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Developing a policy position for Low Emission Strategies under the Coalition Government

June 2010


Planning Policy StatementThe implications for the use of low emission strategies under the new Government remain to be seen. The text of the Coalition Agreement doesn’t hugely alter the status quo, stating that it will work towards compliance with air quality standards, set targets for reductions of greenhouse gases and mandate a national recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Agreement makes no specific mention of the use of planning obligations (section 106 agreements), although the Conservative Party’s paper on ‘Open Source Planning’ (February 2010) signalled changes to the scope of section 106 agreements and the replacement of the Community Infrastructure Levy with “a single unified local tariff”.

As the new policy landscape starts to become clear, the LES Partnership will continue to press for wider recognition of low emission strategies at local, regional and national levels. Since the publication of the LES Partnership / Defra Guidance Low Emission Strategies: Using the planning system to reduce transport emissions (January 2010), the LES approach has been cited in a number of high level policy documents. Feedback from the Environmental Audit Committee was reported in our April newsletter. Also, following a previous round of consultation, the revised version of Mayor of London’s draft Air Quality Strategy now contains specific references to the use of low emission strategies and the LES/Defra Guidance.

In May 2010, the LES Partnership submitted a consultation response to Communities and Local Government on a new Planning Policy Statement (PPS): Planning for a Low Carbon Future in a Changing Climate. We welcomed the PPS, particularly in its encouragement of electric charging infrastructure. However, we felt that the policies should go further to require the robust consideration of transport emissions associated with new developments and to incentivise broader low emission strategies. We have posted this submission, and previous consultation responses on our website.


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