Written evidence from the UK Green Building
Council (UK-GBC) (ARSS 150)|
We are writing in response to the decision taken
to abolish Regional Spatial Strategies and the implications this
will have on the wider remit of planning and integrating Sustainable
Community Infrastructure (SCI).
The UK-GBC recognises the deployment of integrated,
cost effective, low carbon infrastructure (such as community scale
heating, telecommunications, water and waste management) is increasingly
important in meeting the challenges of delivering a sustainable
built environment. As highlighted in the coalition agreement,
the government has committed to "reform energy markets to
deliver security of supply and investment in low carbon energy"
and "encourage community-owned renewable energy schemes where
local people benefit from the power produced".
According to Chris Huhne, in his speech to the Economist UK Energy
Summit, "The UK faces a massive challenge. No less than £200
billion of investment is needed in our energy infrastructure over
the coming decade".
Conceiving and delivering infrastructure at a neighbourhood scale
as an integrated package
offers a significant opportunity to deliver environmental, social
and economic objectives. The benefits to communities include security
of supply, fuel poverty alleviation, carbon abatement in production
and/or transmission, place making, potable water saving, local
investment opportunities, community engagement, empowerment and
The introduction of SCI to allow such benefits can
only be successful where decisions are taken at a strategicneighbourhood/community
level. The proposals around Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP's)
is therefore very much supported and the expectation is that these
will offer the opportunity to enable cross collaboration across
council boundaries. This is particularly important where large
scale SCI is introduced and inevitably crosses communities. Without
cross council communication and collaboration it will not be possible
to successfully allow the development of economically, socially
and environmentally viable communities.
We would be happy to further contribute to the Select
Committee review where necessary.
191 http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/409088/pfg_coalition.pdf Back
Such a package might include, for example, heating/cooling supply,
electricity supply, energy generation, water supply, water disposal,
waste disposal, waste re-use and communications infrastructure.