Joint letter to the Secretary of State regarding the 13 December Written Ministerial Statement

This news item has been updated to include a response from Baroness Swinburne, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing and Communities, which was sent on 25 March 2024. Please scroll down to view the response.

The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), alongside 12 organisations and over 50 local authorities, has today written to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, to express concern about the limiting impact of the 13 December Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) on local authorities wishing to set standards for net zero new homes in their authorities.

The joint letter is signed by organisations committed to delivering the government’s statutory carbon reduction targets through the planning system, but find their effort hindered by this statement of national policy. The TCPA and other signatories are keen to discuss the impacts of the WMS with DLUHC, and remove barriers to local authorities that are seeking to deliver the energy efficient homes required in response to the climate emergency and the cost of living crisis.

Since sending the letter to the Secretary of State, the following organisations have also added their names as signatories:

Councillor Tom Renhard, Cabinet lead for Housing Delivery and Homelessness, Bristol City Council

Dr Tumi Hawkins, Lead Cabinet Member for Planning Policy and Development Management, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Katie Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Planning, Building Control and Infrastructure, Cambridge City Council (representing Greater Cambridge Shared Planning)

Councillor Chris McFarling, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency, Forest of Dean District Council

Katrina McDonnell, Campaigns Manager, Good Law Project

Mark Cassidy, Chief Officer – Planning and Climate Change, Lancaster City Council

Adrien Waite, Assistant Director of Planning, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Tim Slaney, Interim Chief Executive, South Downs National Park Authority

Tim Oruye, Head of Policy and Programmes, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils

John Careford, Head of Development, Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Councillor Jane Quinton, Executive Member for Planning, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

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