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Workshop Report


									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

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. Clarify the requirements of the WFD
    2. Understand the implications of the WFD for spatial planning
    3. Establish the status of related pilot projects and research
    4. 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
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

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

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

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 English-
Scottish 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

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

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 sub-
regions and one special policy area. These are reflected in the Plan with input from

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

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.

                                Comparison of timetables
South East Plan                 ESPACE                   WFD
15 April 20 – Part 1                                     April 2005 – River Basin
consultation ends                                        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
                                                        2007 – Significant issues
                                                        report published
                                                        Draft POMs prepared
                                                        2008 – Draft RBMPs
                                                        2009 – Final RBMPs
2011 – Review of plan
                                                           2015 – RBMPs2

Action plan

1.   National planning, WFD team and EA-Southern/Thames to look at providing
     something meaningful from stage one characterisation (April)
2.   Go see the Regional Assembly about 1. (April)
3.   ESPACE to support climate change testing (by expert judgement) of 1. (April)
4.   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.   EA-regions to get hold of timescales for RSS’s to compare against WFD
     timescale. Draw lessons from South East Plan. (asap)
6.   Get CC into RBC2 planning as a pressure (asap)
7.   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.


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?

    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
    A flood risk model, which provides the ability to review and update
      information, is already being used in the Thames Gateway.

    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
       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

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

 Annex I

 Workshop Agenda

Time    Activity                                                    Speaker/Chairman
10:00   Arrival and coffee
10:30   Welcome and introduction to workshop objectives             Molly Anderson
10:40   WFD and the spatial planning system                         Mark Southgate
11:00   WFD as an opportunity for climate change                    Merylyn Hedger
11:20   WFD as a opportunity for better stakeholder consultation    Paula Orr
11.40   Mind mapping exercise to identify:                          Chair : Molly Anderson
        1. Links between WFD planning and spatial planning
        2. Opportunities for progressing CC impact assessment
           and adaptation
12:30   Lunch
13:10   ESPACE and developing the South East Plan                   Joanna Cleasby
                                                                    (Southeast Regional
13:30   Overview and lessons from the Ribble and other projects     Doug Mills
13:50   Facilitated discussion and action planning in two working   Facilitators:
        groups:                                                     Roger Hoare
        1. What we already know we can integrate into the RSS       Paula Orr
           and WFD processes
        2. Information needs and capacity building for future
        3. Mechanisms for influencing and reviewing planning
           processes, including stakeholder consultation
15:30   Ends                                                        Molly Anderson
Linking Climate Change and the WFD with Spatial Planning Workshop, London, 1 March 2005

Annex II


Name                                    Organisation

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


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