Memorandum submitted by Jayanta Baksi (PB 4)
I wish to submit a specific recommendation regarding RENEWABLE ENERGY in the proposed Planning Bill due to come before Parliament during 2008.
As things stand at present, LAs are obliged to deal with planning applications on the basis of specific guidelines handed down by the central government.
There is very little in the way of obliging developers to consider seriously the inclusion and installation of renewable energy facilities in new builds, beyond non-binding requests. As a result, developers can (and generally do) exclude any and all installation of renewable energy features in new builds on the basis of their own plans and agendas, mainly on the grounds of cost. In an era notable for the dire warnings being issued about greenhouse gases, carbon footprints, climate change etc., there is an enormous gulf between thinking and practical action. In the area I live in (within East Sussex County Council and Lewes District Council jurisdiction), as far as I am aware, there have been virtually no inclusion of serious renewable energy provisions in any new builds during the last decade or so.
This is totally unacceptable. As things stand, the noises emanating out of Town Halls and other government departments are reminiscent of those coming from the moving of furniture on the decks of the sinking Titanic.
It should be the duty of planning authorities to actively monitor and enforce the installation of solar energy, wind power and all other renewable energy provisions in ALL new builds. In cases where this may not feasible, developers should be obliged to actively demonstrate to planning committees and the communities they represent specific evidence of why this is so. General references to cost restraints, for example would be deemed to be insufficient evidence for exclusion - it should be replaced by a framework within which the inclusion of renewable energy provisions is given the highest possible priority.
May I request those responsible for the framing of the new legislation to include these proposals in their drafts?