- Climate change is top priority of London Plan review. The Draft Further Alterations to the London Plan can be found via the Mayor of London's website. Formal public consultation on the Further Alterations will be from 25 September to 15 December 2006. GLA / London
- Rethink South East housing plans urges Friends of the Earth. Plans to build 578,000 new homes in the region over the next 20 years go will put even more pressure on the region's diminishing water resources. FoE
- "Action targeted at neighbourhoods makes people feel safer" - Audit Commission. Community safety partnerships "take too broad-brush an approach." Improved recording and analysis of anti-social behaviour "crucial to responding effectively to local concerns." Audit Commission / Community safety
- Government announce second phase of competition to challenge developers to deliver innovative low cost and low carbon housing. The first phase set design challenges for the '£60,000 homes'. The new phase will be run by English Partnerships on six new sites and will aim to create small scale eco-community developments rather than individual homes. Further details of the new competition will be announced this summer (2006).
- The government has also announced a new feasibility study which will explore the scope to make the Thames Gateway a low carbon development area within the next decade, and then to move towards carbon neutrality.
- This summer the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) are to jointly announce proposals to make new and existing buildings more water efficient by requiring the use of dual flush toilets, spray taps and efficient washing machines when they are constructed or refurbished. DCLG / Urban & village design, Drought in England and Wales
- First 'non-essential' drought order granted to Sutton and East Surrey Water. Defra / Drought in England and Wales
- Sustainble Schools Consultation launched. The consultation is viewed as a a framework for action for schools to become models of sustainable development in their communities, and the consultation itself aims to be climate neutral. Department for Education And Skills news release / Education
- Pair of giant green lungs for Greater London. Nearly 220 acres of new woodland are being created in London and Essex by a new multi-million pound Woodland Trust project. Award-winning writer, and Woodland Trust supporter, Bill Bryson is backing the new woodland creation within the Green Arc project: "This is a fantastic project. It makes hundreds of acres of woodland accessible to millions of people representing virtually every ethnicity on planet Earth and will engage young and old alike. The value of pieces of wilderness right on London’s doorstep, as irreplaceable refuges and habitats for thousands of species, simply should not be underestimated." Woodland Trust / Biodiversity
- The Academy for Sustainable Communities (ASC) unveils its action plan for delivering sustainable communities. As well as targeting young people and professionals, the academy will develop learning programmes for local communities. Peter Roberts, Chair of the ASC: "We also need to empower local people, raising aspirations to achieve sustainable communities and equipping them to influence the development of their own areas." DCLG
- Day of the fiftieth anniversary of the nation’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Countryside Agency
- Office of Fair Trading to refer grocery market to Competition Commission. Whilst welcoming the investigation, Friends of the Earth are concerned about the focus on low prices, and suggestions of increased deregulation in planning. OFT, FoE / Local needs met locally
- David Miliband appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Did you know David Miliband blogs? See www.davidmiliband.defra.gov.uk. Defra
- CPRE and the National Trust join forces to demand that the East of England Plan is 'greened'. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the Trust fear the plan poses major threats to the region's environment and heritage. CPRE has placed a full-page advertisement in the May issue of the National Trust's magazine, read by millions of Trust members, asking people to 'stand up and be counted' by giving their names quickly and easily. The petition is also available via the CPRE website.
- Margaret Beckett promises government to take a lead in helping consumers make choices which are more sustainable. Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett responds to report of the Sustainable Consumption Roundtable. Amongst current and planned government help, a new consumer-advice service delivering comprehensive advice is being developed. The Sustainable Consumption Roundtable report is available via the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) website. Defra, SDC / Green Purchasing