Host of major practices among signatories critical of government approach
A host of major architectural practices are among the signatories to a letter calling on the government to ensure the forthcoming Planning Bill promotes the net zero agenda.
More than 100 leaders from architects to housebuilders, residential developers, consultancies and contractors have signed the letter, which is critical of measures trailed in the Queen’s Speech and the Planning White Paper published last year.
A string of architectural practices have put their name to it, including Allies & Morrison, Bennetts, Grimshaw, Hawkins Brown, Hopkins, HTA, SOM, David Morley, EPR and PRP.
In the letter, the signatories say they are concerned that the government’s plans “do not include sufficient commitments for the Planning Bill to drive a strategic approach to the net zero transition, or to achieve development that is resilient to the impacts of climate change.“
The letter (see box below) calls on the government to ensure the new planning bill aligns with and supports the UK’s target of achieving net zero by 2050.
It wants the new Planning Bill to support measures in the delayed Environment Bill to assist the recovery of nature. It also calls for clarity on how land allocated for growth is compatible with net zero and increased resourcing and skills support for local authorities.
The letter says: “tI remains unclear whether proposals in the Environment Bill for nature’s recovery will be formally supported in planning, and we are concerned that the proposed land categorisations may open up protected areas for inappropriate development.
“To support the government’s aims for nature recovery, local growth and levelling-up, the Planning Bill must demonstrate a continued commitment to enabling ambitious, locally led climate action and environmental protection.”
The government last month used the Queen’s Speech to trail measures that will form the forthcoming Planning Bill.
These include proposals to scrap section 106 agreements, push widespread design coding, and force councils to zone swathes of land for “growth”, “protection” or “renewal”. Land zoned for growth will benefit from automatic outline planning permission, with councils unable to turn down applications that accord with local rules.
The letter calls for:
- The new Planning Bill to align directly with, and support, the UK’s net zero target and ambitions for nature set out in the Environment Bill
- Clarity on how land allocated for ‘growth’ will be compatible with achieving net zero, securing nature’s recovery and delivering development resilient to the impacts of climate change.
- Genuinely enhanced levels of protection in planning for designations in the Environment Bill intended to support nature’s recovery.
- Increased resourcing and skills support for local planning authorities in order to support their ability to set local targets and deliver across multiple objectives in their local areas.
Full list of signatories
AGP Sustainable Real Assets
Akustak® (Cusp London Limited)
Allies and Morrison LLP
Apex Acoustics Ltd
BAM Construct UK Ltd
Biogen Systems Limited
Blue Tile Property Consultants
Capital & Counties Properties PLC
CFP Green Buildings
Climate Strategy & Partners
Dan Carson Sustainability
Darren Evans Ltd
David Morley Architects
EAUC The Sustainability Leadership Alliance for Education
Elliott Wood Partnership
Encore Environment Limited
Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London
Greencore Construction Ltd.
Greenspace Live Ltd
Hilson Moran Partnership Ltd
Howard Kennedy LLP
HTA Design LLP
Hutchinson Engineering (Widnes)
Hydrock & Hydrock Consultants Limited
Ingenious Real Estate Finance
John Sisk & Son Ltd
Legal & General Investment Management
Morrow + Lorraine Architects
National Union of Students UK
Norman Disney & Young Consulting Engineers
NSR Management Ltd
One Click LCA
PRP Architects LLP
Robert Lambe FCIOB, Managing Director, Melius Homes Limited
Saul D Humphrey LLP
Sir Robert McAlpine
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Space Positive Ltd
Targeting Zero LLP
The Golden Threads of Construction Limited
The Pallet LOOP
Trident Building Consultancy Limited
TRILUX Lighting Ltd
Tritax Big Box REIT
Troup, Bywaters + Anders
Twinn Sustainability Innovation
ZEHo Projects Ltd
Zero Carbon House