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LES e-Newsletter Issue 4 - 23rd October
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Welcome to the fourth edition of the Low Emission Strategies (LES) e-Newsletter!

In this issue we have information about an interesting legal challenge Mid-Devon faced and won, a date for your diary as the new RTPI workshop has been announced and an update on moves to publish new LES guidance.

We are delighted to announce the success of the fifth annual ‘A Clearer Future Conference’, which took place in Sheffield on 17th September. The annual conference, co-hosted by LES, aims to raise awareness of air quality issues and is dedicated to facilitating the spread of best practice to support the improvement of local authorities’ performance.

The conference went extremely well and LES received national recognition from Jim Fitzpatrick, Defra Minister of State. Presentations from LES and Care4Air contained information on how best to reduce emissions from local transport, while emphasising the link between air quality and climate change – focussing on opportunities surrounding the use of low emission vehicles and fuels.

Simon NewcombeFinally we’d like to thank everyone who has subscribed to the newsletter – almost 1,200 of you so far! We hope that this newsletter will give all you planners, developers and environmental practitioners an understanding of how LES can inform practice and policy where you are.

As always we welcome your feedback so please do let us know if you have any ideas for future content or if there are any FAQs you’d like answering.

Rob Pilling - (LES Partnership, Programme Manager)

A clearer future conference

Defra Praise the Work of the LES Partnership

Defra Minister of state

Defra Minister of State, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, praised the work of the Low Emission Strategies (LES) Partnership, at this year’s national ‘A Clearer Future’ Conference.

At the annual Care4Air conference, this year co-hosted by the LES Partnership, the programme was noted for its ‘joined-up approach to tackling air pollution’.

Keynote speaker, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, said: “Air quality does not exist alone – it is connected to, and affected by, a wide range of themes including transport, health, social equity, urban planning, biodiversity, waste management, and others. This synergy means that air pollution must form part of a suite of measures at central, regional and local government level.

“The work of Beacon authorities, together with the Low Emissions Strategies project, has demonstrated the importance of having a joined-up approach to tackling air pollution, using technology, planning and behaviour to make a change.”

The conference examined practical policies and measures for reducing emissions from local transport; emphasised links between air quality and climate change; and focused in particular on opportunities surrounding the use of low emission vehicles and fuels.

Professionals working in the Air Quality, Transport and Land-Use Planning sectors shared best practice and profiled new schemes through workshops and seminars. Issues addressed included: Securing Air Quality Funding Through Planning Obligations; Zero Emission Cities - What Can Electric Vehicles Deliver?; Biomethane as a Road Transport Fuel; and the Department for Transport’s Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Grant Programme.

Rob Pilling, LES Programme Manager, said: “The conference provided an excellent showcase for the LES Programme. Praise from Jim Fitzpatrick gives important national recognition to our work, which is well deserved”.

You can download presentations and view photos from the conference here.

Care4Air Conference

Low Emission Strategies Set the Way for Tesco's ‘Eco Store’

Mid Devon District Council has been using Low Emission Strategies (LES), in partnership with supermarket giant Tesco, to produce a new ‘Eco Store’ and help improve local air quality.

The new store due to open at the end of January 2010 is based in Wellparks, Exeter Road, Crediton – in an area with poor air quality due to the high levels of harmful emissions from road traffic. Crediton was declared an Air Quality Management Area in June 2006 due to high levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM10).

It is expected that the development will generate traffic and congestion leading to air pollution and increased emissions of Carbon Dioxide, a major contributor towards climate change.



Mid Devon District Council Wins Legal Battle

Mid Devon District Council has successfully challenged a Planning Inspector’s decision in the High Court, using Low Emission Strategies (LES) in conjunction with their own Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

Mid Devon District Council initially refused to grant planning permission for a commercial development in Crediton on grounds unconnected to air quality issues. This decision was later overturned on appeal by a Planning Inspector who also told the developer they did not have to conform with the Mid Devon SPD which contains a requirement to contribute towards Air Quality Action Plan measures. This is despite the SPD being a formally adopted document at the time the appeal was heard.


RTPI workshops taking place

Joint RTPI and LES Workshop in North West Region

A free to attend workshop jointly hosted by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Low Emission Strategies (LES) will be held on 4th November between 9.30am – 1.30pm at Eversheds, Manchester. It aims to support local authorities to lower harmful emissions during new developments.

The workshop will give planners and other developmental professionals the tools to facilitate low carbon and low emission developments in their local authorities. It aims to support local authorities to put in place measures to bring down transport-related emissions from new developments using the planning system.


national endorsement from DEFRA

LES Guidance Moves a Step Closer to National Recognition

The LES Partnership guidance document has moved a step closer to receiving national endorsement from Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

‘Low Emission Strategies: using the planning system to reduce transport emissions’ was published by the LES Partnership as a consultation draft in June 2008. The document outlines the important principles and methodology behind planning based Low Emission Strategies and presents current good practice.

Since the report’s publication, the Partnership has been in discussion with Defra and other government departments regarding its future status. An updated draft has now progressed to the final stages of approval with a view to publishing it on the Defra website as a joint Defra and LES Partnership guidance report.

Rob Pilling, LES Programme Manager, commented: “This is an excellent development and reflects the growing acceptance and use of the approach by local authorities. The move represents a clear national statement that Low Emission Strategies are considered good practice.”

LES progress into new phase

LES Secured £400,000 of Funding

The LES Partnership has secured £400,000 from CLG (Communities and Local Government) and Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to support a second phase of work. This will build on progress made during the first phase and will be delivered from October 2009 to March 2011.

Phase II plans include: developing a Low Emissions Toolkit; establishing a second peer group under The Regional Groups Initiative (RGI); dissemination workshops; and revamping the Low Emissions Forum.

The Low Emissions Toolkit will enable local authorities to assess the costs and benefits of low emission measures included in planning agreements. It will also provide fleet operators with tailored advice on green fleet renewal options.

The Low Emissions Forum will provide opportunities for practitioners to engage with programme activities and to explore wider developments relating to the low emissions agenda.

The RGI will create three regional hubs, supporting local collaboration and project work relating to Low Emission Strategies. Participating authorities will benefit from involvement in a national level initiative that will implement Low Emission Strategies and contribute to performance indicators and targets for climate change mitigation and air quality.

Participants will receive £20,000 towards a ‘Regional Low Emission Champion’ to coordinate and drive-through projects and progress at a regional level. Additional technical and strategic advice will be provided by experienced practitioners and advisers.

Applications will be invited from groups of local authorities. After launching in October 2009, authorities will have six weeks to submit an application. The LES Partnership Board aim to have selected the successful applicants by December 2009 The initiative will run from 1 January 2010 for one year. For further information contact [email protected]

Dates for Your Diary

4th November 9.30am - 1.30pm
Eversheds, Manchester

Joint RTPI and LES workshop



How can I access presentations from ‘A Clearer Future Conference’?

All presentations from ‘A Clearer Future Conference’ can now be downloaded from the LES website

Read more FAQs here

Contact Us

To find out more about the Partnership visit the website, or if you have any questions or comments please click here to email us

You can also join our mailing list by visiting our website and entering your email address in the newsletter panel.





© 2009 Low Emission Strategies Partnership


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