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lack of joined up planning

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Press release

Published in: Technology, Real Estate
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  • 1. Marketing & Communications,Birmingham City University, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2SUpress@bcu.ac.uk www.bcu.ac.uk 132/SA 22nd June 2011 National Ecosystems Assessment fails to join up planning says Professor A Birmingham City University Professor has questioned the current UK National Ecosystems Assessment, claiming it has fundamental flaws. Whilst welcoming the idea for a current assessment of the state of ecosystems and to identify the services and value arising them that benefit society, Alister Scott, a Professor in Spatial Planning at the School of Property, Construction and Planning, is finding major planning problems associated with the initiative. He said: “To be successful, the National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) needs to be operationalised across the plans and programmes of all government departments, particularly The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and the Department for Communities and Local Government CLG. The planning system is key here given its central role in shaping places and the environment. Yet it appears to be sailing its own course of reforms which makes it ill-prepared to engage with the NEA agenda.” The planning reforms are substantial and stem from the Localism Bill currently going through Parliament. Yet the impending National Planning Frameworks and Neighbourhood Plans currently make no reference as to how the ecosystems approach might be incorporated and might guide decision making. Professor Alister Scott is concerned at this lack of joined up planning. “Nature and ecosystems do not recognise boundaries; they require joined up planning. Yet we have a mishmash of government policy and initiatives; localism, will ensure that local authorities and their elected councillors look inwards to their populations rather than outwards to their wider environment. Local Enterprise Partnerships the principal tool for economic development scarcely have any environmental remit or representation which again presents a piecemeal approach to development. Neighbourhood plans will
  • 2. not be considering wider environmental linkages. The NEA highlights an urgent need toplan at a landscape or ecosystem scale through collaboration with all interested groups.Yet where in the planning system is there any mechanism to do this,” he concluded.Professor Scott is currently funded by the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme(Relu) to look at how we can improve management of the rural urban-fringe. Thisrepresents a neglected space where there is an urgent need for more collaborative andjoined up approaches to planning to help maximise opportunities.In 2008 the School of Property, Construction and Planning at Birmingham City Universitycelebrated 50 years of planning education. It boasts professional accreditation for all ofits courses by at least one of these professional bodies: the Royal Institution ofChartered Surveyors, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Chartered Institute ofBuilding.Birmingham City University is running a major awareness campaign in theMidlands to demonstrate how it is upgrading the future of individuals andcompanies. Find out more at www.bcu.ac.ukEndsNotes to editors: • The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (Relu) aims to advance understanding of the countryside and rural economies and the challenges they face. Interdisciplinary research is being funded from 2004-2011 in order to inform future policy and practice with choices on how to manage the countryside and rural economies. http://www.relu.ac.uk/Issued by Birmingham City University Press Office.Tel: 0121 331 6738Email press@bcu.ac.ukOut-of-hours: 07968 723063

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