Laura Sharman 20 October 2008

New report paves the way for sustainability appraisal improvements

A new report published by the Sustainable Development Research Network (SDRN) has identified a number of key issues currently facing the practice of Sustainability Appraisal (SA) within the spatial planning process.

The report, researched and written by Land Use Consultants (LUC) and The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), has recommended that policy appraisal approaches need to be developed which play a more influential role within the spatial planning process. Although the report uncovered evidence of areas where SA recommendations are making a real difference to development plan policies, evidence was also found which suggests that recommendations are often ignored.

Jenny Crawford, Head of Research at the RTPI said:  “A key challenge must be to ensure that appraisal adds value to the plan-making process.”

Other key areas for improvement which were identified include a need to make the Sustainability Appraisal process more practitioner-friendly as well as a need for joint-working practices between spatial planning practitioners, other policy-makers and members of the research community. 

Katy Lock of LUC who managed the project said: “The potential of SA to make plans more sustainable needs to be realised – it is time they were treated more seriously.”

Helping to address the issues highlighted by the report, the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) has commissioned further research into the efficient and effective use of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and SA in spatial planning.

CLG Chief Planner, Steve Quartermain, said: “Sustainability Appraisal is integral to good plan-making, and is a fast developing area. SDRN's report provides a valuable contribution in this regard.  We have commissioned further research which aims to address some of the recommendations set out in the SDRN report, by helping to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of sustainability appraisal and strategic environmental assessment practice in spatial planning in England."

A full copy of the report is available from the SDRN website,
www.sd-research.org.uk.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Team Leader - Benefits

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£33,543 to £40,647 per annum
We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual to join our Pensions Shared Service as a Team Leader in our Benefits Team.  Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

School Based Social Worker

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£36,219 - £43,887 per annum
Would you like to use your skills in a school setting to make a real difference to the lives of children and young people in Wandsworth? Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Occupational Therapist

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£31,869 - £40,647
We are looking for registered and experienced Occupational Therapists to join our OT Service working... Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Clerk to School Governing Boards

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£31,869 per annum
Would you like the opportunity to help shape and influence the governing boards on constitutional matters, duties, and powers? Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Independent Travel Trainer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£29,250 per annum
Are you passionate about helping young people transition to independence, specifically through SEN Transport? Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue