Submission to the Public Inquiry on the 2018 York Local Plan
Geoff Beacon, July 2018
2.5 To ensure a continuous supply of housing opportunities throughout the plan period sustainable sites should be brought forward. By the end of the plan period sufficient sites will have been identified for viable and deliverable housing sites with good access to services and public transport to meet the housing needs of the current population and the future population linked to the city’s economic growth ambitions. This will require the provision of sufficient land for 867 790 dwellings per annum and will include substantial areas of land for ‘garden village’ development delivering exemplar new sustainable communities at Land West of Wigginton Road, Land East of Metcalfe Lane and Land West of Elvington Lane, along with major sustainable urban extensions such as British Sugar and York Central. In addition, the plan will optimise the delivery of affordable housing to meet identified need subject to not compromising viability of development sites; and address the needs of specific groups.
On Tuesday I attended a hearing of the York Local Plan Inquiry. I had a seat with my name on the table in front of it. I had been given a place at the first session to talk about climate change. I arrived in the morning ready to point to the effects the Local Plan would have on the climate emergency. I sat through the morning session waiting for the Inspectors’ topic on climate change.
1.8 Does the Plan include policies designed to secure that the development and use of land in the local planning authority’s area contribute to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change?
I was informed in the lunch break that I would not be able to speak. Apparently, in my submissions, I had not addressed the relevant questions properly. Irritated and a bit emotional, I left the Inquiry. I can be seen on the video of the session mouthing “I’ve been banned”.
For a decade and more, I’ve been worried that the climate computer had missing feedbacks that made them underestimate the seriousness of climate change [See comments by John Mitchell and Peter Wadhams here]. Three of the missing feedbacks were increased forest fires, melting permafrost emissions, increased decomposition of wetlands.
Last Saturday, in the middle of the night, I was listening to Business Matters on the BBC World Service. At 18.30 minutes into the programme, there is a piece on the Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN. She said:
We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.
People must use less transport, eat less red meat and buy fewer clothes if the UK is to virtually halt greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
Sir Ian warned that persuasive political leadership was needed to carry the public through the challenge. One aspect of such leadership would be to inform the public about the severity climate change and the big lifestyle changes ‘needed to cut emissions’. [Note: Public campaigns]