The planning system is critical to achieving a more sustainable built environment for the UK. By controlling the process and setting guidelines for managing and developing buildings, homes and spaces, the UK’s planning system is critical to unlocking the economic potential of net zero.
UKGBC works extensively – both locally and nationally – to promote reform of the planning system to align with our net zero future by putting climate mitigation, resilience, and nature restoration at its heart.
Why do we focus on planning?
The planning system can enable a more holistic approach to sustainable development – from site location, design, and public consultation right through to construction.
In all four nations of the UK, local planning authorities are required by law to consider and act on climate legislation to promote the UK’s path to net zero. However, in practice many of these policies are not fully implemented or de-prioritised.
Mission Zero, the independent review of Net Zero by Chris Skidmore MP in 2023, included reports from hundreds of organisations and individuals that “the planning system is undermining net zero and the economic opportunities that come with it” and recommended wide-ranging reforms to ensure that the system was fully aligned with our net zero future.