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Integrating River Basin Management Plans with the planning system

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Integrating River Basin Management Plans with the planning system

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Presentation by Alaine Clarke MIPI Physical Planner

Objectives:
Appreciate existing linkages between catchment management and the planning system
Recognise that the planning system is a key tool to implementation of River Basin Management Plans
Understand what is needed to deliver a water-friendly planning system

Structure of presentation:
Policy Context
Legislative context as it relates to planning & RBMPs
What guidance is out there?
Existing RBMPs + interaction with planning system
Developing appropriate & measurable policies
Next cycle of RBMPs

Presentation by Alaine Clarke MIPI Physical Planner

Objectives:
Appreciate existing linkages between catchment management and the planning system
Recognise that the planning system is a key tool to implementation of River Basin Management Plans
Understand what is needed to deliver a water-friendly planning system

Structure of presentation:
Policy Context
Legislative context as it relates to planning & RBMPs
What guidance is out there?
Existing RBMPs + interaction with planning system
Developing appropriate & measurable policies
Next cycle of RBMPs

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Integrating River Basin Management Plans with the planning system

  1. 1. Integrating River Basin Management Plans with the Planning System Alaine Clarke MIPI Physical Planner EPA March 2015
  2. 2. Objective  Appreciate existing linkages between catchment management and the planning system  Recognise that the planning system is a key tool to implementation of RBMPs  Understand what is needed to deliver a water-friendly planning system  Get feedback!
  3. 3. Structure of presentation  Policy Context  Legislative context as it relates to planning & RBMPs  What guidance is out there?  Existing RBMPs + interaction with planning system  Developing appropriate & measurable policies  Next cycle of RBMPs
  4. 4. Why do we need sync planning & catchment management? No water. No life. No blue. No green. Sylvia Earle  Risk of not doing?  Impact on water resources & aquatic health;  Constraints on new development due to lack of water supply and waste water treatment capacity;  Missed opportunities for cost-saving;  Increased flood risk;  Poorer quality environments in which we live;  Impact on our health and well-being.
  5. 5. A water-friendly planning system  What is a water-friendly planning system?  Do we have one?  How can we deliver one?  Water is seen as a constraint or a challenge to development The planning system has a key role to play in delivering the requirements of the WFD through its influence on location, layout and design of new development. Planning authorities are ideally placed to address pressures on the water environment associated with land-use.
  6. 6. How does the Planning System Work?  3-pronged approach: Forward Planning Development Management Enforcement
  7. 7. Policy Framework National Spatial Strategy Regional Planning Guidelines City/County Development Plans Local Area Plans Local Economic and Community Plan National Planning Framework Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies
  8. 8. Linking Water Policy to Development
  9. 9. Spatial Scale Planning Advice for Integrated Water Management, University of Cambridge
  10. 10. Legislative Context: General  Public authorities must (S.I. 722 of 2003):  exercise its functions ……..which achieves or promotes compliance with the requirements of the Directive  take such actions …….secure compliance with the Directive, RBMP and POMs i.e. responsibility of planning authorities to ensure that future development does not negatively impact on the achievement of WFD objectives and to implement measures where necessary.
  11. 11. Forward Planning (1)  Legislative Context…  Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 includes an important provision in support of the WFD: a mandatory objective (of development plans ) requires local authorities to integrate water management with planning policies and objectives in preparing their development plans….
  12. 12. Legislative Context A development plan shall include an objective for: “the promotion of compliance with environmental standards and objectives established— for bodies of surface water, by the European Communities (Surface Waters) Regulations 2009; for groundwater, by the European Communities (Groundwater) Regulations 2010; which standards and objectives are included in river basin management plans (within the meaning of Regulation 13 of the European Communities (Water Policy) Regulations 2003
  13. 13. Legislative Context  Complex to understand!  The effect of this explicit new linking provision is that the policies and objectives of all development plans must be specifically aligned with the applicable RBMP.  As a result, development plans are now in effect required to be key agents for achieving WFD objectives.
  14. 14. How do we align RBMPs and DPs?  First need to understand the RBMP objectives  The RBMPs establish the following core environmental objectives to be achieved generally by 2015 and beyond:  prevent deterioration in status;  restore good status;  reduce chemical pollution;  achieve water related protected areas objectives.  Future land-use plans should ensure that they contribute to achieving these environmental objectives and other relevant objectives in RBMPs.
  15. 15.  Water Services Strategic Plan  Has to be consistent with RBMPs, NSS & Regional Planning Guidelines  Development plans have to have regard to WSSP and provision of infrastructure  Linking provision of infrastructure to WSSP  getting the right type and quality of development, in the right place and at the right time How do we align RBMPs and DPs?
  16. 16. Use full range of DP Objectives  Supplementary objectives (Planning Act) should be assessed against RBMP objectives e.g. Regulating, restricting and controlling:  the development of coastal areas and development in the vicinity of inland waterways;  development in order to reduce the risk of serious danger to human health or the environment;  the exploitation of natural resources;  development on the foreshore, or any part of the foreshore;  Protecting and preserving the quality of the environment, including the prevention, limitation, elimination, abatement or reduction of environmental pollution and the protection of waters, groundwater, the seashore and the atmosphere.
  17. 17. What Guidance is out there?  Nationally, not a lot!  Waiting on DECLG guidance which is due to be published as an Appendix to the revised DP Guidelines: How to improve integration of RBMPs and DP’s.
  18. 18. Existing RBMPs & Planning  Has been a ‘disconnect’ between the implementation of RBMPs and DPs. The objectives in the RBMPs have not always translated coherently into DPs.  Reference to integration through the SEA process in RBMPs.  ‘Development Plan Guidance on the Water Environment’ – SEPA, February 2015 – very useful re SEA process Source: Register of Plans and Programmes Background Document to the River Basin Management Plans Development Management, December 2008
  19. 19. SEA, HDA + Evidence-based Planning  RBMP process can provide a robust evidence base to help the key planning stages of spatial planning, including informing alternative scenarios.  Evidence base for preparing DPs can also be facilitated through SEA & (Habitats Directive Assessment) HDA.  SEA should consider the effects of policies on the water environment.
  20. 20. Evidence-based Planning & DP  Baseline information…e.g. wfdireland.ie; gis.epa.ie/envision; edenireland.ie  local water body status, risk scores, objectives and measures  Water management unit action plans  Groundwater vulnerability, GW Protection Areas etc (GSI https://www.gsi.ie/Mapping.htm)  Annual environmental reports (AERs)?  (Emerging) Water Safety Plans  Wetlands inventory..?  Consultation with key stakeholders: critical to a well-informed plan
  21. 21. Appropriate DP Policies, e.g  Conserve, enhance and give access to watercourses and riverside habitats;  Encourage development proposals to improve the water environment, e.g. restoring ‘natural’ watercourses through the removal of culverts;  Protect sensitive locations, e.g. wetland habitat and drinking water supplies;  Seek upgrades to local water infrastructure (water supply, wastewater sewerage and treatment, flood risk mgt, sustainable drainage and green/blue infrastructure)  Support an integrated and collaborative approach to local catchment management  Restrict exempted development in sensitive locations?
  22. 22. Statement to accompany DPs  The written statement of the development plan is required to include a separate statement which shows that the development objectives are consistent with the conservation and protection of the environment. S 10(1D)  Statement should address the environmental objectives as set out in the RBMPs. The SEA process should facilitate the drafting of such a statement.
  23. 23. Development Management(2)  Encourage the incorporation of sustainable drainage systems into new developments;  Where required, applications to be accompanied by a water management statement which identifies water cycle issues and the means of addressing these;  Relies on Development Plan policy;  Use of environmental assessments for schemes where local evidence shows there might be significant impacts on water bodies.
  24. 24. Development Management (cont)  Environmental Assessments, e.g.  Habitats Directive Assessments  Environmental Impact Assessment  WFD Assessment (NIEA 2012)
  25. 25. Enforcement  Resource intensive  Costly  Time intensive  Measurable compliance procedures would be beneficial, & linked to SEA objectives to help secure implementation
  26. 26. Next cycle of RBMPs  Engage with planning authorities in contributing to the next cycle  Questions arising:  what are the RBMP outputs and how can they be used to inform land-use and spatial planning?  Will the POMs be sufficiently detailed to be of value to the planning system?  What are the potential risks of various potential forms and patterns of development to achieving water objectives?  Support Tools should help in the day-day management of development control and in forward planning through evidence based planning.
  27. 27. Summary  Room for improvement across all levels and sectors of planning;  WFD and Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) needs to be imbedded at a national and regional scale – statutory context;  Through the new ‘National Planning Framework’ & ‘Regional Spatial & Economic Strategies’;  These will influence County Development Plans and Local Area Plans and development management;  Need robust objectives and measurable compliance measures;  Scientific evidence needed to support policy!
  28. 28. TAKE HOME MESSAGE!  Increase awareness of Catchment Managers of the planning system and how it can influence catchment management  Increase awareness of the Planner of catchment management and its integration with the planning system  Land-use planning and RBM planning needs to develop and deliver hand in hand Image curtsey of Emma Quinlan, EPA

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