MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE designers will be forced to show the climate change impacts of their schemes after a landmark planning refusal last week, environmentalists claimed.
Uttlesford District Council this week refused BAA's plan to double capacity at Stansted Airport on climate change grounds.
It said that following Sir Nicholas Stern's government commissioned climate change review it was unable to approve the scheme until government aviation policy was claried.
Friends of the Earth planning advisor Hugh Ellis said forthcoming airport expansion applications at Heathrow, Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham, Birmingham, also faced rejection unless climate change mitigation is included in scheme design.
Climate change impact is going to become a mainstream part of design within 12 months, ' said Ellis. 'The politics is moving that fast and civil engineers will play a pivotal role in this.' Department for Communities & Local Government is expected shortly to publish planning guidance which accounts for climate change impact.
Uttlesford District Council threw out the Stansted application saying it expected the government to cut its target to more than double airline passenger growth by 2030.
'In the light of the Stern Review and the increasing evidence of the adverse effects of climate change, it would be premature to grant planning permission in advance of clarication by the government as to whether its response to the Stern Review and other recent research will include direct implications for the aviation industry beyond the provisions of the Air Transport White Paper, ' said the council.
BAA said it would appeal against the decision.
'BAA argues that there is nothing in the Stern Review or the government's potential response to it that could reasonably lead the council to suppose that the government will be calling for a halt to any further growth at Stansted.'