Presentation on theme: "Planning for a Natural and Healthy Environment - Whither PPG17? Kit Campbell Kit Campbell Associates, Edinburgh."— Presentation transcript:
Planning for a Natural and Healthy Environment - Whither PPG17? Kit Campbell Kit Campbell Associates, Edinburgh
Planning for a Natural and Healthy Environment n Streamlining of national guidance –PPS7, Sustainable Development in Rural Areas (landscape protection, soil, agricultural land quality and forestry) –PPS9, Biodiversity and Geological Conservation –PPG17, Open Space Sport and Recreation –PPG20, Coastal Planning (coastal access, heritage coast and undeveloped coast) n Introduction of national policy on GI n Amended policy stance on floodlighting
PPG17 n No overt change to policy other than floodlighting and encouragement for co-location of facilities n LPAs should still undertake… assessments and audits n Local standards remain But there are some important changes … n Cross-boundary working n Keeping assessments and audits up to date n GI added in to local assessments n Local standards stance apparently softened slightly n No mention of open space strategy linked to SCS n Bolting on GI to existing policies isn’t as simple as it might seem
Issues n First impressions? n Objectives? n Balance? n Definition of GI? n Scope of GI? n The planning cascade? n GI strategies? n PPG17 assessments? n Open space strategies? n A Charter for NIMBYs and lawyers? n The new Government?
First Impressions n Disconnect between Policy Discussion and Policy – eg no mention of health in policy n Lack of clarity over GI n Silo-based – lacks holistic vision n Inconsistencies n Lacks ambition – stated overall aim is “no net loss of biodiversity” n Why not include climate change policy as well? n Several references to planning obligations appear to contradict the guidance on CIL
Objectives n Conserve and enhance the natural environment n Minimise vulnerability to climate change n Deliver safe and attractive places to live … access to high quality spaces, GI and sports, recreation and play spaces and facilities n Provide recreational opportunities in rural and coastal areas Note the order … people come 3 rd and 4 th
Balance n Biodiversity driven; people low priority? n Should appeal to the biodiversity part of NE - but little on landscape n Health seems to relate to the environment, not people n Fairly negative: 3+ pages on policy, 5+ on development management - or is it control? (avoid, refuse, mitigate, protect)
Definition of GI n “… there are subtle differences between planning for OS and planning for GI” n GI is a strategic network of MFGS, both new and existing, both rural and urban, which supports natural and ecological processes and is integral to the health and quality of life in sustainable communities (NE definition) n PPS objectives: “access to high quality open spaces, GI and sports, recreational and play spaces and facilities” n Confusing references to “open space or GI”
GI – An Alternative Definition The planned incorporation and harnessing of natural systems and processes in order to make new and existing settlements and the countryside more environmentally and financially sustainable than they would be if they continued to rely only on traditional infrastructure
GI Systems and Processes - Examples n Reducing rainwater run-off n Flood storage n SUDS n Carbon capture/air quality n Shade and micro-climate n Biodiversity and habitats n Food production n Fuel production n Water power
Scope of GI n PPG17 typology n + Green roofs and walls n + Back gardens n Potential significant implications
The Planning Cascade n Regional planning to address GI issues in regional strategy n LPAs to “build on” regional work and set out a strategic approach to creation, protection and management of GI in the LDF n But if there are no regional spatial strategies …
GI Strategies n LPAs must “take a strategic and big picture approach” n No requirement for a GI strategy: “information already collected for PPG17 open space strategies can be used at regional, sub-regional and local level to develop the evidence base for GI delivery” n RSS, NE, LI and other guidance
PPG17 Assessments n NE1.3(i): Assessments of need should include GI n NE1.3(ii): audits should cover quantity, quality, accessibility, typology and location
GS Strategies n Not mentioned – unlike PPG17 n Relationship to GI strategies (if any)?
A Charter for NIMBYs and Lawyers? n “Surplus” OS – “consideration should be given to all the functions that OS can perform” n GI introduces additional functions over and above PPG17 n If significant harm to biodiversity cannot be mitigated or compensated for, permission should be refused n Various expectations of LPAs
The New Government n Open Source Planning (Tory paper) n Modern Conservatism: Our Quality of Life Agenda (Tory paper) n Partnership for Government (Coalition paper)
Open Source Planning n Planning is in a mess n Piecemeal reform is not enough n New system to be based on civic engagement and collaborative democracy n Neighbourhoods to specify what they want n Bottom up local plans
Quality of Life Agenda n Bottom up is good; top down is very bad n Green is good (Tory logo is a tree!) n Parks are good n Biodiversity is good n Safer neighbourhoods are good n Tariffs are good; CIL is bad
Partnership for Government n Rapidly abolish RSS n Longer term, radically reform the planning system based on Open Source Planning n Simple and consolidated national planning framework n New powers to help communities save local facilities.. threatened with closure n Jings … another redisorganisation of planning!
The Future? n The greenspace agenda is here to stay n The GI agenda is here to stay n The health agenda is here to stay n The biodiversity agenda is here to stay n Planning will have to respond better to local communities n Communities want to protect greenspaces n But as for the PPS …