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Government’s ‘pitiful’ planning reforms ‘will cost Britain decades in fighting climate change’

August 8, 2020

By Paul Homewood


From the “Independent”:


The government’s proposed reforms of the planning system will cost Britain decades in the fight against climate change and resign nature to “isolated fragments of land”, environmentalists have warned.

Countryside charities said plans to make new homes carbon neutral by as late as 2050 – beyond what scientists say will be a tipping point for climate change – as “pitiful” and dramatically less ambitious than previous ambitions scrapped by ministers.

The government says the framework spelled out in its new planning white paper would “cut red tape” and create a “major boost” for construction firms while delivering more homes.

Under the plans, unveiled by housing secretary Robert Jenrick, land would be categorised as either suitable for development, a “renewal” area, or protected. On the first two categories, building projects could be fast-tracked without going through the current planning permission process if they meet certain standards.

Labour branded the proposals a “developers’ charter”, while the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said it was not clear how much local involvement there would be under the new system.

Despite the government’s insistence that the moves would create tree-lined streets and promote “beautiful” buildings, the Royal Institute of British Architects said there was “every chance they could also lead to the creation of the next generation of slum housing”.

The plans include a pledge to make only new homes carbon neutral by 2050, when the UK’s entire economy is already supposed to be carbon neutral, according to the government’s own Climate Change Act, which is written into law.

A previous Code for Sustainable Homes, introduced by the last government in 2006, would have imposed similar strict climate change and environmental requirements from 2016 onwards, but it was scraped by the government in 2015 before it came into full effect.

The government was recently warned that its net zero plans were “doomed to fail” unless it took serious action to tackle carbon emissions from homes, notable heating, by a commission backed by the CBI and experts at the University of Birmingham.

Tom Fyans, deputy chief executive of CPRE, said: “The government’s aim to deliver carbon neutral new homes by 2050 is pitiful and represents 34 lost years given that the Code for Sustainable Homes aimed to achieve the same thing by 2016 and was dropped by government. If this government is serious about tackling the climate emergency, it needs to be much, much more ambitious on new build.”

Maybe somebody could explain why the Campaign to Protect Rural England should give a toss about decarbonisation!!

But if the far-left Independent calls it pitiful, it’s a pretty good bet that the new proposals are a good idea. Certainly the proposed reforms have already been widely praised as a way to bring our bureaucratic planning system into the 21stC.

New, affordable homes are desperately needed, and a boost to the construction is as good a way as any to kick start the economy. Abandoning the requirement for carbon neutral homes can only help.

  1. robin Lambert permalink
    August 8, 2020 5:10 pm

    Current 67.5 million Uk population is set at Current replacement to be 75-77million by 2050 Unsustainable….The damage is Turning Villages into Small towns and Water supply .”Rain Runoff” causes Flooding as per NOT dredging Rivers ,Creating Floods and Nothing to do with Climate . Lack of Sunspot activity until 2029 Points to Dry drought summers and Wet cold Autumns &Winters?…

    • Mack permalink
      August 9, 2020 8:39 am

      The 67.5 million figure for the current U.K. population is way off and we are already somewhere north of 70 million.

      The disparity between official census figures for population numbers and ‘active’ National Insurance numbers gives the lie to the lower figure you quoted, hence the government’s refusal, in recent years, to release the official ‘active’ figures. If the public only knew the true population figure, not to mention ‘unofficial’ estimates of illegal immigrant numbers, and the failure of all main political parties and governments in to address this issue properly, then there would be uproar. The silence of the MSM on this issue is deafening. It is so much easier to blame water shortages, for example, on the vagaries of the climate than on a leaky infrastructure not designed to supply the millions of extra bods who now draw on it.

  2. August 8, 2020 5:20 pm

    If the Independent doesn’t like them they must be good

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      August 9, 2020 9:12 am

      They, like Labour, are just whining because private companies will build the houses, not councils. Apparently shoddy houses that nobody really wants are better than quality houses people do want if the state provides them.

  3. Geoff B permalink
    August 8, 2020 5:24 pm

    We climate change deniers, do not even think we have an emergency, maybe it got a little bit warmer, but that has whats all the fuss,,,,CO2 drives all of our food production, an increase in concentration is beneficial for crop yields, less famine. We also understand that the Net Zero by 2050 is impossible to achieve, there is not enough rare raw materials to make all the batteries, production of hydrogen is costly and we are nowhere near working out carbon capture. Also it is pointless that UK and Europe reduce themselves to third world countries with an economy that resembles what we had in 1910, while China, India, Far East invest in coal, oil and gas and prosper. Is it just possible that a politician has realised the futility of Ed Millibands climate change act as modified by Theresa May to Net Zero. The climate change act has to be repealed, otherwise we are going to plagued by judicial reviews instigated by the climate change loonies, overruling common sense.

    • August 8, 2020 7:44 pm

      Possibly like all the other “solutions” on the multi themed marxist anti Western agenda it is not possible to achieve and was never intended to be achieved. What they want are idiots to destroy the economy trying to achieve it…. as they are doing with all the other strands of their wretched identity politics which offers only chaos.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        August 9, 2020 10:56 am

        ‘…not possible to achieve’
        That’s the 1984 strategy: constant war.

    • bobn permalink
      August 9, 2020 2:31 am

      Call it by its real name – the national economic suicide act.

  4. eromgiw permalink
    August 8, 2020 5:53 pm

    New homes are needed and they need to satisfy the market demand. Build what and where people want to live. Twisting developers’ arms to build “affordable” homes is a nonsense. As people move up market they vacate cheaper homes. The government doesn’t have to tell motor or phone manufacturers to build affordable models. It is demand led.

    On Sat, 8 Aug 2020, 16:59 NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT, wrote:

    > Paul Homewood posted: “By Paul Homewood From the “Independent”: The > government’s proposed reforms of the planning system will cost Britain > decades in the fight against climate change and resign nature to “isolated > fragments of land”, environmentalists have war” >

    • robin Lambert permalink
      August 9, 2020 5:51 pm

      Boris & Labour &Lib-dim Councils have been Given ”Green light”(sic pun) to Continue destroying England’s lovely Green Countryside with Mega expensive houses,Whilst ignoring Extensive City Centre ‘brownfield” sites ie East Midlands especially leicester, Developers look for immediate profits Not gradual Land value..Councils Also liable to own 1) Indoor Market halls 2) Cinemas 3) Shop leases etc..and Sereptiously purchase ”Farmland” to circumvent Objections to turning Villages into mini towns,With no facilities ie A&E in SW leicestershire.etc..Vote loser for boris Johnson &establishment parties

  5. Broadlands permalink
    August 8, 2020 6:01 pm

    “…beyond what scientists say will be a tipping point for climate change.”

    We have already had at least one predicted tipping point. In 2000 NOAA scientists said it was the 1997-98 El-Nino and La-Nina that set “record” highs. However, the last 20 years have disproven that tipping point forecast. Common sense will eventually cancel NET-Zero plans and sustainable decarbonized futures. Missions impossible?

    • August 8, 2020 7:41 pm

      It is wonderful to see regurgitation of the pitifully limited language of the climatistas. Indeed I wonder if those “scientists” who sold their souls to the dark side actually produce the rubbish claimed to come from them or is it like the IPCC where they take bits and pieces of input from scientists and jazz it up in their own words? All I say to these idiots is to point to one of the fabled “tipping points” in geological history and if they can then to explain how come we are here?

  6. August 8, 2020 7:31 pm

    Government’s ‘pitiful’ planning reforms ‘will cost Britain decades in fighting climate change’

    Interesting when this article is about a country producing currently 1% of the worlds CO2. To deal with this crapshow it is time to start demanding that any proposal for public money being wasted, sorry spent needs to be supported by a measure of the “prevented climate change” associated with the spend. Why not? After all that is what they claim the spend will achieve so I want to know how much per £1 any of these “projects can achieve. Indeed we need to start insisting on a Climate Change index with units of climate change stopped per £1 spent. This is a logical approach given that real money is being proposed to pay for this charade.

    We already understand that the Climate Emergency/Catastrophe/Armageddon/ is just a cover for marxism by the back door just like all the other wretched bullcrap that the English speaking world has inherited from the US educational institutions infected by Critical Theory and Post Modernism. .

    Even IF there was statistically significant empirical data based evidence to support human effects on the climate ( which there most definitely is not) then it is not reasonable to make proposals without costing them in terms of “units of prevented climate change”. If nothing else it could be fun watching the lefties try to wriggle out of that one! ……..

    • August 9, 2020 12:44 pm

      a Climate Change index with units of climate change stopped per £1 spent

      Pointless as it’s always zero units.

  7. August 8, 2020 7:37 pm

    “Maybe somebody could explain why the Campaign to Protect Rural England should give a toss about decarbonisation!”

    Like the National Trust, The RSPB and a whole host of once impartial and august institutions they have been deliberately infected by left wing activism. One argument of course is they will say is that they needed those people to lobby for all the easy money being thrown around if you say “Climate Change”. So I see this nonsense and also unacceptable politicisation of supposed a combination of reds really under the beds augmented by the Law of Unintended Consequences which means that easy money attracts like moths to a flame.

  8. Phillip Bratby permalink
    August 8, 2020 9:56 pm

    “Maybe somebody could explain why the Campaign to Protect Rural England should give a toss about decarbonisation!”

    As a trustee of CPRE Devon I can definitely say that National CPRE, under its new CEO, Crispin Truman, has been taken over by left wing political activists (yet another example of the result of the Long March through the Institutions). However, we at CPRE Devon (which is a separate charity in its own right) are in a state of permanent battle with National CPRE. We will have nothing to do with their recent change of direction from CPRE’s original aim of protecting the countryside from inappropriate development to their current mission, which like a multitude of other charities, sees the “climate emergency” as the number one threat to the countryside. We, CPRE Devon, are the most successful of CPRE’s county branches, as we do what our members want, namely fight planning applications for wind turbines, solar farms, anaerobic digesters and vast housing estates to be built on Devon’s green and pleasant farmland. National CPRE is losing members at a rapid rate and is likely to go bust under its current green/left wing leadership.

    • August 9, 2020 2:45 am

      Good for you and your colleagues Phillip. The question is when you will annoy the National CPRE to the point that they will cast you out into the wilderness as a discredited group of nutters? How will this happen? Maybe first by “leaking” to the press some questions about poor accounting or funds going astray? We are not dealing with people who play by Marquess of Queensberry rules. There are the useful idiots who “believe” supporting dangerous maggots who want power. Worse as we both know, charitable status in the UK has been in serious need of root and branch reform for decades because funding no longer relies on tins and pins but on more lucrative state funding. To my simple mind this is a corruption of the basic principles upon which the concept of charitable status was conceived and that corruption has unintentionally allowed the Stalin and Mao admirers to target charities as just one more place to play their dangerous undemocratic games. I wish you all the best of luck with your just and worthy cause in this the Year that the Enlightenment died.

      P.S I have a couple of friends from Kernow who say less than complementary things about you folks from across the Tamar Bridge. I do not understand these infantile local rivalries at all… being a Ny’cassle Supporter …with Sunderland just down the road!

      • Phillip Bratby permalink
        August 9, 2020 6:30 am

        There may be minor disagreements between the folk of Devon and Cornwall (clotted cream above or below strawberry jam on scones for example), but CPRE Devon and CPRE Cornwall cooperate well together in our battle with National CPRE.

      • robin Lambert permalink
        August 9, 2020 7:05 pm

        Good CPRE Devon &Cornwall reject ”Climate” Scare of main CPRE .Main reason I didn’t pay £36pa membership Is precisely because they have Lost sight of protection of crass development in England,like mini towns and bypasses due to Large scale concreteing

  9. Jackington permalink
    August 8, 2020 11:06 pm

    I understand the current planning system came into being in the 1940’s and is therefore seen by the lefties as their property (like the NHS) and must not be changed, least of all by the Tories – no privatisation; this dogma is cast in stone by them.

  10. August 9, 2020 12:19 am

    “beyond what scientists say will be a tipping point for climate change”

    Like the ones we’ve already had?

    • dave permalink
      August 9, 2020 9:48 am

      There is a rapidly growing smell of desperation in the climate mafia. They have been rudely shoved aside, as witch-doctors-in-post, by the covid ‘experts.’ The Caravan has moved on.

      Meanwhile, it is snowing in Greenland:

      • August 10, 2020 2:23 am

        Thank you Dave. Well said and a very interesting analysis at the end of yiur link.

  11. Phoenix44 permalink
    August 9, 2020 9:09 am

    No new homes are desperately needed. The price – affordability – is set by the market. If developers build really expensive homes but people are only willing to pay £150k for them then that’s the price they will go for. If they end up being the most expensive houses in an are then the pre-existing houses will fall in price. If we built 30 million £1m mansions one for each household the price of them wouldn’t be £1m each.

    • JBW permalink
      August 9, 2020 10:41 am

      I like your thinking – not sure its viable though:-)
      England has a housing stock of about 24.4 million dwellings at 31 March 2019, an increase of 241,000 dwellings (1.00%) since the previous year. Well below the government target of 300,000. If house prices are dependent on supply and demand, I can’t see how a 1% increase will have much effect on the average price somehow.
      The new NPPF (well 2012) was supposed to remove many of the old constraints. With its “presumption in favour of granting planning permission” you would think that building would have increased dramatically, but turned out to be a gold mine for the lawyers.
      I suspect the new proposals will have very little effect either.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 9, 2020 11:37 am

      The price of homes is determined by the size of mortgage banks are prepared to offer. If you aren’t prepared to take on a £200k mortgage they’ll find someone who will. Of course, they do have some concern that you will pay it off. With all the rising unemployment and job insecurity we now see expect mortgages to become rarer and smaller, just as in 2008. There is likely to be an upsurge in homes for sale that people can no longer afford, but few willing to buy because of their own threatened circumstances, and because holding off makes the purchase cheaper. In a falling market builders tend to cut back, as it is hard to make a profit, and there is lots of competition from other homes for sale.

  12. August 9, 2020 10:24 am

    But the new strategy removes the cloak. Local councils have been useless appendages for some time. Now the proposition is that they are openly useless, the appendix of modern society extraneous and dangerous. If this planning proposal is accepted then the councils should be got rid of. This is the post death announcement that localism is dead and the country as a whole is a resource to be exploited, get use to it. The demise of local councils
    could take away that lingering suspicion that sweetheart deals and backhanders may be removed to. Meanwhile, awake to the regimented ranks of bungalows, white face boards and soffits. Twee estates and crumbling cities. Having shaken hands with developers you really need to count your fingers afterwards.

  13. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 9, 2020 11:41 am

    If they really are deferring zero carbon housing to new homes only by 2050 perhaps there is some hope. The National Grid scenarios assume that such a programme is heavily accelerated in order to suppress demand and according to them the seasonality of demand as well. I’ve yet to find the detailed wording in the consultation document. Besides, you can expect the freebies will go to court to insist on maximum damage.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 9, 2020 11:43 am

      Ugh. Auto correct. Greenies are not freebies. They’re very expensive.

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