Infrastructure pressure group Britain Remade claims up to 4.4GW of clean energy projects are being opposed by as many as 70 local councils, many of them publically committed to fighting the climate crisis.
Unrepresentative nimby – ‘not in my backyard’ – pressure on planners, allied to policy contradictions, including from the 350 authorities pledged to local action against the globe’s climate emergency, form the core of double standards alleged by the renovation group as flowing from town halls.
Supposedly stymied ventures singled out in the group’s report range from the titanic to the tiny. They include:
- EdF’s proposed 2.2GW Bradwell B nuclear plant, unanimously opposed by Colchester Council in August 2020, allegedly over environmental concerns about the site’s landscaping.
- Medway in Kent, which reportedly turned down installation of solar panels on its own Grade II council building. Planners cited alleged detriment to views of Medway’s 1970 brick and concrete headquarters, pictured.
- A Northamptonshire authority’s quashing of a homeowner’s bid to build a new driveway and install an EV charger. Officials said their decision resisted a “change to the area’s character”.
Britain Remade’s founder Sam Richards said the group’s findings highlighted ‘absurd’ double standards from authorities, particularly those pledged to enact mitigation in their areas.
“Across the country there is huge support for clean energy projects both large and small“, he noted.
“But when these plans become part of the planning system, councils tend to hear from the most motivated voices – which unfortunately, tends to be the minority of people who are against a particular project,” continued Richards.
“If we are to hit our 2050 net zero target and provide secure sources of clean energy that will help cut the energy bills of millions of people, local councils must match words with deeds.”