Workshop Report by fionan


									Linking Climate Change and the WFD with Spatial Planning Workshop, London, 1 March 2005

Linking Climate Change and the WFD with Spatial Planning

Workshop Report
MBW Exchange, Oxford Street, London 1 March 2005
This report reviews the presentations1 and subsequent discussions at the Linking Climate Change and Water Framework Directive with Spatial Planning Workshop held in London on 1 March 2005. For ease, the key issues are summarised at the front of the document. The route maps developed by the working groups, establishing a series of concrete actions necessary for influencing the Water Framework Directive and spatial planning processes and included at the end of the document. The first route map is specific to the South East Plan. The second considers more generic objectives. The workshop agenda and the names and contact details of attendees are included in Annexes I and II respectively. For more information on the workshop or next steps, contact Molly Anderson on: Tel: 01454 205569, or by Email at:

The workshop was organised by the Environment Agency to consider the implications of the WFD and climate scenarios for regional spatial planning. The event is part of the delivery of the European Spatial Planning And Climate Events (ESPACE) project that, in part, is seeking to influence the development of the South East Plan. However, the workshop has relevance for other regions as they develop their Regional Spatial Strategies and builds on the successful planning workshop organised by the Environment Agency in January 2004 (workshop report available on request). The workshop programme was designed to identify opportunities in the spatial and WFD planning processes to promote integrated approaches to land management, water resources, flooding and biodiversity in the context of climate change. The day included a mixture of presentations and working groups to: 1. 2. 3. 4. Clarify the requirements of the WFD Understand the implications of the WFD for spatial planning Establish the status of related pilot projects and research Review draft policies on water efficiency, water quality, flood risk and biodiversity and assess whether they are fit for purpose 5. Analyse where there are gaps in policy or background information

The presentations are available to Agency staff via the Climate Change Channel on the Easinet and to external participants on request.


Linking Climate Change and the WFD with Spatial Planning Workshop, London, 1 March 2005

6. Make specific recommendations for the SE Plan and general recommendations for the development of Regional Spatial Strategies Attendance at the workshop included Environment Agency functional staff, experts on climate change and the WFD and planners. In addition, there were representatives from Defra, the ODPM, Government Offices, NAW and the Regional Assemblies.

Glossary of terms
ESPACE – European Spatial Planning Adaption to Climate Events (InterReg project) RSS – Regional Spatial Strategy PPS – Planning Policy Statement RPG – Regional Planning Guidance LDF – Local Development Framework LDD – Local Development Document SPD – Supplementary planning document RSDF – Regional Sustainable Development Framework SEA – Strategic Environmental Assessment SA – Sustainability Appraisal LPA – Local Planning Authority LA – Local Authority IFM – Indicative flood maps WFD – Water Framework Directive POMs – Policies and measures GES – Good ecological status RB – River Basin RBMPs – River Basin Management Plans CFMPs – Catchment Flood Management Plans CAMs – Catchment Abstraction Management Plans SMPs – Shoreline Flood Management Plans ICZM – Inter-coastal zone management

Key issues
Getting CC into the WFD: there needs to be recognition at EU level of the significance of climate change for implementation. We need to track the progress of the EU working group that has been established. In addition, CC needs to be included in the RB planning guidance being developed by Defra and the RB characterisation process. CC impacts: are likely to affect reference conditions and definitions of environmental quality. Direct and in-direct climate change impacts will affect the ability of water bodies to achieve GES (e.g. by changing their geomorphology, the levels of point source and diffuse pollution etc.) Climate change may also affect the efficacy of current monitoring protocols. A better understanding of the relationship between these impacts and environmental responses is needed.


Key issues (cont.)
The enormity of the task: implementation of the WFD is a major undertaking. There is a resistance to considering CC issues due to the need to meet ambitious implementation deadlines by 2015. One way to tackle this is to apply a CC sensitivity analysis to the draft RBMPs to identify vulnerable sites. But, the concept that things will improve over time is inherent to the WFD and we should look at what can be done beyond 2015 too. The role of RBMPs: are to report to Defra and the EU on the status of water bodies covered by the WFD and exemptions. However they need a strategic element to make links with spatial plans and other policies and plans with implications for the water environment. Not starting from scratch: we are doing a lot of things already. Catchment-scale management is not new, neither is the recognition that we need to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The challenge is streamlining existing plans and measures, identifying gaps in policy development and meeting information needs. We also need to use existing networks and stakeholder consultation processes. Getting WFD into spatial plans: Public bodies are required to ‘have regard to’ RBMPs. We need to track the development of RSSs in each region and ensure that core policies reflect the requirements of the WFD. These will represent high-level hooks, which can be reviewed and developed when more information is available. LAs must submit LDFs to government by 2007, a timescale that fits well with the development of RBMPs by 2009. Consideration should also be given to the development of SPDs on water management to highlight the issues of the WFD. RSSs and LDFs are both subject to SA / SEA, which should be used to test and challenge the efficacy of policies. It also provides an opportunity to introduce better information where it is available. Awareness in LAs: River basin planning has major implications for LAs, however political commitment and awareness is low. There needs to be high-level buy-in by LAs and greater understanding of the implications of the WFD for their work. These include the role of planning delivering good ecological status and delivering POMs through planning decisions on pollution, development, resource management, land-use and SuDs. Tools for planners: LAs need national guidance on how to integrate the WFD into LDFs. Model policies and checklists are also needed to support policy development. Currently, there are difficulties in teasing out concrete actions for LAs to deliver. Information needs for planning: this particularly relates to growth and development and understanding its impacts on RB management in the context of climate change. Participants recognised that the WFD needs to be better marketed to the development world for it to be taken seriously. This means greater emphasis on cost-benefit analyses and socio-economic information. There is also a need for better regional / local information, particularly in relation to biodiversity

Presentations and discussion
Planning, climate change and the Water Framework Directive Mark Southgate, Head of Planning and Local Government The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act, passed in 2004, has big implications for the planning system. It requires planning to be evidence based and positively promote sustainable development. New national planning policy provides an overarching framework. PPS1 provides clear top-down direction and includes a good statement on climate change. A hierarchy of spatial plans sits under the national framework. These include Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs), Local Development Frameworks (LDFs) and Local Development Documents (LDDs). All are subject to a SEA. PPS1 already requires plans to take climate change into account when considering water resources, flood risk, ecological status / biodiversity, point source and diffuse pollution, waste water treatment, sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDs) and coastal planning. However, the WFD will also have implications for planning. Public bodies are required to ‘have regard to’ RBMPs. We need to encourage this to be translated into good links between RBMPs and spatial plans. The planning system should provide an infrastructure for the delivery of POMs. As well as helping to deliver GES, other issues for planning in relation to the WFD are the management of coastal zones and resource efficiency. However, spatial planning is not the only area where the WFD needs to make good links. Direct linkages need to be made between urban regeneration measures, the water industry and agricultural planning. Mark highlighted a number of needs that planners have in tackling the linkages between the WFD and spatial planning. First, greater political support is needed to generate the will and resources to tackle these complex issues. This leads onto the need for wider awareness of the Directive and its implications, beyond LPAs and sub regions, right down to LAs. There needs to be national policy support and guidance for regional and local planning teams, including an evidence base to support SA and SEAs, model policies to insert into spatial plans now with a view to revising them when better information is available. Best practice needs to be highlighted and shared. Finally, there is a need to develop a list of specific actions and policies and measures that can be used by planners. Finally Mark outlined the key challenge of simultaneously delivering the objectives of the WFD and the sustainable communities agenda. To do this it is necessary to confront environmental limits and consider demand management and other such alternatives. It will be necessary to align the processes for developing RBMPs and spatial plans (RSS and LDDs) and develop concrete objectives and actions for the planning system. However, some things may be better delivered via building regulations.

Linking Climate Change and the WFD with Spatial Planning Workshop, London, 1 March 2005

The WFD: an opportunity for climate change Merylyn Hedger, Climate Change Policy Manager Merylyn outlined how the WFD covers issues that are critical to climate change, including flooding, drought, water quality and terrestrial and freshwater ecology. The WFD provides an opportunity to take an integrated approach to climate change impacts, however the WFD does not currently mention climate change at all. The need for climate change adaptation is being recognised at national, regional and local levels. Government is currently ‘climate proofing’ its activities and Defra is developing an Adaptation Policy Framework to establish objectives and allocate roles and responsibilities. The EA is involved in the regional climate change stakeholder groups, which providing a focus for adaptation activities. Examples of climate impacts on the hydromorphology of freshwaters include, changing river flows, sea levels and coastal erosion; indirect impacts from changing land-use practices and agriculture; increased connectivity of slopes, channels and coastal zones; increased levels of diffuse and point source of pollution; long-term changes to bed-loads and channels; and geomorphological processes creating habitats. Examples of climate impacts on the physiochemical status of freshwaters includes: changes in water temperatures and dissolved oxygen; reduced dilution capacities of receiving waters; increased rates of soil erosion and diffuse pollution; more frequent flushing of combined sewer outflows; and more likelihood of failing water quality standards. Fundamental to the implementation of the WFD is the concept of being able to define good ecological status relative to a set of reference conditions. However, there is a lack of recognition that reference conditions are likely to change with climate as sited above. Further, there is an assumption that the ecological status of a water body can be linked to the range of pressures on it and that policies and measures (POMs) can be designed to mitigate them. In many cases, including that of climate change, the relationship between a pressure and the ecological response are not well understood. There are a number of uncertainties in projecting climate impacts, including the choice of emissions scenarios, climate models and climate model parameters and in accounting for natural variability. New probabilistic scenarios will become available in 2007. We will need to develop methodologies for using this more sophisticated information. Climate change could also have significant impacts on the ability of current monitoring systems to detect breaches of environmental standards at specified confidence levels. Key dates are: 2004 for the characterisation of water bodies; 2006 for approval of monitoring plans, 2008/9 when the first set RBMPs are published and their six year review cycle thereafter.


Linking Climate Change and the WFD with Spatial Planning Workshop, London, 1 March 2005

Participation and decision making in the Water Framework Directive Paula Orr, Social Policy Advisor Paula gave a thorough introduction to the objectives of the WFD and its implementation timetable. She also covered issues relating to stakeholder consultation. The WFD is designed to coordinate water policy across Europe. Its objectives are to: prevent the deterioration and enhance the status of aquatic ecosystems, including groundwater; promote sustainable water use; reduce pollution and contribute to mitigating to the effects of floods and droughts. All surface water bodies need to strive toward achieving high ecological status. Groundwater needs to achieve good chemical and quantitative status. It is possible to cite exemptions from these requirements for heavily modified water bodies or those where it is too expensive or technically difficult to restore good status. There are 9 river basin districts in England and Wales and 2 that cross the EnglishScottish border. The Directive covers lakes, rivers, estuaries, coastal waters, groundwater and artificial water bodies. The RBMP will describe the characteristics of water bodies in the district, including protected areas, an economic assessment of water services and an outline of pressures (e.g. pollution, abstraction, land use etc.). The plan will set the environmental objectives for the region, establish a POMs to achieve good status and a monitoring programme for reporting. There are a plethora of plans that have implications for the water environment. Somehow these need to be integrated by the RBMP so we achieve the catchment approach required by the WFD. Whether this means that the RBMP replaces existing plans or just provides a framework for them is not decided. However, the process of integration needs to tackle the interdependencies and complexities of issues, uncertainties over future policy, pressures and the success of POMs and the inevitable controversy when changing a system. Public consultation and participation is enshrined in the WFD and is crucial to its success. There needs to be public access to information, active involvement by interested parties and consultation on the three steps of the RB planning process. It also requires that a social learning process is adopted. Consultation will happen on a catchment scale along with the technical planning. However, there will be a National Stakeholder Group to influence national policy and a panel established at a River Basin District level to support delivery. Consultation at a catchment level will use existing Environment Agency- led groups and networks. A number of pilot projects are informing the ways that we consult on the development of catchment-scale strategies and plans. E.g. the Ribble Pilot Project is helping test European guidance on public participation, RB planning and wetlands. The Environment Agency is also testing options for integrating existing plans for the catchment.


Linking Climate Change and the WFD with Spatial Planning Workshop, London, 1 March 2005

A number of participation methods were trialled for sharing information (newsletter, website), consulting (survey, stakeholder mapping) and getting active engagement (stakeholder meetings, vision building). Lessons learnt include starting early – it takes time to build trust, listening as well as talking and needing to develop a sense of shared ownership of the river basin. Involvement by stakeholders will be issue driven and we need to accept that integrated river and coastal management goes beyond the WFD.

The South East Plan and ESPACE Jo Cleasby, Assistant Regional Planner The South East of England Regional Assembly (The Regional Assembly) is responsible for developing the South East Plan. This is the Region’s Regional Spatial Strategy, a statutory document that will provide a 20-year framework for land-use and development. It sets priorities and focuses on delivery. The South East has 9 subregions and one special policy area. These are reflected in the Plan with input from LAs. The Plan’s vision is for ‘A healthy region’. The work programme is seeking to integrate adaptation to climate change into the Plan by reviewing current policy, accessing better information, building in adaptation, consulting with stakeholders and using implementation tools. Part one of the consultation concluded on 15 April. This included a postal questionnaire to 3 million homes. Part two will consult at a district level on the housing proposals in July. The final plan will be submitted to Government in March 2006. The plan is subject to a sustainability appraisal. The Plan is linked to the Integrated Regional Framework, which sets 25 sustainable development objectives, and includes policies from the reviews of RPG on transport, waste, minerals, energy and tourism. Jo emphasised that growth is the major issue: how much growth should be aimed for and where should it be focussed? Projections show that the region’s population will grow by 900,000 by 2027. Already there is an estimated shortage of 29,000 homes in the region. Three scales of growth were consulted on: 25,500 home per year (the average between 1999-2004); 28,000 per year (the rate in 2004) and 32,000 (reflecting demand forecasts). In addition, the draft plan considers two development options: continuing existing patterns of growth and distribution or putting a stronger emphasis on the regeneration areas, the coast and economic growth areas in the west of the region. Given the need for growth and the impacts of climate change, water resources and availability was recognised as a key policy. The Regional Assembly is participating in The European Spatial Planning Adapting to Climate Events (ESPACE) project along with the Environment Agency to help inform the development of a water resource policy for the South East Plan. The aim is share experience on how to adapt spatial planning to climate change at local, regional, national and EU levels.


Linking Climate Change and the WFD with Spatial Planning Workshop, London, 1 March 2005

Through the ESPACE project, the Regional Assembly has developed a number of water resource scenarios based on different projections of growth, uptake of water efficiency measures and new resources. However, links with the WFD have not yet been considered. Are there additional measures should be included in the South East Plan? Do the current policies reflect WFD requirements?

Water for life and livelihoods Doug Mills, RBP project manager Doug introduced the Environment Agency’s RB Planning Strategy, which is designed to engage stakeholders, communicate the key principles and vision for river basin management, show how WFD planning relates to existing EA and external planning processes and how we can measure success. The formal consultation on the Strategy closed at the end of April. The final Strategy will be published in December 2005. One of the key issues is how we streamline existing plans (e.g. CAMS, CFMPs, SMPs etc.) under the RB planning process. How far should we go and how fast? Drivers for integration include the need for efficiencies in time and resources and the WFD’s requirement for an integrated approach. Streamlining would help harmonise objectives, timescales and participation processes. It would also help align the different spatial boundaries of existing plans.


Route maps
Two working groups were formed to consider the actions and timescales necessary for influencing spatial and RB planning. The first group considered the special case of the South East Plan, which is the most developed of the RSSs. The second group considered more generic issues.

Group 1: South East Plan Group one developed a table comparing timescales of the South East Plan, ESPACE and the WFD to identify intervention points. They then prepared a set of actions for influencing the South East Plan and identified higher-level gaps that need to be addressed at an EU and national level.

South East Plan 15 April 20 – Part 1 consultation ends

Comparison of timetables ESPACE WFD April 2005 – River Basin characterisation available April 2005 May 2005, Defra guidance on River Basin Planning

Late summer 2005 – Consultation by principal authorities on district level housing allocations 2006 – Public examination 2007, ESPACE promotion Now until 2007 – River of project findings and Basin characterisation 2 recommendations 2007 – Significant issues report published Draft POMs prepared 2008 – Draft RBMPs published 2009 – Final RBMPs 2011 – Review of plan 2015 – RBMPs2

Action plan 1. 2. 3. 4. National planning, WFD team and EA-Southern/Thames to look at providing something meaningful from stage one characterisation (April) Go see the Regional Assembly about 1. (April) ESPACE to support climate change testing (by expert judgement) of 1. (April) EA to respond to SE Plan Part 1 consultation (15 April)

Linking Climate Change and the WFD with Spatial Planning Workshop, London, 1 March 2005

5. 6. 7.

EA-regions to get hold of timescales for RSS’s to compare against WFD timescale. Draw lessons from South East Plan. (asap) Get CC into RBC2 planning as a pressure (asap) Tim Reeder via ESPACE to look into how CC is being taken into account with RB planning in Europe. Everyone to take on board lessons.

Gaps CC is missing in WFD. This needs to be tackled through the EU and can be something the ESPACE project works on CC is missing in RBC1. Merylyn Hedger to talk to Martin Griffiths CC must be included in Defra guidance on RB Planning. Relevant stakeholders to contact Defra There is no strong link between RBMP and SE Plan. This will be dealt with by actions 1, 2, 3 and 4 above.

Group 2 : Generic issues What do we already know we can integrate into the RSSs and WFD? 2005:  Most RPG / RSSs already include hooks for CC and WFD, but they may need strengthening when they are reviewed. This is supported by national guidance requiring regional plans to consider CC and WFD.  Participants thought that the SA / SEA process that is required for all new plans is a good place to test and challenge the efficacy of existing statements.  Need to use existing evidence, e.g. CAMs and CFMPs. Provisions should be made to update with better information if / when it becomes available.  This will apply to RSSs being developed in NW, NE and the Humber  Welsh Spatial Strategy already completed, but includes hooks for CC and WFD  A flood risk model, which provides the ability to review and update information, is already being used in the Thames Gateway. 2007:  SA / SEA are continuing processes which provides opportunities improve policies on CC and WFD.  Should look at pressures on water at local level and provide more quantitative information for spatial planning. Information to support technical information will be coming out of analyses of POMs, including cost-benefit assessments.  Need to get information on CC in under headings of ‘sustainable development’ or ‘future proofing’


Linking Climate Change and the WFD with Spatial Planning Workshop, London, 1 March 2005

Information needs and capacity building for future integration     Need to use evidence to introduce CC and WFD into spatial planning. However uncertainty is a problem. Need to build flexibility for changing scenarios into the planning process. Guidance for planners on how to use sources (e.g. CC scenarios), this is particularly important given the development of probabilistic scenarios (2007), which will provide projections in the form of probability distributions. However, we also need to encourage a more flexible planning system that can live without certainty. The EA is currently addressing the issue of how to downscale information to catchment scales. But there remains a lack of specific information at regional / local levels to support planning. This is particularly true for biodiversity issues. Need information on which of our policies are ‘climate limited’. This is becoming available as Government and other public bodies undertake ‘climate proofing’ activities. However, there is a need to influence this work and raise awareness.


Mechanisms for influencing and reviewing planning processes including any stakeholder consultation         We need to analyse the timescales for influencing different documents so that we target our influencing effectively and track developments right through. We need to make the information we use relevant to people and property. We need to relate it to new development, e.g. socio-economic costs Need to recognise that WFD does not provide all the answers to CC, that there are other adaptation issues that need to be tackled too. We need to map out short, medium and long-term ways of influencing the RB planning process. There continues to be a need to influence water consumers on the likely rise in costs for domestic, small businesses and agricultural use. There is still an opportunity to influence the integration of EA and external plans. But, we have to recognise that natural resource issues occur on longer timescales and we need sufficient flexibility to target particular issues. The positive planning system is starting to grapple with mitigation of problems. We need to influence how and who delivers commitments made in RSSs and LDFs. We need to think about integrating the doing too. Influencing is a complex and continuous process. We need to make information available at a local level to allow a ‘drip’ effect on local stakeholders.


Annex I Workshop Agenda

Time 10:00 10:30 10:40 11:00 11:20 11.40

Activity Arrival and coffee Welcome and introduction to workshop objectives WFD and the spatial planning system WFD as an opportunity for climate change WFD as a opportunity for better stakeholder consultation Mind mapping exercise to identify: 1. Links between WFD planning and spatial planning processes 2. Opportunities for progressing CC impact assessment and adaptation

Speaker/Chairman Molly Anderson Mark Southgate Merylyn Hedger Paula Orr Chair : Molly Anderson

12:30 13:10

Lunch ESPACE and developing the South East Plan Joanna Cleasby (Southeast Regional Assembly) Doug Mills Facilitators: Roger Hoare Paula Orr

13:30 13:50

Overview and lessons from the Ribble and other projects Facilitated discussion and action planning in two working groups: 1. What we already know we can integrate into the RSS and WFD processes 2. Information needs and capacity building for future integration 3. Mechanisms for influencing and reviewing planning processes, including stakeholder consultation



Molly Anderson

Linking Climate Change and the WFD with Spatial Planning Workshop, London, 1 March 2005

Annex II Participants
Name Molly Alun Peter Mark Susan Ben Phil Joanna Martin Claire Bill John Mathew Fiona Clive Merylyn Roger Basil Lisa Richard Eleanor Doug Isobel Eike Amanda Tim Mark Cristina David Chris Richard Julian Anderson Attwood Bide Blackmore Brothwood Bunting Chatfield Cleasby Diaper Dinnis Donovan Ellis Ellis Forgham Gaskell Hedger Hoare Hollington Horricks Lemon Maxfield Mills Moore Muller Patterson Reeder Southgate Vina-Herbon Wardle West Whitaker Wright Organisation Environment Agency, Climate Change Unit Environment Agency, Wales ODPM, Minerals and Waste Planning Atkins (on EA's River Basin Planning Project) Environment Agency, Midlands Environment Agency, SW Environment Agency, Diffuse Pollution Policy Southeast Regional Assembly Environment Agency, Southern Environment Agency, Water Resources Policy Environment Agency, Thames Environment Agency, NE Environment Agency, NW GO- East Midlands Environment Agency, NW Environment Agency, Climate Change Unit Environment Agency, Climate Change Unit National Assembly for Wales Defra, Global Atmosphere Defra, Sustainable Development Environment Agency, Climate Change Unit Environment Agency, Water Framework Project Environment Agency, Wales GO- Southeast Environment Agency, Midlands Environment Agency, Thames Environment Agency, Planning and Local Government Environment Agency, Southern Environment Agency, NE UK Climate Impacts Programme Environment Agency, Anglian Environment Agency, SW


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