Professional Standards And Advocacy

The blog by Nigel Pearce yesterday, see below, has created something of a Twitter storm around the issue of just how objective should a planning consultant be when working for a client in support of scheme. Well, it would be easy to say that you never hear of a consultant telling a client their sche...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 18 June 2018

Structural Dishonesty In The Planning System

Underneath the topsoil of local councils and developers in England, and presumably elsewhere in the UK, lies a substratum of consultants, both national and international, who are making a great deal of money out of the planning system. When developers employ consultants to carry out sustainability ...

Posted by Nigel Pearce on 17 June 2018

Why Land Squandering Goes On And On And On

One of the great mysteries of planning in this country is why the most densely populated country in Europe goes on squandering its land with the lowest residential density development in Europe. I must apologise to readers outwith England here, as it-apos-s England I-apos-m referring to, though land...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 02 June 2018

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MPs voice transport sustainability concerns

Added on 01 September 2016

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has told the Department for Transport to assess the cumulative impact of its projects on sustainability and deal with its failure to hit decarbonisation targets, but evaded calling for a halt to major highway and airport expansion.

The Committee’s report Sustainability in the Department for Transport says the DfT needs to work on communicating its sustainability remit. A great deal of the report is dedicated to the so-called “ultra-low emission vehicles” and car manufacturers’ cheat devices, diluting the impact of its messages on carbon emissions.

“Committee on Climate Change advice on the lowest-cost pathway to the UK’s 2050 emissions reduction target included an interim 2025 decarbonisation objective, which the transport sector is projected to miss by almost 50%,” says the report. “Transport is now the largest emitting sector; emissions have increased for the past two years running. We recommend the Department set out in the Government’s forthcoming carbon reduction plan how it intends to deal with this shortfall in decarbonisation.”

The MPs, however, have little to say on how it might meet the very unambitious CCC target for transport which is a 31% reduction on 2014 emissions. But they do note energy use per tonne of road freight has actually increased and suggest domestic transport now accounts for 24% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and rising.

“The report shows that the Government is not doing enough to decarbonise transport and avoid building damaging infrastructure projects,” said Campaign for Better Transport sustainable transport campaigner Bridget Fox. “Stronger action to clean up polluting vehicles is welcome but ultimately the answer lies in reducing car dependency, getting more freight onto rail and investing in good quality public transport alternatives.”

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