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Planning differences holding back sustainable design say researchers

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Hull University study finds interpretation of planning rules is stifling innovation

Differences in the way councils interpret planning rules are stifling innovation in sustainable buildings, according to Hull University researchers.

A survey of green entrepreneurs found that planning was one of several factors seen to be holding back progress on sustainable design.

Other reasons given included a tendency for the government to favour large businesses over SMEs and risk averse banks unwilling to invest in green businesses.

Researcher Kirstie O’Neill said: “Much is made by the current government of its green credentials, but our research suggests there is something of a gap between the rhetoric and the situation on the ground.

“Our research indicates that the UK could miss out on a big opportunity if comprehensive measures are not put in place to support this innovative sector.”

Those surveyed ranged from small businesses using sustainable construction methods such as the use of straw, hemp or rammed earth as building materials to those using modern technology to reduce energy consumption.

The results form part of a wider research project being undertaken by Hull University into green entrepreneurship.

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