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LES Policy and Practice Seminar

12th May 2009


RTPI Edinburgh SeminarThe May seminar brought together policy experts and practitioners to review progress being made within the partnership and to consider interactions and opportunities in relation to national policy and guidance. The day included a selection of short presentations alongside panel discussion.

The morning opened with a key note presentation from Defra’s Martin Williams, who explained the importance of low emissions strategies and described their national context. LES programme manager Rob Pilling followed with a practical introduction to Low Emission Strategies and the work of the LES partnership.

Speakers from Sheffield, South Cambridgeshire and Oxford then provided local case studies, illustrating the opportunities and challenges involved.The afternoon began with a presentation from Steve Merryfield, former head planner at Greenwich Council. Steve discussed important aspects of national panning policy and its implications for the deployment of low emission strategies.

Attention then turned to three key technical challenges: adoption of LES funding formulae; assessment of benefits for LES measures; and deployment of low emissions technology. The event was well attended with nearly 60 delegates, representing central and local government, industry, academia and non-governmental bodies.

Chair’s Summary:
Chair, John Murlis thanked all the speakers for their informative presentations. He considered the day an excellent opportunity to reflect on the Low Emission Strategies approach, to consider what is in train, what is in prospect and how we can move to a better understanding of the associated benefits and impacts.

At a national level, air quality is likely to remain in exceedence with continued detrimental impact on health, even where concentrations are below statutory limits. Low Emission Strategies have potential to play an important role in tackling these concerns.

At local level good examples are emerging of what it is possible to achieve. We are also developing a better understanding of the challenges involved and how best to overcome them. Authorities are gaining confidence in applying more stringent LES measures and 106 agreements have increasing potential to provide resources for key local action. At the same time no evidence has been presented of developers walking away from the table as a result of proposed LES measures.

Further improvement and refinement of the approach is possible. In particular, improved guidance on technology options and better impacts/benefits data will assist decision making. Work is in progress to develop these resources. To get full benefits we need to move towards all authorities using them as a matter of course.

In closing John commended the LES approach and the work of the LES programme. He noted growing support at all levels, exemplified not least by ongoing central government funding. He also looked forward to future meetings where further examples of good practice and innovation can be presented and discussed. As well as perhaps establishing new directions and opportunities for the partnership.

The presentations and full seminar report can be downloaded as follows:


Title Speaker
Seminar Report LES Partnership - Click here to download ›
LES - A national perspective Martin Williams (Defra) - Click here to download ›
Low emission strategies in practice Rob Pilling (The LES Partnership) -
Click here to download ›
Putting the fundamentals in place Ogo Osammor (Sheffield) - Click here to download ›

Susan Walford (S. Cambs) - Click here to download ›

Roger Pitman (Oxford) - Click here to download ›
LES and planning policy Steve Merryfield (The LES Partnership) -
Click here to download ›
LES opportunities for the future Andrew Whittles (Cenex) - Click here to download ›
LES funding formula Simon Newcombe (Mid-Devon) - Click here to download ›
Technology guidance for LAs Andrew Whittles (Cenex) -
Click here to download ›
Deployment of low emission technology Steve Simmons (Sheffield) - Click here to download ›
Options & progress in impact assessment Gwyn Jones (AEAT) - Click here to download ›
Assessment of Benefits - LES project John Paterson (Greenwich) - Click here to download ›

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