Buildings in Wales could be expected to include renewable and low-carbon energy under proposed planning policies to tackle climate change launched yesterday.

Environment, sustainability and housing minister Jane Davidson unveiled a consultation on changes to Planning Policy Wales to deal with climate change at an RTPI conference in Cardiff.

The proposed policies would require minimum standards for new homes based on the Code for Sustainable Homes, using BREEAM for other buildings. Wales is the only UK nation to use planning to set a minimum standard for the sustainability of new buildings. The policy is intended to start next April and would apply to all housing developments of ten or more homes or other buildings of more than 1,000m2 floor space.

"This policy will ensure a level playing field and avoid the unnecessary burden for each council to devise, justify and offer similar policies to improve sustainability in their local development plans," said Davidson. Consultation will run from next week until 3 October. The paper on the changes to the Ministerial Interim Planning Policy Statement on Planning for Climate Change is available at PlanningResource.co.uk/doc.