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Government signals moves on green infrastructure

Words: Huw Morris
Climate change / Shutterstock_86013754

Ministers have pledged to look at including green infrastructure into national planning policy and guidance.

A Commons Environmental Audit committee inquiry in July warned that the reformed National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) did not cover rising temperatures in urban areas or identify heatwaves as a climate change risk, with MPs warning that these could regularly hit 38.5°C in the summer by the 2040s.

They demanded that local authorities should be required to demonstrate the provision of shaded areas and space in their local plans while the NPPF should include a target for green infrastructure as part of a drive to increase green space in urban areas.

Responding to the inquiry, the government said Natural England is spearheading a national framework for green infrastructure standards to be published next year.

Defra and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will then work together “to see how our commitments on green infrastructure can be incorporated into national planning guidance and policy, including how to incorporate them in planning and design guidance for new builds and estate regeneration”.

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