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MPs: Net-zero for new developments should be a planning approval condition

Councils should have the power to call for net-zero emissions as an unconditional requirement for all new developments, MPs have argued.

The cross-party housing, communities and local government select committee’s report calls for net-zero to be given a central role in the national planning policy framework.

Select committee chair Clive Betts said: “Local councils will have a critical role to play in efforts to achieve the 2050 ‘net-zero’ target, building public confidence in climate action, and ensuring a just transition. From low carbon housing standards, energy efficiency and retrofitting existing housing stock to planning, transport and active travel, local councils have influence over a wide range of areas for potential emissions reductions.”

The committee said the government's recent net-zero and heat and building strategies should have said more about how councils can use planning to shape communities to reduce carbon emissions. It recommends £500m to be invested in the planning system over the next four years.

MPs are calling for the technical consultation on the future homes standard to be brought forward a year to 2022 to ensure the 2025 target is met. They also want the government to consider setting a further target of moving to zero carbon homes by 2030.

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