The Merton Rule Stays

Sometimes you feel that your work is worth while. Over the past few months I have written extensively opposing a leaked government proposal to abolish the Merton Rule, which requires councils to insist on a small percentage of on site energy generation as a condition of permitting new development. A number of periodicals have published my words, and my criticisms of the attempt to abolish the rule.


Many other people have added their voices and influences to my criticisms. Yvette Cooper, the Housing Minster who first ran the flag of likely abolition of the Merton Rule up the flag pole, has discovered that no one saluted it and has now written to Merton Council (who invented this much admired rule) to confirm that the rule will not be abolished.


It probably will not be as simple as relying on the Government’s assurance because Merton Council will be looking at the new Planning Policy Statement, when it is published, to see that the rule has not been watered down or rendered inapplicable by being hedged with exceptions.


We all live on one planet and watering down an already insufficient policy, or surrounding it with exceptions will not stop the climate changing and the effects of it, whether they are felt in Ethiopia or Great Yarmouth. I suppose it is a good day when you learn that a small piece of environmentally good policy will not be abolished but still a year when you realise that there is hardly anything else in place in the United Kingdom to augment it.