Neighbourhood Plans and Renewable Energy

January 2012: An answer to a parliamentary question considering the Localism Act 2011 (which came into ¬†being in November 2011) and its potential to support the development of renewable energy schemes. Not much is revealed…however the Act and Explanatory notes to the Act can be viewed here. Additionally a Plain English guide to the Localism Act’ produced by the Department for Communities (CLG) can be downloaded here. Friends of the Earth have also published a briefing note on ‘Planning and the Localism Act’.

Renewable Energy: 10 Jan 2012 : Column 60W

Roberta Blackman-Woods (MP for the City of Durham) : To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment his Department has made of the likely impact upon neighbourhood plans of the Government’s commitment to ensure that renewable sources will generate 15 per cent. of the UK’s energy by 2020.

Greg Clark (Minister for Decentralisation and Cities, CLG): The Localism Act gives communities new powers to plan for the future of their areas through neighbourhood planning. These are powerful new opportunities for communities to shape the development of their local areas.

It is for communities to decide whether they wish to use neighbourhood development plans or orders to deliver energy from renewable sources, provided the plans or orders meet the basic conditions set out in the Localism Act.

Our proposals strike the right balance by ensuring that neighbourhood planning proposals are in general conformity with strategic planning policies, while giving communities the flexibility to determine those issues that are rightly dealt with at community level.

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