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Planning: Renewable Energy

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 8059, tabled on 24 May 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of taking steps through local planning to ensure that land approved to generate sustainable energy is used to power new build developments including (a) garden villages and (b) towns.

Answered on

1 June 2022

The Government has made steps to ensure land approved to generate sustainable energy is used to power new build developments. National planning policy is clear that strategic policies in Local Plans should make sufficient provision for energy infrastructure (including heat). In particular, the planning system should support renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure and plans should provide a positive strategy for energy from these sources, and identify opportunities for development to draw its energy supply from decentralised, renewable or low carbon energy systems.

The Government's recent 'British Energy Security Strategy' sets out a series of changes to the planning system to support the delivery of renewable energy infrastructure. This included a commitment to cut the time it takes for offshore wind projects to get planning and regulatory consents. For onshore wind, we will consult this year on developing local partnerships for supportive communities who wish to host new onshore wind infrastructure in return for benefits, including lower energy bills. We will also consult on amending planning rules to strengthen policy in favour of solar development, while ensuring communities continue to have a say and environmental protections remain in place. As part of this we will gather evidence on the use and suitability of the existing permitted development rights which allow for the installation of solar equipment.