Planning overhaul needed for climate change ‘resilience’, think tank says
Successfully adapting to climate change will need an overhaul of the planning system to create measurable local targets, according to researchers.
The think-tank Localis is calling for a nationally accepted definition of ‘resilience’ to enable local authorities to defend their communities from climate change.
Analysis of 88 English local plans by Localis found that more than half of local plans emphasise ‘water stress’ including flooding as a potential pressure.
Its report, entitled Climate resilience in Local Plans, says two in every five of the plans surveyed consider the use of building regulations as potential solutions to climate change.
Localis head of research Joe Fyans said:
‘Given what we know from Met Office climate projection about best case scenarios for the probable damage likely to be wrought by increased flooding and the impact of heatwaves, what is worrying here is that current legislation comes nowhere close enough to covering the risk impact.
‘Where rules are not in place, appropriate measures are not provided by all local plans.
‘On the ground, this means there is a great deal of variability in local government preparations for climate change.
‘Suitable resilience is needed for all areas, and a place-based approach that accounts for levels of vulnerability will be the appropriate remedy for many of the country’s upcoming climate problems.’