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Posted by: Cain Blythe - CEnv MIEMA MCIEEM MSc BSc (Hons) on 30/09/2013

The RSPB, the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environment Management and the Royal Town Planning Institute have published a report highlighting the importance of spatial planning and offering recommendations in order to ensure that development is sustainable and enhances the natural environment.

The report resulted in 12 principles created to highlight effective planning and to minimise damage to the environment-

 

  • Planning should be focused on the long term- It is not just about regulation but also about considering the benefits of a project to the local area and local ecological networks, such as connectivity between green spaces.
  • Plans need to focus on any issues that affect the area, regardless of whether it is social, environmental or economic.
  • Plans need to consider the wider area beyond the initial plan- This is both in terms of the physical environment/habitat types such as moorlands and forests as well as boundaries in terms of counties and countries. Wide connectivity and green infrastructure is a core principle.
  • Plans should contribute to sustainable development- It is not just about the site itself and associated species, but enhancing the wider local area if possible.
  • Plans need to be based on up to date evidence.
  • Plans need to be properly assessed and the results used to improve the plan and  minimise any negative environmental impact.
  • Alternative options need to be considered and the reasons for rejected options need to be made public.
  • Public participation is essential and needs to be inclusive, regardless of whether they are community groups or any other interested parties.
  • Decision making needs to be transparent and democratically accountable.
  • Anyone who is adversely affected by a planning decision ought to be able to challenge it.
  • Public authorities need to have the legal power to enforce planning laws especially with regard to illegal development.
  • Plans should be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.

 

These 12 principles have all been created with the idea that any environmental spaces that are being developed are sustainable and provide a positive enhancement to the local area and healthier places to live in the long term. This does not mean preventing growth or economic progress but in assessing the impact a project may have and to reduce environmental damage as much as possible, to create developments that can offer the best long term benefits for the most people. Green infrastructure and consideration to local ecological networks aims to provide higher quality habitat for wildlife and enhance spaces for communities. 

Further reading: http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/571037/planningnaturally_tcm9-349413.pdf


Categories: Ecological Consulting
Tags: ecological consultancy | Ecological Consultant | Green Infrastructure | human health | Nature and Planning
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