The UK government announced help for councils tackling climate change by updating planning rules, granting nearly £10 million (11 million) to improve green skills and backing further progress with the second wave of eco-towns.
Housing and planning minister John Healey on Tuesday said that three planning policies have been overhauled so that councils have the very latest targets and guidance to address climate change. He said that 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.
"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." Healey said.
The proposals aim to ensure new developments are built in the right places with sustainable sources of energy and encourage the installation of electric car charging points. He also granted nearly £10m to boost council's expertise as "green champions", updating the tools and know-how they need to develop sustainable housing and energy sources for their areas.
Richard Ford head of planning at international law firm Pinsent Masons said: "This is a welcome development, provided that it ultimately allows flexibility for changes in technology to tackle climate change, and recognition of the need to maintain viability of development - challenging but realistic is the right balance"
Healey also confirmed that two more councils - East Devon District Council and Fareham Borough Council - have expressed an interest in using eco-town standards for new settlements in their area.
Source: Brown Lloyd James Financial