Two thirds of councils in the UK ‘don’t consider climate change in planning decisions’

Although over 60% of councils have declared climate emergencies, they have a critical shortage of skills in relation to planning for climate change, according to a new report

Only a third of local authorities in the UK are seriously considering the impacts of climate change when deciding whether to grant planning permission.

That’s one of the findings of a recent report by the Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA), which shows that despite over 60% of councils declaring climate emergencies, local authorities have a critical shortage of skills and expertise in relation to planning for climate change.

The survey of 65 local authorities in the UK also reveals just 12% of local authorities strongly agree that they have the skills and expertise to take account of flood risk now and in the future in planning decisions.

The research also highlights the need of the councils for more support and resources with the top two resources being more information regarding the expected impacts of climate change in the local area, and knowledge of how to incorporate climate projections into planning decisions.

Hugh Ellis, Director of Policy at the Town and Country Planning Association, commented: “If we really want to drive effective change, we need to provide decision-makers with clear policy priorities, transparent methodologies, and, wherever possible, nationally agreed standards.”

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