the aim of reducing carbon emissions and with the future climate in mind.

Proposals for the new climate change planning policy will ensure new developments are built in the right places, utilising sustainable sources of energy and encouraging the installation of electric car charging points.

Healey also added East Devon District Council and Fareham Borough Council to the proposed eco-town “second wave” originally announced in December.

He said: “Today I am announcing a triple boost for councils to tackle climate change. Overhauled planning policies will act as a new green planning rulebook and the £10m for councils will provide training to help deliver action on the ground.

“We know we need greener, renewable energy if we are to meet our ambitious low carbon targets. We also know that the ways and means for people to access this energy needs to be quicker and easier.

“The tougher, better guidelines for planning give councils a new blueprint, reflecting the latest targets and ensuring councils put combating climate change at the heart of future development – ultimately saving people money on their bills and reducing emissions.”

A consultation has been launched for the new climate change planning policy, to ensure new developments are built in the right places, so that where people live and work helps secure radical cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and developments are resilient to the effects of our changing climate. This includes requirements to reduce the need for people to travel between where they live and work, encouraging the installation of electric car charging points, better public transport and improved walking and cycling links.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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