New SDRN report on sustainability appraisal in spatial planning published

By SDRN on 16th October 2008

New SDRN report on sustainability appraisal in spatial planning published

A new SDRN report published today 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.

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.

CLG Chief Planner, Steve Quartermain, has said of the report: “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."

Download the full report. 

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