New planning rules on energy and growth

Helen Scott of Malcolm Scott Consultants Ltd reports that the government issued a new Planning Policy Statement on Climate Change at the tail-end of last year. 
All councils will be expected to provide for on-site renewable energy and community energy schemes to help cut carbon emissions from new developments.  The government believes there is great potential to use local power to cut carbon emissions, right across the development board.
The basis is the “Merton Rule”, that all new non-residential developments over a certain threshold must provide on-site at least 10 per cent of their energy from renewable sources. The government considers there is a vast potential for local power, both from individual sites and for neighbourhood community heating and power schemes. 
The government is keen to emphasise that the action on climate change must run alongside economic growth and increase in numbers of jobs. At the same time, it has published for consultation draft PPS4 on economic growth.