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Town planners back Merton Rule

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has backed the Merton Rule in the wake of rumours the Government will abandon or water down the rule. The planning organisation feels the rule should be strengthened. Rynd Smith, RTPI director of policy and communications, said: “The RTPI strongly supports both the principle of reducing CO2 emissions and the principle of using local planning policy innovations to achieve this end. “We believe these principles need to be supported and strengthened in the forthcoming Planning Policy Statement on Climate Change. The Merton Rule is an innovative piece of local policy which shows how planning can make an important contribution to tackling climate change. “There is a role for the Merton Rule’s objectives to be taken up by national policy, but this should not prevent ongoing innovation at a local level.” The ‘Merton rule’ as it has become known is a type of local policy that requires developers to ensure at least 10 per cent of all energy production for new development comes from renewable energy, generated on site. Currently 150 local authorities are signed up to the Merton Rule.