Lack of integration of climate goals into planning is creating delays, Sunak warned

More than a hundred built environment businesses have written to Rishi Sunak and three other senior ministers to call for a new climate change duty for planning decisions.

The letter, co-ordinated by the United Kingdom Green Building Council (UKGBC), calls for a new legal duty to be included in the Levelling up and Regeneration Bill, which is currently going through parliament.

louise hutchins

Louise Hutchins, head of policy and public affairs at UKGBC

The letter proposes a legal requirement for planning decisions and local plan-making to explicitly align with the UK’s carbon budgets and adaptation goals under the Climate Change Act as well as nature restoration targets under the Environment Act

The coalition of firms warns the planning system is not providing a consistent approach to handling climate change and environmental considerations, creating delays, costs, and legal challenges.

The letter’s signatories include developers Land Securities, Related Argent, Grosvenor, Igloo and Retirement Villages Group, and consultants including PRP, AECOM, HTA, JLL and Max Fordham (full list below). It was sent to the prime minister, along with housing secretary Michael Gove, environment secretary Therese Coffey and energy secretary Grant Shapps.

Louise Hutchins, head of policy and public affairs at UKGBC, said: “England’s inconsistent planning system is not delivering the change we need to tackle the climate and nature breakdown. Our business and local authority members are faced with endless barriers, delays and legal challenges to the kind of low carbon nature-friendly development we all want to see.

>>See more: Homing in on net zero: do housebuilder pledges add up?


“Today, we’re urging the government to back simple changes to planning law through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill that can help fix this.

“By introducing a clear legal imperative for planning decisions at all levels to align with our climate Change and Environment Acts, we can unlock huge investment and momentum towards the beautiful neighbourhoods and low carbon infrastructure the country urgently needs.”

A government-commissioned review led by MP Chris Skidmore earlier this year recommended government reform the planning system and the National Planning Policy Framework to introduce a “net zero test”. The government in March responded by saying it intends to do a “fuller review of the NPPF to ensure it contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation as fully as possible”.


Full list of signatories 

Alexander Uregian, Director, City Sanctuary Developments

Alexandra Bantock, Head of Marketing and Outreach, Preoptima

Alistair Allison, Managing Partner, TFT

Allan Dunsmore, Director, Conisbee

Ami Kotecha, Co-Founder & Group President, Amro Partners

Andrew Gould, Partner, AGP Sustainable Real Assets

Andrew Izod, UK Regional Manager, EFC Green Concrete Technology UK Limited

Andrew Mellor, Partner, PRP

Andy Snapes, Senior Partner, Ward Williams Associates

Angeliki Krania, Sustainability Manager, Lamington group

Ankita Dwivedi, Founder & CEO, Firstplanit

Anna Tsartsari, Co-founder, Head of ESG and Sustainability, BE Design

Anu Sabherwal, Senior Associate, Sustainable Design Lead, NBBJ

Becky Valentine, Co-owner, Lead - Sustainability, Wellbeing & Building Health, Spenbeck

Ben Derbyshire, Chair, HTA Design LLP

Ben W. Adam, Managing Director, Narro Associates

Blake Jackson, Director of Sustainability, NORR

Chris Brown, Chief Executive, Climatise

Chris Oglesby, CEO & Alex Edwards, Sustainability Director, Bruntwood

Chris Twinn, Principal, Twinn Sustainability Innovation

Chris Ward, Chief Operating Officer, Shaftesbury Capital PLC

Colin Heall, Director, ZEHo Projects Ltd

Colin Wood, Chief Executive, Europe and India, AECOM

Dan Williams, CEO,

Dan Brooks-Dowsett Executive Director, Trident Building Consultancy

Daniela Rizzi, Senior Expert on Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions ICLEI Europe, ICLEI Europe David Cowdrey, Director of External Affairs, MCS Foundation

David Lewis, Partner, NBBJ Ltd

David MacConnell, Director, Carbon Futures

David Morley, Founding Partner, David Morley Architects

David Partridge, Chairman, Related Argent

David Robert Fairbrother, Managing Director, NSR Management Ltd

Donald Macritchie, Managing Director, Greenspace Live Ltd

Donna Rourke, Head of ESG and Sustainability, BNP Paribas Real Estate UK and Strutt & Parker Dr Scott Elliott, Chief Operations Officer, Hydrock

Elina Grigoriou, Director, Grigoriou Interiors

Elisabeth Montgomerie, Sustainability Lead, Atkins

Elizabeth Gilligan, CEO, Material Evolution

Fiona Scott, Founding Director, Gort Scott

Gabriela Amaya, Energy & Environmental Engineer, KJ Tait

Dr Gemma Jerome FLI, Director, Building with Nature

Hero Bennett, Sustainability Director, Max Fordham LLP

Iggy Bassi, Founder & CEO, Cervest

Jack Harvie-Clark, Managing Director, Apex Acoustics Ltd

Jamie Bartley, CEO, Unyte Group & Unyte Hemp Ltd

Joanna Bacon, Managing Partner, Allies and Morrison

John Christophers, Director, zero carbon house / Retrofit Balsall Heath Jon Khoo, Head of Sustainability, Interface

Jon Lovell, Managing Director, Hillbreak

Josephine Bromley, Co-Founder & COO, Mortar IO

Julian Ackerley, Country Manager, Biogen Systems Limited J

Julian Broster, Co-founder & Stephen O’Malley, Chief Executive, Civic Engineers

Justin Spencer, Managing Director, Hoare Lea Kingma Ma, Managing Director – UK, PT1 VC

Kris Wojcik, Strategy and Construction, JETS Vacuum AS

Liz Warwick, Owner, Lansdowne Warwick Sustainability Consultancy

Mark Allan, Chief Executive, Landsec

Mark Granger, Chief Executive, Carter Jonas

Mark Hobson, CEO/Director, Maber Architects

Mark Swetman, Chief Executive, LS Estates

Mike Roberts, Director, Vertigo SDC

Miles Watkins, Founder and Director, Xeroc Ltd

Mitch Cooke, Head of ESG & Sustainable Finance, Greengage Environmental Ltd.

Neil Gething, COO, Grid2.0 Neil Humphrey, Chief Operating Officer, Waterman Group

Ólöf Jónsdóttir, Public Affairs and Sustainability Director, ROCKWOOL UK

Patrick Bellew RDI, Founder and Executive Chairman, Atelier Ten

Patrick Dumas, CEO, Square Mile Farms

Paul Sheedy, Chief Executive Officer,

Peter Anderson, Managing Partner, Troup Bywaters + Anders

Peter Connolly, Chief Executive, igloo

Peter Fisher, Director, Bennetts Associates

Peter Mitchell, Head of Sustainability, Gascoyne Estates Peter Rogers, Partner, Lipton Rogers Developments Phanos Hadjikyriakou, CEO, 2050 Materials

Prof. Peter Madden, OBE, Director, Vivid Futures

Rebecca Lane, CEO, Furbnow Reno Bening, Director, Stijl one ltd

Rigas Malamoutsis, Owner, Verte

Robert Lambe, Chief Executive, Melius Homes

Sam Clark, Co-Founder, Material Evolution

Samuel Chapman, Managing Director, Kenoteq

Dr Sarah Prichard, Managing Director - UK Buildings, Buro Happold

Saul Humphrey, Managing Partner, Saul D Humphrey LLP

Dr Scott Elliott, Chief Operations Officer, Hydrock

Simon McWhirter, Deputy Chief Executive & Director of External Affairs, UKGBC

Stephanie Hyde, Chief Executive, JLL UK

Stephen Barrett, Partner, RSHP

Steve Burr, Director, Black Architecture

Sue Riddlestone OBE, Chief Executive, Bioregional

Sunil Shah, Managing Director, Acclaro Advisory

Tim Wheldon, Managing Director, Zeal Hotels

Tani Dulay, Chief Executive Officer, Woodbourne Group PLC

Tara Gbolade, Director, Gbolade Design Studio Tom Forsyth, General Manager, Sika

Tom Steel, Founding Director, Heyne Tillett Steel

Tony Horrell, Chief Executive Officer - UK and Ireland, Colliers

Tor Burrows, Executive Director - Sustainability & Innovation, Grosvenor Property UK

Vince Ruane, Managing Director, RCDC Wesley Thomson, Head of ESG, Avison Young

Will Bax, Chief Executive, Retirement Villages Group