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  • Helen Winkler

Environment and Beauty Considerations

The ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper proposes that:

  • There will be a requirement for all new roads to be tree-lined introduced through reforms to the National Planning Policy Framework which is expected to be published for consultation in autumn 2020.

  • All new homes would need to be ‘zero carbon ready’ to help achieve the commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

  • Introduction of a requirement for more historical buildings to have the right energy efficiency measures to support the zero carbon objectives.

  • There will be greater emphasis on the use of brownfield land including through densification.

  • Developments will be required to be ‘beautiful’ with net gain and a focus on ‘placemaking’ and ‘the creation of beautiful places’.

  • Introduce a ‘quicker, simpler’ process for assessing environmental impacts and enhancement opportunities. The current Sustainability Appraisal process will be abolished.

  • Introduce clear requirements for environmental assessment and mitigation.

  • The environmental aspects of a plan or project should be considered early in the process within clear timescales.

  • Reduce the need for site-specific surveys by making national and local level environmental data available to authorities, communities and applicants in digital form, which would be easier to re-use and update.

  • Introduce a new system to take advantage of opportunities for environmental improvements as well as meeting domestic and international environmental protection obligations.

  • Planning policies and processes for managing flood risk may be strengthened.

  • A national framework of green infrastructure standards may be developed.

  • Plans will continue to need to support climate change mitigation and adaptation such as by ensuring development maximises opportunities for walking, cycling and using public transport.

In addition, The Environment Bill passing through Parliament will introduce Local Nature Recovery Strategies to identify opportunities to secure enhancements through development schemes and contributions. It will also legislate for mandatory net gains for biodiversity as a condition of most new development.


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