A review : current utilisation of environmental information to inform Local Development Plan preparation and delivery

Bonsor, H.C.. 2018 A review : current utilisation of environmental information to inform Local Development Plan preparation and delivery. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 12pp. (OR/18/040) (Unpublished)

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The use of environmental research and information to inform planning policy is essential for governments to be able to develop, and deliver, new spatial approaches to delivering key priorities for our future places: to be able deliver 50,000 homes by 2021 alongside better places[1]; to develop the infrastructure approaches required to reduce carbon emissions by 90 per cent by 2050[2], whilst at the same time developing high quality places and vibrant economies; and to increase the resilience of Scotland’s communities to environmental change [3,4,5]. Local Development Plans are the key spatial policies which will help deliver Scotland’s Energy strategy [3], Climate Change Plan [4], Economic Strategy and National Programme [5] over the next 10 years. Ensuring existing available evidence is utilised effectively to inform Scotland’s LDPs is, therefore, vitally important to the realisation of Scotland’s future people and places. However, there is increasing realisation from all parties that existing pieces of key national environmental evidence which could help inform early understanding of land supply attributes, development costs, risk and opportunities, are not utilised effectively, if at all, within the preparation of many LDPs [6] . This is despite information having being developed specifically to help inform these processes (e.g. BGS groundwater resource and vulnerability maps [7]), and significant past investment by individual organisations, the Rural Affairs, Food and Environment (RAFE) digital group, and Scottish Government to make information freely available from centralised web services [8,9]. The Planning (Scotland) Bill (2017) [10] and Scottish Governments position paper ‘People, Places, and Planning’, call that we find new ways to collaborate in planning to consolidate and improve evidence processes, and recognises the importance of earlier use of evidence in Local Development Plans (LDPs) to realise new multi-faceted approaches for the delivery of our future places [11]. The review was part of an in-depth three year Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowship led by BGS in Scotland focused on developing better understanding across key organisations as to how environmental information can be used more effectively to inform early spatial planning approaches and policies in LDP preparation. For example, what environmental information, and analytical pathways, are most appropriate and pertinent to informing earlier understanding of Housing Land Supply (HLS) attributes – this being seen as a key evidence gap required to inform LDP site allocations and knowledge of risks and opportunities, in advance of call for sites, and detailed site investigation information [12-15].

Item Type: Publication - Report
Funders/Sponsors: British Geological Survey, Glasgow City Council
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed, but not externally peer-reviewed.
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Groundwater management
Date made live: 20 Dec 2018 14:37 +0 (UTC)

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