The green agenda

Between airport capacity and simpler planning laws, we can expect a lot more hoo-ha in the green agenda, following George Osborne’s new measures to jump-start the economy.

Moves to streamline the planning laws will either encourage councils to target the green belt or reverse the ludicrous situation where it takes years to get planning decisions, depending on your political and economic persuasion.

The Tories seem set to reverse their opposition to a third Heathrow runway in their next manifesto,in fact from our own monitoring of the debate in the last few days, the residents near the flight path will lose their battle, and Zak Goldsmith will lose his Richmond seat.

Meanwhile, London 2012 was heralded the greenest games everfor the way it managed energy, water and waste management, but could have made more use of renewable energy and a more eco-friendly torch relay, according to Shaun McCarthy, the sustainable business advocate.

Can Shaun’s motivational words be applied to the aviation and planning dilemmas? Can British design ingenuity come to the rescue? Airplane technology is already making planes more fuel efficient and reducing the noise pollution during take-off and landing. Heathrow residents locals seem most exercised about noise levels, surely the answer is to invest in much quieter planes and sell the technology to the rest of the world, to boost UK PLC?