Pickles’ solar farm ban overturned by High Court

Plans for a big 24MW solar farm in Suffolk which were rejected by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles have a second chance after a High Court judge overturned the decision last week. In the High Court, Justice Lindblom found in favour of Lark Energy, stating: “The Secretary of State’s reasons leave genuine doubt that he made […]

Pickles “undermining energy saving standards for new homes”

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has been accused of undermining energy saving standards for new homes by the Labour Party. Labour claims the Government’s Deregulation Bill currently going through Parliament will stop local authorities from setting higher building standards for new homes in their area. Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate […]

Anger at Pickles’ stranglehold over wind farms

Irritation was growing among wind farm builders this week as Eric Pickles extended his power to halt and personally approve new projects for another year. Last year a change in the law gave the Communities and Local Government Secretary a six-month window to check wind project planning applications were up to scratch. Using these recovery […]

Don’t scrap policy for renewables in new buildings, businesses say

More than 50 organisations including trade bodies, charities and green businesses are calling on the Government to avoid scrapping the policy driver for renewables in new buildings. The Merton Rule requires new developments to generate at least 10% of their energy needs from renewable sources in a bid to cut carbon emissions in the built […]

Marine energy park gets £15m boost

A marine energy park that aims to serve as a major hub for the UK’s offshore renewable sector has been awarded funding worth £14.94 million. The cash is part of the Enterprise Zone Capital Grant Fund and is aimed to speed up the delivery of the Able Marine Energy Park (pictured) in North Lincolnshire, which […]

Plans for UK’s largest solar farm move on to next stage

Plans for the UK’s largest solar farm have moved on to the next stage after Swindon Borough Council gave its approval to the project. The 40MW development is set to be built on a former airfield at Wroughton in Wiltshire. The farm’s 160,000 panels – spread across 170 acres – should generate enough power for […]

Finally! All new buildings must stand up to energy standard

All new houses and buildings in England must have energy saving features such as better fabric insulation and more efficient heating and lighting under rules finally announced today in Parliament. Exasperated energy saving campaigners say the rule was due to kick in by April 2013 and possibly even earlier but conceded it was “better late […]

Efficiency help in a Pickle as minister faces legal action

An energy saving trade group is bringing legal action against Communities Secretary Eric Pickles (pictured) over his decision not to make people install energy efficiency improvements when they have other building work on their homes. The UK Association for the Conservation of Energy claims this “complete volte face” – or u-turn – has put the brakes […]

Efficient buildings could raise productivity by £8bn

A report has been launched today detailing how the public sector can raise the productivity of its workforce by £8bn a year by using buildings in a greener way. The report ‘Leaner and Greener II: Putting Buildings to Work’ suggests the public sector rationalises its property portfolio. Chaired by Matthew Hancock MP, the report was […]

Environmental committee to scrutinise Localism Bill

The Environmental Audit Committee will this afternoon hold a one-off evidence session on the government’s Localism Bill. The session will specifically focus on whether the Bill should include a ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ and how this should be defined. This ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ was part of the coalition’s proposal to […]