Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Council chief ponders role of energy rule

The head of planning at the Home Builders Federation (HBF) questioned whether the Merton Rule was now “obsolete” at a conference organised to look at its impact.

Andrew Whitaker said the demand for at least 10 per cent of energy needs being met by onsite renewables was no longer needed since “we are now moving towards a zero-carbon nation or society”.

Ray Morgan, key speaker and chief executive of Woking borough council, said being too focused on the details of the Merton Rule missed its real impact: “It is about allowing local authorities to set targets. It is about being flexible about what works in each area.”

Chris Twinn, director of sustainability at Arup, said forcing developers to think about renewables prepared the ground for achieving the higher levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes and changing attitudes to energy provision. “Energy will no longer be something you can get just by going to the gas company and demanding they connect you,” he said.