Government Commits to Planning Changes to Boost Green Infrastructure Provision

Sourced from Horticulture Week

The Government will examine how green infrastructure provision can be 'incorporated into national planning guidance and policy' to help mitigate against rising temperatures in urban areas, a Whitehall response to a parliamentary committee report has revealed.

In July, the Environmental Audit Committee published a report warning that UK summer temperatures could regularly reach 38.5°C by the 2040s.

MPs warned that the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) does not make reference to rising temperatures in towns and cities.

The committee noted that heatwaves are not identified as a specific climate change risk in the NPPF’s accompanying guidance and expressed concern that local plans tend not to include measures to mitigate rising urban temperatures.

The committee also called for a green infrastructure target to be added to the NPPF with the aim of increasing the amount of urban green space in the UK. Local authorities should further be required to demonstrate provision of shaded spaces in local plans, it said.

In addition, MPs expressed disappointment that the Government had dropped a previous commitment to make sustainable drainage systems a requirement in all new developments and called for this policy to be included within the NPPF.

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