“Nothing should be planned without demonstrating it is fit to take its place in a net-zero emissions future…” the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Last month, the RTPI released a report which found that the current planning system is out of sync with the government’s ambition for a net-zero carbon future.

The report highlights the lack of national cohesion and clarity with regards to efficient, smart energy planning, and urges the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) and the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to devise a joint action plan.

This report coincides with a 2019 survey, published by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), showing that 72% of British adults believe that the government is failing to plan for future infrastructure needs.

ICE Director General, Nick Baveystock, highlighted that “the UK needs a national strategy that takes a holistic, evidence-based approach to planning and delivering infrastructure to ensure we deliver the best outcomes.”

With a large focus on mitigating and adapting to climate change, as outlined in the government’s 25-year environment plan, there’s a growing awareness of our need to plan for future infrastructure accordingly.

Although there are notable, ongoing changes already being made, the survey suggests that the existing planning toolkit isn’t being adapted at the rate that is needed in order to meet the government’s net-zero ambitions, and the ambitions outlined in the Clean Growth Strategy.

Whilst small, regional steps are being taken in the right direction, the need for a well-defined nationally agreed action plan is still clear.

The Planning for a Smart Energy Future report was been commissioned by the RTPI South West and conducted by RegenThe Landmark PracticeUWE Bristol and Pell Frischmann.

For access to Copper Consultancy’s previous report on public attitudes to infrastructure from 2017, please follow this link.