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Housing: Renewable Energy

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) for what reasons she has struck out the requirement for 10 per cent. on-site renewable energy in all major new developments from the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Spatial Strategy; (165297)

(2) what her Department’s assessment is of the effect of ending the application of the existing Merton rule in the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Spatial Strategy on those individual local planning authorities wishing to use the rule;

(3) what her reasons were for not accepting the independent panel's recommendations that Yorkshire and the Humber should have a minimum region-wide 10 per cent. on-site renewables planning requirement for all major new developments.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 15 October 2007, Official Report, columns 806-61W, which confirmed that, as we gear up to our zero carbon ambition, councils will be able to continue with and adopt new Merton rules, although it is important that they are properly tested as part of development plan documents (DPDs).

The reasons for the Secretary of State’s proposed changes to the Yorkshire and the Humber Assembly’s draft revised Regional Spatial Strategy are set out in the published schedule. This is available on the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber’s website at:

http://www.gos.gov.uk/goyh/plan/regplan/propchanges/

The consultation on the proposed changes closes on 21 December 2007. Representations received are being considered carefully in finalising the revised RSS which we intend to publish soon.