PPS22: Merton welcomes the chance for sustainable buildings across London

The London Borough of Merton welcomes the Government’s publication of PPS22 and in particular, its support for renewable energy in existing and new buildings.

The statement, which was issued by the ODPM earlier this week, is a significant change from the draft guidance that did not include renewable energy guidelines for local planning authorities. This change is the result of the Government taking on board the comments made by Merton and others, in promoting renewable energy developments in urban areas.

The London Borough of Merton took the lead last October with a unitary development plan which expects renewables to provide at least 10% of the predicted energy requirements for all new non-residential development above a threshold of 1,000m2.

Since then many other council’s have been seeking to prepare similar policies. The Government’s initial resistance to Merton’s policy has now been overcome, in part through active persuasion and campaigning with environmental organisations such as the Green Alliance.

Steve Cardis the Council’s UDP lead officer and Adrian Hewitt the Sustainability Officer, have steered the development of this policy over the past two years and welcome the Government’s support in PPS22 that will allow other Council’s to adopt similar policies.

Russell Makin, Merton’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration said, “This is a good example of ‘bottom up’ planning and how an innovative planning authority can make a difference. We are now keen to see buildings in Merton with these features incorporated, and the first ones are beginning to emerge.

“To really grasp this new opportunity there is a need for advice to planners and developers. The proposed Companion Guide to PPS22 should help.”

The GLA and London Renewables are also preparing a renewable energy Toolkit for Planners and Developers.

Merton is looking to introduce a range of energy renewables into its own buildings and will work with partners to look for new opportunities. The council also encourages green industries, and is working with partners in Europe to develop district heating from renewable sources.