Planning for climate change

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Planning for climate change
  • Legislative context
  • Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004
  • Planning Act 2008
  • Energy Act 2008
  • Localism Act 2011
  • Climate Change Act 2008
  • Flood and Water Management Act 2010
  • Archived Renewable Energy Directive 2009
  • Planning policy context
  • More...

Planning for climate change

Effective spatial planning is an important part of a successful response to climate change, as it can influence the emission of greenhouse gases. Local planning authorities (LPAs) and other planning decision-makers should ensure that protecting the local and the wider environment is properly considered. Effective planning can also help to increase resilience to climate change impact through the location, mix and design of development.

Legislative context

Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004

Section 19 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (PCPA 2004) (as amended by the Planning Act 2008) requires that development plans must include policies designed to ensure development contributes to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.

This strong outcome-focused duty on LPAs shows the clear priority given to climate change in plan-making.

Planning Act 2008

The Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008) introduces a planning regime for nationally significant infrastructure projects, (NSIPs) including energy generation plants of capacity greater than 50 megawatts. National Policy Statements (NPSs), prepared and issued by the Secretary of State (SoS), set out the government's policy on particular types of NSIPs. In particular, they set out the national need for the particular type of infrastructure development which they cover. NPSs provide the framework within which the SoS makes its decisions on NSIP applications for development consent.

PA 2008, s 5(7) and (8) require an NPS to give reasons for

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