hgh Associate Director Matthew Robinson shares how EIA, along with other environmental policy, is changing.
I’ll be factual, not poignant, and get to the point. These are the key changes to environmental policy proposed in the government’s Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP):
- Environmental Outcome Reports (EOR) – will replace EIA with a more “outcome-based” and “data-driven” approach that will “clarify and simplify” a process that has become too weighed-down by the threat of legal challenge.
- Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) – spatial strategies prepared by a “responsible authority” to reverse nature’s decline (to be linked to local development plans in secondary legislation).
- Green Infrastructure Framework (GIF) – a new tool from Natural England aimed at increasing the amount of greenspace in urban areas where it’s needed most.
- Air Quality Strategy (AQS) – giving local authorities more power to deliver ambitious air quality objectives and improvements.
- Land Use Framework (LUF) – to provide guidance on how to balance competing demands on land, including food production and adaptation to climate change.
Maybe a little bit of thoughtfulness. But not my own. The lack of clarity in the government’s proposals for EORs suggests they don’t really know how the new system is going to work. And I suspect it’ll be a long time before they do. But a balanced drive for environmental improvements is an absolute must.
So, here’s to hoping for some clarity of thought soon.
Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash