Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Mr Jenrick and the Queen's Speech

The Planning Bill that has been mentioned in the Queen’s Speech is programmed for the autumn and was debated by over 50 MPs last week


The only contribution that matters is that from the Secretary of State from which I have extracted, “The other thing that the Bill will do is empower local people to set standards for beauty and design in their area through design codes that developers will have to abide by, putting beauty at the heart of our planning system for the first time, and embedding the work of the late Sir Roger Scruton and everyone who was involved in the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission in the planning system as a matter of law. There will also be a greater emphasis on better outcomes, rather than simply on process, to protect and enhance the environment. We will ensure that biodiversity net gain is met, we will ensure that all streets are lined with trees, and we will deliver on net zero homes as a matter of national priority.”


Were that to be the case, the Bill will have to deviate from the White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ that proposed carbon zero ready housing (ie not requiring major refitting to reach zero carbon), and absolutely nothing on construction carbon that is about half the lifetime carbon attributable to a new dwelling before the servicing and infrastructure is taken into account.  The Sec of State need to speak to his officers responsible for the Future Buildings Standard that kicks construction carbon down the road ‘for the longer term’ and not to be dealt with as a ‘national priority’.


This comments will appear in Hansard and Mr Jenrick will expect to be held to this commitment (as an expert in dissembling). Readers could cut and paste this into an email to their MPs who can try to keep him ‘honest’ (but see what Stephen Reed MP had to say about  the Westferry scandal).

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