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Green Light for Merton's Pro Renewables Planning Policies
Submitted: 4 November 2003
Press release from Solar Century

On the eve of publication of PPS22, solarcentury congratulates Merton Council on becoming the first Local Authority in the country to adopt a pro-renewables planning policy in its Unitary Development Plan (UDP).

Merton will now expect all new non-residential buildings larger than 1000 m sq to source at least 10% of predicted energy requirements from onsite renewables such as solar PV and solar thermal.

In approving the policy, the Government Inspector said that there was "unambiguous national and regional support for the approach adopted" by Merton. "It would be up to developers to demonstrate how the requirement would render a particular development unviable." The Inspector's findings have now been endorsed by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).

Jeremy Leggett, chief executive and chair of the Renewable Power Association (RPA) solar group said, "this is a truly significant if not historic development. Central Government has been saying for some time that it wants to use the planning system to encourage micro-renewables such as solar PV. Now that Merton has shown that such policies can be successfully and legally adopted, we look forward to others including the GLA, Croydon, Ealing, Leicester and North Devon following suit."

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