Related Links

  • Elsevier Ltd is not responsible for the content of external websites.


Comment: Abolition of RSS leaves renewable energy schemes in doubt, warns DPP


The UK coalition Government’s decision to scrap Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs) will leave the future of renewable energy generation schemes in doubt, warns independent planning and sustainability consultancy DPP.

Without some national direction or targets local authorities are under no obligation to approve planning applications for unpopular renewable energy generation schemes, such as large wind farms or waste to energy schemes.

Sunil Shah, a Partner and Head of Sustainability at DPP says: “For all their faults, RSSs were useful in that they provided the much needed direction on how national targets were to be met and a body of knowledge that often underpinned a local authority’s decision making.

“Developers putting forward an application for renewable energy generation schemes would often be able to argue successfully that such a scheme is needed if regional targets were to be met. By scrapping RSSs and leaving decisions purely in the hands of local authorities it is difficult to see many schemes ever being approved. Local authorities are likely to bow to pressure of local communities who generally do not want to see such schemes on their doorstep.”

RSSs were loved and loathed in equal measures. The North East, for example, generally viewed them as delivering jobs and investment, whereas in the South East they were often seen as a mechanism to promote development against local council wishes.

Sunil adds: “The Government is going to have to move quickly to ensure that its commitment to meeting tough EU renewable energy targets is met. A mechanism to remove the local politics from decision making on such an emotive subject is necessary, and that unfortunately means some kind of regional target.

“The government in pursuing this populist policy could find itself lagging behind in meeting its renewable targets and losing a valuable body of knowledge.”

Share this article

More services


This article is featured in:
Policy, investment and markets



rogercrew said

20 July 2010
This comment has been removed due to unsafe link. [Ed.]

Note: The majority of comments posted are created by members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those Elsevier Ltd. We are not responsible for any content posted by members of the public or content of any third party sites that are accessible through this site. Any links to third party websites from this website do not amount to any endorsement of that site by the Elsevier Ltd and any use of that site by you is at your own risk. For further information, please refer to our Terms & Conditions.