Proposed planning policy changes could impact high…

Proposed planning policy changes could impact high carbon developments like Heathrow expansion (and Cumbria coal mine)
2020-12-07 12:06:00
Several members of the House of Lords have said that National Planning Policy Statements (NPS) across industries should be updated to consider the UK’s commitments under the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement. Labour peer Lord Whitty said that “the whole of the NPS needs to be revised in light of the commitment to net zero” and added that this should apply to “all sectors”.  If the NPSs are revised, that could have major implications for construction projects going forward, such as airport expansion (Heathrow and Gatwick want new runways).  The legal case that went to the Supreme Court on 7th October was about the Airports NPS and whether it adequately took into account the Paris Agreement. The decision by the court might be given by January 2021. The legal challenges by Plan B and Friends of the Earth said that carbon reduction targets in the agreement “needed to be taken into account”. Another project which could be affected is the Woodhouse coal mine in Cumbria, for which Cumbria County Council approved the planning application in October, despite objections of its likelihood of making the UK’s climate goals less achievable. The final decision still rests with communities secretary Robert Jenrick. The issue of climate needs to be addressed in an adequate  and consistent way in every NPS. .Tweet     Proposed planning policy changes could impact Heathrow expansion and Cumbria coal mine by Catherine Kennedy (NCE – New Civil Engineer) 7.12.2020 National planning policy statements (NPS) across industries should be updated to consider the UK’s commitments under the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement, a number of Lords have said. Lord Whitty said that “the whole of the NPS needs to be revised in light of the commitment to net zero” and added that this should apply to “all sectors”. Revisions could have major implications for construction projects going forward. The court case on the expansion of Heathrow’s third runway, for example, centred on whether the government’s airports national policy statement (ANPS) adequately took into account the Paris Agreement. In October Heathrow lawyers told the Supreme Court that policy arising from the agreement had not developed enough to allow for anything more than a “formulaic” reference in the ANPS. However, environmentalists maintained that carbon reduction targets outlined in the agreement “needed to be taken into account”. Another project which could be affected is the £165M Woodhouse coal mine in Cumbria. Cumbria County Council approved the planning application in October, despite campaigns from environmental activists who fear that the facility could hinder the UK’s net zero goals. However, the final decision still rests with communities secretary Robert Jenrick, after he issued a holding direction on the issuing of any consent. In the House of Lords last week, the Earl of Caithness cited the mine as an example of “some perverse planning decisions”, which have occurred as a result of the lack of updates to the planning policy statements. He asked when the deci

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