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Special - Spatial Planning and Energy for Communities in All Landscapes Town and Country Planning Association European Union

Project Partners

Town and Country Planning Association


Founded in 1899, the TCPA is Britain’s oldest charity concerned with planning, housing and the environment and is lead partner of the SPECIAL project.

The TCPA's recent activities have concentrated on the impact of climate change on existing and future communities including the processes needed to institutionalise adaptation measures and energy provision within the planning process to provide sustainable solutions which will ensure environmental and social benefits for future generations.

The TCPA promotes sustainable development, social justice, environmental sustainability, and economic competitiveness by campaigning to reform the UK’s planning system. Its supporters are drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors and it is an influential voice with all three sectors.

The TCPA has ten years experience of managing European projects, including the INTERREGIVC GRaBS project completed in August 2011 (www.grabs-eu.org) and the IEE LEAP project, due to be completed in November 2013 (www.leap-eu.org). In addition the TCPA lead on the INTERREGIIB NEW APANGO project completed in 2007 (www.apango.eu).

Project Objectives

The TCPA is lead partner of the SPECIAL project with overall responsibility for the timely delivery of the project to budget.

The TCPA will seek to build it's own internal capacity in sustainable energy and planning skills before developing bespoke training modules for its identified multiplier organisations.


All of the SPECIAL partners have identified 'multiplier' organisations who they will develop bespoke training for. The TCPA's include:


Professional institute for professional town planners and associated professional. It is the accrediting  body for UK planners


Partnership dedicated to delivering sustainable, economic-led growth and regeneration in South Hampshire

Sustainability East

Social enterprise that is the focal point for collaborative activity on sustainability in the East of England.


Support service for North-West England public sector and local authority.

PAS (Planning Advisory Service)

Funded by the DCLG, PAS provides support for local authorities to understand planning reform.

HM Government Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

DECC is a government department responsible for ensuring that the UK has secure, affordable and clean energy supplies.  DECC is also responsible for promoting international activity to mitigate the effects of climate change                              

Association for Public Service Excellence - Energy     

APSE is a not-for-profit membership based organisation dedicated to promoting excellence in the delivery of frontline services to local communities. The APSE facilitated Local Authority Energy Collaboration involves a group of local authorities who are looking to work in collaboration to facilitate the local municipalisation of energy services                                                                                                                                            

Hertfordshire County Council                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Hertfordshire County Council is the local authority for the non-metropolitan county of Hertfordshire.  

TCPA New Communities Group

The New Communities Group (NCG) was set up in 2009 by the TCPA. The group consists of local authorities, key delivery bodies and other groups bringing forward large-scale sustainable developments of different models; from Garden City inspired new towns and villages to urban regeneration and extension schemes. The group helps to develop their proposals, embed ambitious sustainability standards and encourage a sharing of knowledge and best practice between the different sites. Together the group is providing innovative local leadership for plans delivering in the region of 55,000 homes                                    

TCPA Trustees      

The elected Board of Trustees is legally responsible for managing the TCPA and directing its policy and strategy objectives. The Board meets regularly to carry out its responsibilities with advice from the non-executive Policy Council.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

TCPA Planning and Climate Change Coalition         

The Planning & Climate Change Coalition, was brought together by Friends of the Earth and the TCPA, and includes over 60 cross-sector organisations and individuals. The aim of the Coalition is to build a consensus amongst a wide range of stakeholders on the benefits of guidance on planning for climate change, working with local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and communities. The Coalition has no core funding and no political or corporate affiliations.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Latest News

Dec 2014
We must act immediately to save our communities from the catastrophic threat of climate change

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the TCPA spoke at Planning Magazine's Planning for Energy and Environment Conference on 2 December

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Sep 2014
How can councils release the economic benefits of renewable energy?

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Aug 2013
Committee calls for greater government support for local energy projects

Leading planning charity, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) has welcomed the Energy and Climate Change Committee’s report today calling for greater Government support for local energy projects.

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Jul 2013
Government offers certainty for zero carbon transition

Leading housing and planning charity, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) welcomes the announcement by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Baroness Hanham, today on the Government’s proposals to consult next on step towards zero carbon homes which ‘will contribute to national emission reduction targets and help to lower people’s fuel bills’

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Jul 2013
Government guidance underplays renewable energy

The UK Government’s publication of new planning guidance on renewable energy underplays both the global environmental imperative of low carbon technology and the local economic and social benefits of community-led renewable energy projects.

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Jun 2013
Wind power vital to UK energy security, economy and environment

The Government's decision to change planning guidance to allow for a local veto of onshore wind could have a profound impact on the environment and our economy, warns leading planning charity the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA).

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Apr 2013
Energising Europe’s planners: New European energy project springs into action

Town Planning Associations (TPAs) from across the European Union will meet this week in London for the first time for the launch of a new IEE (Intelligent Energy Europe) funded project, SPECIAL.

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Mar 2013
Powering the future:  New European project to build UK planners’ renewable energy skills

Leading housing and planning charity, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) is about to begin its most ambitious European project to date. SPECIAL (Spatial Planning & Energy for Communities in All Landscapes) will seek to build the capacity of planners and other built environment professionals in delivering local renewable energy solutions over the next three years.

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Contact Details

Isobel Bruun Kiaer
European and Projects Officer
+44 (0)207 9308903