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SPECIAL Planners’ Summit ‘Taking Stock of Planning for Sustainable Energy’


Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 13:00 to 16:30


The Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess St, Manchester M1 6DD


Krista Patrick

07880 685221


Book your place

A CLASP and TCPA SPECIAL Planners’ Summit for local authorities, public bodies and their partners designed to explore the opportunities and challenges around planning for sustainable energy and what you can do.



At a time when local authorities are faced with unprecedented budget cutbacks, how can planners and others ensure that the move towards low carbon communities; carbon reduction targets; sustainable energy sources and community energy schemes can be instigated and delivered?


The SPECIAL Project

The TCPA-lead SPECIAL project (Spatial Planning and Energy for Communities In All Landscapes) focuses on the integration of spatial planning and sustainable energy policies and delivery at the local level. It provides for the exchange of good practice and practical solutions from eight EU countries through workshops, study visits, online resources, seminars and training materials. In the UK, the TCPA is working with several ‘multiplier’ organisations including CLASP.


About the Summit

This summit provides a unique opportunity for planners and elected members to hear and learn about practical solutions from the UK as well as Germany and Sweden and a presentation from the Award-winning Limburg region in Belgium on the transformation of an ex-mining area from a carbon economy to a green economy.


Booking Details

Places will be free of charge to local authorities officers and elected members from planning, environment and economic development teams as well as public bodies and their partners.



Draft Agenda


12.30 Lunch and Registration


13.00 Welcome and Introduction to the SPECIAL Project

Diane Smith, TCPA

  • Background to the Spatial Planning and Energy for Communities In All Landscapes (SPECIAL) project.
  • The principle of linking spatial planning and energy  - a priority in Europe to achieve the 20-20-20 targets.
  • How the training is being delivered  in England through ‘Multiplier’ organisations including DECC, CLASP, RTPI, APSE Energy, Hertfordshire CC, PUSH, Sustainability East.


13.10 Planning Context – Challenges and Opportunities. Lessons from Europe: Best Practice in Spatial Planning and Energy

Hugh Ellis, TCPA

  • Best practice case studies we have seen through the SPECIAL project across Europe.
  • Challenges and opportunities to achieving this in England.
  • How planners can make it happen in England.


13.30 Planning Policy Update

Peter Ellis, DCLG

  • An update on national planning policy for energy.
  • Opportunities available in the National Planning Policy Framework and National Planning Policy Guidance.
  • Future policy direction.


14.00 Discussion, Questions and Answer Session


14.15 Refreshment Break


14.30 Spatial Planning and Energy in Limburg, Belgium: transforming an ex industrial region - European Council of Town Planners (ECTP) SPECIAL Award Winner - illustrates best practice in planning and energy

Liesl Vanautgaerden, Project Manager, T.OP Limburg, Belgium

  • Overview of the project in Limburg, Belgium where spatial planning has been utilised to regenerate the area into a renewable energy producing region.
  • What planning techniques were used to achieve this.


15.00 Hertfordshire’s Building Futures Initiative – Sustainable Design Toolkit, Awards and Design Review Panel

Andrew Turner, Built Environment Project Officer, Hertfordshire County Council

  • Overview of the Sustainable Design Toolkit – an online tool for planners to integrate sustainable features into plans at different scales:
  • How this tool can be useful for other planners across the country.
  • How the Design Review Panel and their Building Futures Awards scheme works.
  • Case studies from the Award winners.


15.30 Workshop Session - What sort of SPECIAL support/training would be best?

Facilitated by Hugh Ellis and Andrew Turner                       

Updating planners resource pack, peer learning group, study tours, online modules etc


16.15 Feedback and Next Steps


16.30 Close