Town and Country Planning Services

Neighbourhood Plans and the Environmental Potential

A recent survey by the RTPI suggests that 79% of planners agree that climate action should be a top priority for the profession. However, only 17% think the planning system of policy framework in their local area is equipped to deal with it. The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) has made the case for neighbourhood plans to include climate change adaptation and mitigation policies. The findings conclude that helping communities shape neighbourhood plans to a low-carbon agenda is a new priority.

Creating a neighbourhood plan is a unique opportunity to localise and normalise discussions of the climate crisis, as well as build a positive vision for how said that community might contribute. Neighbourhood plans could explore how car-dependent market towns could be made more sustainable, or how rural communities might meet their energy demand from local renewable energy. The scale of the neighbourhood plan is well suited to identifying key local strengths and challenges. 

Often, neighbourhood plans contain no climate policies. When this is questioned, the answer often lies in issues within community engagement. Whilst there is concern about the climate crisis and support for renewable energy, if questions are focused on housing provision then the result is answers about housing provision. Without evidence of support, many climate change considerations can be edged out early and have little chance of re-emerging.

Our values-driven approach means that we always try to help community groups based on their needs: 

No exploitation of People or Planet in the pursuit of Profit.

If you own land in your local area – or are a community group seeking to get more from your neighbourhood – contact us for more information about the work that we do, as well as finding out more information about how planning can affect your local community on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

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