A leading climate adviser has used the controversial coal mine plans in Cumbria as an example of a development 'we manifestly can't have'.

Lord Deben said authorities must think about everything they do through the prism of climate change, such as not building in areas where everyone would have to commute by car, or saving energy by not installing lights.

He pointed to Cumbria County Council, which had to make a decision on the new Copeland coal mine plans which are currently the subject of a public inquiry.

"It's not fair to put the local authority into a position where it doesn't have the statutory backing with a proper planning bill which covers that and the informational backing," he said.

"We've got to be radical and very direct because we don't have any time.

"We need a planning act which fully represents the facts that we are signed up to net zero internationally and nationally, otherwise we're not going to do it."

Local councils should not approve large housing developments in villages or put street lights in rural areas where people could use a torch, Lord Deben said.

Councils 'must be looking at everything they do, their waste collection, road building, so they are thinking all the time, 'what is the climate change issue here, what do we have to do to make our contribution to net zero'', he said.

Giving evidence to Parliament's Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee (HCLG), the chairman of the independent advisory Climate Change Committee, warned: "The pressures to urbanise the countryside are largely antagonistic to dealing with climate change."

He said streetlighting in rural areas is unnecessary, adding: "When people move into the countryside you just have to say to them, 'this is not the town, we do not have street lighting in this village, you have a torch, that's just how we do it'."

But streetlighting is important in towns where it can make people feel safer and more likely to walk, he said.

Lord Deben also told the committee it is nonsense to allow the building of hundreds of homes in a village where most people commute to work by car, urging councils to focus on building in cities or towns, or near railway stations.

"You've got to plan your future around hubs so that people can get to work on their feet or a bicycle, not by car."

Lord Deben told the committee that central government must work in partnership with local authorities to deliver on the UK's targets to cut emissions to zero overall by 2050."