BE AWARE OF: THE UK SPATIAL PLANNING SYSTEM

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Planning is a crucial part of delivering the UK Government's policies on SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT and SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES. Indeed, the UK planning system is one of the main delivery agents that will allow us to make a positive difference to the problems of CLIMATE CHANGE and GLOBAL WARMING.

But how can a planning system that was first thought of in the 1930's and remained much the same since the first main Planning Act of 1948 allow for a crucial contribution to be made to the Global environment?

The implementation of the UK's Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 was not merely an incremental step forward in terms of changes to the UK’s planning system. It represented a step change – a ‘paradigm shift’ - in the UK’s planning culture and the importance of planning as a delivery tool for sustainable growth. It heralded the beginning of a SUSTAINABLE REVOLUTION in the UK.

SPATIAL PLANNING goes beyond traditional land use planning, in that it brings together and integrates policies for the development and use of land with other policies and programmes that influences developments and communities and how they function.

This is fundamentally different to the old system that looked at development considerations with a more narrow focus – only issues that were material to land use and development were assessed in determining planning applications and other factors were ignored.

We now have a much broader range of issues that can be considered under the planning system. Issues such as ENERGY USE & CONSERVATION, AIR QUALITY, CO2 EMISSIONS, RENEWABLE ENERGY, WATER CONSERVATION, BIODIVERSITY, QUALITY OF LIFE INDICATORS, HEALTH INDICATORS - as examples – are now considerations that can be material to the determination of a planning application, whereas before the 2004 Act they were not or at best only marginally relevant.

In addition, other policies, strategies and plans such as COMMUNITY STRATEGIES, HEALTH POLICY, and WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT PLANS are seen as an integrated part of the SPATIAL PLANNING SYSTEM, where before they were not.

THE NEW UK SPATIAL PLANS CLICK HERE for more about ENABLING PROJECTS

New style SPATIAL PLANS should:

  • Set a clear vision for the future pattern of development, which must be sustainable.
  • Consider the needs and problems of communities and relate these to the development of land.
  • Seek to integrate development and regeneration aims with other strategies and programmes.
This new planning system has as its core aim to achieve SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. These are two concepts that are complex and a planning system that can address the myriad of issues to be addressed is therefore needed.

Thus, the SPATIAL PLANNING SYSTEM is more environmentally ‘watertight’ than the previous approach to planning – that is, it brings together a complex matrix of social, physical and economic factors and assesses, monitors and reviews these into a truly comprehensive sustainable policy framework…. Hence, the SUSTAINABLE REVOLUTION is with us…

NEW PLANNING DELIVERY METHODS CLICK HERE for our SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
The Government's new LOCALISM BILL has SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT and EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES as core objectives.

Under the new system, UK Planning Authorities need to ensure that development plans are kept up to date, and they need to produce plans that are sustainable and deliverable.

The Localism Bill will create a new system for delivering planning policy at different levels, as follows:
  • AT GOVERNMENT LEVEL - The new National Planning Policy Framework will form an overarching framework for emerging planning policy at local level.

  • AT REGIONAL LEVEL: London will retain the London Plan.

  • AT LOCAL LEVEL: Local Development Frameworks (LDF’s) will contain a suite of development documents to guide all development so that it is community beneficial, sustainable and of the highest standards of design. These include a Statement of Community Involvement, Local Development Documents. Supplementary Planning Documents and site specific proposals. Neighbourhood Plans can be prepared at a very local level, by communities and businesses. In some areas, new Enterprise Zones will be designated.

FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES.. CLICK HERE for PLANNING CONSULTANCY SERVICES

The changes brought about by the introduction of the LOCALISM BILL are great and fundamental. At a stroke, existing regional guidance was made obsolete and replaced with the above mentioned policy framework.

We now have forward looking planning system that is focused on sustainable growth and community development, place shaping and creating high quality buildings and spaces.

BEST PRACTICE EXAMPLES.. CLICK HERE for PLANNING CONSULTANCY SERVICES

There is a huge amount on CLIMATE CHANGE that can be done at local level. The Planning System can (and will) make a major contribution as it has the advantage that LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORKS are made at local level, with much public consultation and community scrutiny.

Thus, together with other Council weapons in tackling climate change, UK wide sustainable planning policy and guidance on sustainable design and construction are being developed by Councils. There are already some excellent BEST PRACTICE EXAMPLES, which indicate just what will be happening in our communities in coming years:

  • READING BOROUGH COUNCIL requires residential developments to achieve the eco-homes very good standard and has set a renewables target of 15%.

  • The LONDON BOROUGH OF ENFIELD has specified water efficiency measures in new developments that has saved the borough more than 4 million litres of water in the first year alone.

  • SHROPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has reduced corporate emissions of carbon dioxide in its areas by around 40%

  • WOKING BOROUGH COUNCIL has reduced emissions by more than 70% compared to 1990 levels.

Local sustainable policy and action so far differs markedly from area to area - so there is a need for cohesion, coordination and integration between the new guidance across all Council areas. But this issue will be addressed as Council sustainable policy and guidance is developed UK wide. It is an exciting time for all those in the planning and property sectors!!!

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We hope that you enjoy our 'BE AWARE OF:' series of articles on Climate Change, Sustainable Development and the Spatial Planning System. The full list of BE AWARE OF: articles is:

CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE SUSTAINABLE REVOLUTION

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT & SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES: A DEFINITION

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: A MORE ACADEMIC DEFINITION

7 KEY CONCEPTS FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

THE UK SPATIAL PLANNING SYSTEM

NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR PLANNING APPLICATIONS

ENERGY, CO2 EMISSIONS & PLANNING APPLICATIONS

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION & PLANNING APPLICATIONS

DESIGN AND ACCESS STATEMENTS

Please also see our SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES

ENABLING PROJECTS is actively involved in applying SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT and SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES planning policy, through their wide range of planning and development work. We do hope that you will fully browse this website, possibly starting with the links below, and then CONTACT us for further in information.
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TRACK RECORD

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KEYWORD ZONE: Community, community organisations, community growth, sustainable community strategies, community sustainability, sustainable development, sustainable communities, sustainable construction, sustainable design, green design, planning guidance, design guidance, Local Development Framework, Regional Spatial Strategy, Spatial Planning, London Plan, GLA, local plan, development plan, Planning Act, PPS, PPG, RSS, LDF, community consultations, community participation, Statement of Community Involvement, development documents, carbon dioxide emissions, carbon nil developments, energy assessments, eco homes, eco homes assessments, design and access statements, planning statements, impact statements, planning application, planning permission, planning submissions, planning negotiations.

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