On 9 February the Minister for Energy informed the Standing Committee of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill that I would undertake an urgent review of local plans to determine whether there is a problem with emerging plans that do not fully incorporate PPS22 guidance. That review has now been completed.

The review has shown that in emerging new style regional spatial strategies and local development frameworks there has been a strong take-up of the policy in PPS22 on the use of on-site renewables in new developments.

For those authorities preparing new plans where an appropriate stage in plan making has been reached, 26 out of 29 surveyed have devised policies to secure on-site renewables in new developments. The majority of them have set a requirement for 10 per cent. on-site renewables, where it is viable.

Many of those at an earlier stage of developing their local development frameworks have not yet included PPS 22 policies, although they still have time to do so. We strongly encourage them to do so. For those areas still completing old style plans, such as unitary development plans, policies on on-site renewables are less likely to have been included.

It is essential that all planning authorities follow this example and take account fully of the positive approach to renewables set out in PPS22 at the earliest opportunity in their plan-making. In particular the Government expect all planning authorities to include policies in their development plans that require a percentage of the energy in new developments to come from on-site renewables, where it is viable.

Such policies have a vital role to play in reducing emissions, through the use of carbon-neutral energy sources. Local authorities who are now updating their plans through new local development frameworks should take the opportunity to update their policies in this area.

The Government's forthcoming draft planning policy statement on climate change will be an opportunity to consider further how the planning process more generally can help combat climate change by extending the contribution of renewables from both on-site and off-site sources."


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