What Can We Do on #WorldPlanningDay?

This year’s World Planning Day coincides with COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference hosted this year in Glasgow. What better time is there to consider the role of our planning system and historic buildings in tackling the challenge of climate change?

We maintain that “the greenest building is the one that already exists” – you can find out more about the campaign for retrofitting over demolition at Retrofirst. Our historic buildings, listed or unlisted, are critical in reducing our emissions and teaching us how traditional construction and materials could help reduce the ‘felt’ effects of climate change, such as overheating. You can check out SPAB’s ongoing research into the performance of old homes here.

We have a wealth of resources on our website to get you started in looking into retrofitting options and support that you can check out here, as well as our award-winning guidance on making energy-efficiency alterations to listed buildings, Wamer Bath.

We continue to respond to consultations that affect both local and national planning models; we most recently responded to the Local Plan Partial Update and changes to Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs), including the Sustainable Construction and Retrofitting SPD. Whilst we welcome the new format which is more supportive of making historic homes more energy efficient, we continue to push for greater change and more encouragement for suitable energy retrofit changes to be made.

We are starting to see some action from national government, with the release of the Net Zero Strategy and Heat and Buildings Strategy, aiming to cut carbon emissions from the UK’s 30 million homes and workplaces to meet carbon zero targets by 2050. We’ve also seen TCPA release The Climate Crisis: A Guide for Local Authorities on Planning for Climate Change, looking at the roles of local communities in tackling climate change through plan-making, development management, and renewable energy generation. We maintain the need for local people to be at the heart of decision making and positive development.

What do you want the future of planning to look like?


Image our own, of ‘Sinking House’ by @StrideTreglowan