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PRESS RELEASE: Sustainable development plans put planning centre stage PR2006/65

03 January 2007

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) welcomes the announcement today by the Secretary of State, Ruth Kelly recognising planning's important role in tackling climate change. Not only will the code for sustainable homes force housebuilders to meet challenging targets but the draft PPS on climate change gives planners clear Government policy to reduce carbon levels through intelligent and sustainable urban design.

Clive Harridge, RTPI President said: \"At last the Government is getting real about sustainable development. Throughout my year as President I have been driving the message that planning is a key tool in tackling climate change and I am thrilled to see the Government coming forward with these proposals. My only concern would be the timeframe. New plans and frameworks for the future are being drawn up now. Fortunately, I think planners are already a step ahead when it comes to awareness about climate proofing their work.\"

The Government announced three new initiatives: Tightening of building regulations to increase energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint; a code for sustainable homes to provide homeowners with a benchmark as to the efficiency rating of their new homes; and a planning policy statement outlining the importance of planning to tackling climate change.  Gordon Brown, in his pre-budget statement on the 6thDecember made a commitment to making all new homes built zero-carbon within ten years, Ruth Kelly reiterated this commitment.