The current system lacks explicit goals for net zero targets and nature restoration, hindering progress, according to a report.
Campaigners are sounding the alarm over the inadequacy of England’s planning system in tackling the climate crisis.
A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has highlighted significant flaws within the system that hinder progress towards net zero targets and nature restoration.
According to the IPPR, the current planning system lacks explicit goals and mechanisms to support the delivery of net zero targets.
Environmental requirements often exist outside of the planning system or come into conflict with it – this disconnect poses a significant challenge in effectively addressing the climate crisis, according to the report.
Analysts note that England’s current rate of onshore wind development is insufficient to achieve full energy security in a net zero world.
The report estimates that it would take nearly 4,700 years to reach the capacity recommended by government advisors.
Changes to planning laws in 2015, which made it more difficult to obtain permission for new onshore turbines, have exacerbated this issue, according to the think tank.
The IPPR is calling for a comprehensive reset of the English planning system to address these shortcomings.
Their recommendations include reinstating national and local housebuilding targets, aligning new neighbourhoods with net zero goals and actively restoring nature.
Additionally, the report suggests reducing restrictions on onshore wind and solar power and compelling local authorities to identify suitable land for renewable energy projects.
Luke Murphy, the 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 needs.
“Fundamental planning reform is needed to accelerate efforts to reduce emissions and restore nature, roll out renewable energy generation and deliver the level of housebuilding that the country so desperately needs.
“Without a reset of the planning system all the main political parties will fail to deliver on their key objectives, from economic growth to energy security, and addressing the climate and nature crises.”
Source: Energy Live