Unfit planning system means 4,700-year wait for onshore wind

Aaron Morby 12 months ago

The current planning system will fail to deliver the Government’s ambitions to build infrastructure to meet net zero goals and housing needs.

That is the conclusion of a damning report by the Institute for Public Policy Research, which is calling for a complete reset of planning.

It warns that it would take 4,700 years for England to reach the onshore wind capacity called for by government advisers, at the current rate of development.

Progress in England was stalled in 2015 when planning laws were changed to make it more difficult to gain permission for new onshore wind turbines – in what was effectively a ban. 

Since then only 17 onshore wind farms have been approved, generating just 6.7 megawatts of power – equivalent to just 0.02% of the on-shore total needed in England based on National Grid estimates.

The IPPR report calls for restrictions on onshore wind and solar power to be reduced and for local authorities to be compelled to identify land suitable for onshore wind and solar generation. 

It also calls for big planning reforms to get many more houses built, while also moving faster to meet net zero targets.

In particular, the report calls for decisions on new home building to be linked into plans for low-carbon transport networks.

Between them, housing and transport account for over 40% of total emissions, but since 1990 emissions from both sectors have barely declined. 

The report also sheds fresh light on the critical failures of the current system. These include the lack of clear rules for developers and local authorities on when planning permission should be granted, leading to uncertainty and speculative buying of land. 

It argues that local authorities should be compelled to draw up detailed plans for development in their areas that integrate environmental targets, to provide greater certainty.

It proposes that if a planned house building project meets new net zero targets alongside other local requirements, it should be given an automatic green light, removing much of councils’ discretion from the system. 

It calls for national and local house building targets to be reinstated so that councils can be compelled to enable more homes to be built. 

But the report calls for the public to be given a more meaningful say over the future of their local areas than they do at present. 

Luke Murphy, IPPR associate director for energy, climate, housing, and infrastructure, said: “The current planning system in England is not remotely fit for purpose to build a net zero world, restore nature, or meet housing need.

“Fundamental planning reform is needed to accelerate efforts to reduce emissions and restore nature, rollout renewable energy generation, and to deliver the level of housebuilding that the country so desperately needs.”


Latest news

Mace confirmed on £100m London office retrofit

Work underway on Helical's 100 New Bridge Street job near Ludgate Circus
4 hours ago

Wylfa chosen for next big nuclear power station build

Government names Anglesey site for a large-scale gigawatt nuclear power plant.
7 hours ago

Bowmer & Kirkland trading profit halves

Contractor buys HVAC specialist Adcock despite challenging market
7 hours ago

Piling specialist Van Elle plans further job cuts

Piling specialist plans further cost savings in face of lower demand
8 hours ago

Civils contractor A Catlow files administration notice

High voltage cable specialist lodges court notice
7 hours ago

Green light for ARC Oxford lab campus

Work to start later this year on £40m Ascent building job
8 hours ago

Stonehenge tunnel hit by another legal delay

Court upholds latest appeal against £1.7bn scheme by campaigners
1 day ago

Plans go in for huge Olympic Park construction hub

Bow Goods Yard could deliver 3.5m tonnes of materials a year to sites across London
1 day ago

40% affordable homes target for Labour’s new towns

Labour pledges to select new town sites by end of first year
1 day ago

Plan for £100m Liverpool Baltic station

Construction work could begin next year
1 day ago

Surgo Construction went down owing £4.5m

Biggest creditor is Bellway Homes after dispute on housing job
1 day ago

Vistry seals £157m West London housing deal

Around 575 homes to be built at Merrick Place scheme in Ealing
1 day ago

Streamlined Watkin Jones returns to profit in first half

Multi-room specialist sees secured work pipeline hit £1.4bn
1 day ago

Bellway hires ex-brickie as group construction chief

James Griffin to oversee move to the Future Homes Standard and timber frame.
1 day ago

Persimmon under fire for delays to £10m relief road

West Suffolk Council serves Breach of Condition Notices after timetable slips again
1 day ago

BAM wins £33m Kent secondary school job

Replacement Swanley academy to be built at live school site
1 day ago

Aluminium cladding specialist collapses

Melton Mowbray-based firm worked for several main contractors
2 days ago

Brickwork contractor Lee Marley returns to profit

Affordable and rental homes demand lifts brickwork contractor
2 days ago

Housing contractor Durkan suffers second year of losses

More fire safety provisions tip firm into £3.9m loss
2 days ago

Farrans makes breakthrough on tricky tunnel job

Tunnel under Tees latest part of new £155m water pipeline job
2 days ago

Heidelberg buys aggregates and earthworks specialist B&A

Latest deal follows acquisition of Mick George
2 days ago

Flagship biodiversity net gain scheme flawed

NAO warns Government's flagship green development scheme at risk of failure
5 days ago

Plan in for £3bn Lincolnshire mega data centre

3.3m sq ft Humber Tech Park will be one of Europe's largest data centres
5 days ago

Green light for Digbeth 1,300 homes scheme

Warner’s Fields scheme to start with excavation and landscaping of the River Rea
5 days ago

£210m M3 Junction 9 upgrade gains consent

VolkerFitzpatrick to start work in early 2025 on Winnall roundabout, near Winchester
5 days ago

United Living wins 14-year L&Q homes repairs deal

Trafford housing upkeep deal worth £205m
5 days ago

£400m Lewisham resi-led scheme advances

Land deal paves way for Amro Partners' 1,000-home London scheme
5 days ago

McLaren gets go-ahead for Grade II listed Leeds student scheme

Springfield House to be revamped and two new wings added
5 days ago

Piling giant to fit people alarms on all rigs

Cementation Skanska upgrades site safety systems
5 days ago

Vistry to make £800m profit after subcontractor cost cuts

House builder bullish about shareholder returns after asking suppliers for discounts
6 days ago

Contractor services