Sunday, October 18, 2020

Select Committee looks at 'Planning for the Future'

Initial reactions to the White Paper were posted in an earlier blog - together with the hyperlink and the deadline of 29 October.  The MHCLG Select committee has opened an inquiry into the White Paper with a closing date of 30th October.  Rather than post DanthePlan's comments on the White Paper submitted to MHCLG I thought that readers could be encouraged to submit evidence to the select committee.  This is on the assumption  that the Government might take more notice of what a cross party committee had to say about the proposals to change the planning system than individuals finding fault with the 'provocation' issued by the Cummings/Jenrick/Airey cabal.   The select committee is set up with the responsibility to collect and assess evidence while the authors of the White Paper are ideologically constrained to stick to their guns.

There are too many things wrong with the White Paper to summarise in the blog and some arguments can be adopted or adapted from DanthePlan's Select Committee evidence.

The one issue that justifies special mention is that of embodied or construction carbon as it is currently at a level about 30 times that which would be compatible with official carbon budgets, and the MHCLG has refused to answer enquiries about where this is being dealt with in the White Paper (esp as almost all the images of exemplary design/beauty show developments of with high levels of construction carbon). These would represent the carbon emitted in the next decade when significant reductions are most needed.  

My MP has asked Ministers to visit the development at Southmoor Oxon where construction is claimed to be carbon negative in buiulding (use of timber and lime render) and operation.  It can be done, although possibly not at scale or by the volume builders - hence the need for residential sub-divisions that could be scaled up through custom-splitting (see earlier blog posts).

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