Aggregated in The Brummie today, Alan Clawley’s article in the Birmingham Press gives several pointers to Waheed Nazir, the council’s ‘Director of Planning and Regeneration’. In Clawley’s view: 

  • the desire for growth has to be balanced against the need to create a just and fair society whose weakest members are not exploited by the most powerful;
  • the creation of 50,600 new homes in Birmingham would have a big impact on the environment. Large amounts of energy would be used in the construction process;
  • if they used land that was currently vacant there would be a loss of open space;
  • if they used land cleared of council housing there would be a lowering of density. Unless dwellings were near to where their occupants worked, went to school and shopped they would increase the need for travel in the city;
  • unless the new homes were zero-carbon, they would increase energy use in the city. Whilst the city’s existing homes were a long way from meeting such a standard it made only a marginal impact to require new ones to do so;
  • re the City’s support for the expansion of the Airport: air travel is extremely damaging to the environment; the policy does not ‘balance growth with environment’ but favours growth at the expense of environment. 

Alan Clawley’s final comment was that making use of existing buildings was an excellent way of conserving energy and should not be restricted to places like the Custard Factory but should apply to all buildings, including the Central Library and the NatWest Tower in Colmore Row. 

Would James Delingpole – or Martin Durkin – describe this advice as ‘green zealotry’?

Sounds like good commonsense to this reader.