The Merton Rule is the way forward for the future of renewal energy, according to Merton Council, who have voiced their concerns about the future of the Rule following the Housebuilders Federation lobbying the Government that it should be scrapped.
The Merton Rule was introduced in 2003 and requires any new (commercial use) buildings to reduce carbon emissions by 10% through the use of renewable energy sources. On the back of pioneering the Rule, Merton Council has won several national awards as well as wide spread plaudits, including the support of the Housing Minister, Yvette Cooper who called for all local authorities to adopt Merton’s approach.
Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Traffic Management, Councillor Tariq Ahmad said: ‘We would strongly urge the Government to continue letting Council’s implement renewable energy policy at a local level, proven by the fact that already 150 local authorities have adopted the Rule. Many environmental and planning bodies have also backed the plan, including the Royal Town Planning Institute who presented Merton Council with its highest award’.
‘Scrapping the Merton Rule would mean that council’s would lose their ability to influence developments at an early stage by working with developers on the most appropriate type of renewable energy in the pre-planning stage. Councils can lead the way and the implementation of the rule should remain in the hands of local government. Indeed, at Merton we believe this rule should be extended to include residential properties and we are already looking to extend the application of the rule as part of our structured approach to tackle the challenges of climate change.’