Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us: +44 (0)1344 864796.

Next steps for planning policy and the natural environment in England - Environmental Improvement Plan | National Planning Policy Framework | local powers and community engagement | infrastructure and land use practices

July 2023

Price: £150 PLUS VAT

This conference discussed next steps for planning policy and its impact on the natural environment across England.

Stakeholders and policymakers considered priorities for planning at both local and national levels, opportunities to enhance the role of communities within the planning system, the long-term outlook for sustainable planning, and opportunities for providing local community infrastructure.

It was an opportunity to examine the recently released Environmental Improvement Plan, as well as proposed amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework.

Delegates discussed issues around incorporating environmental protection and conservation into infrastructure and land-use practices, as well as local government powers and community engagement, alongside challenges for the current capacity of the planning system.

Further sessions looked at the potential for Natural England’s Green Infrastructure Framework to help shape a sustainable planning system, and wider issues around what is needed to address climate change concerns, including the implementation of recommendations in the Net Zero Review and how reforming the system can place decarbonisation at the centre of national and local planning.

We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with Julia Prescot, Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission; Dr Amy Burnett, Research Fellow, Sustainable and Inclusive Enterprise, Middlesex University Business School; and Dr Nick White, Principal Adviser, Net Gain, Natural England.

Overall, sessions in the agenda included discussion on:

  • the current National Planning Policy Framework - what will be needed to take forward reforms as part of the wider changes set out in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill 
  • strategies for increasing community engagement across planning decisions - enabling greater local involvement in shaping local plans on housing, energy infrastructure projects and new projects 
  • assessing land use practice - priorities for enhancing protections for environmental and heritage assets - implications for stakeholders
  • further aligning the planning system around wider energy, infrastructure and housing ambitions - rollout of the planned Infrastructure Levy and its potential impact on new infrastructure projects
  • policy priorities for updating the National Planning Policy Framework - wider plans for the planning system in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill

The conference was an opportunity for the stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the CCC; DAERA, NI; Defra; Department for the Economy, NI; DfE; DESNZ; Department for Infrastructure, NI; DLUHC; DfT; GLD; HMRC; MOD; and the Welsh Government - as well as parliamentary pass-holders from The House of Lords.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materials, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda