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A guide to help planners put into practice some of the proposals in ...
A guide to help planners put into practice some of the proposals in

the government's Planning for the Communities of the Future, has

been published.

'Planning for Sustainable Development: Towards Better Practice.'

gives planners good practice guidance on how to focus development

within existing urban areas, on increasing housing densities whilst

enhancing quality, and on increasing the amount of development on

previously used land. It proposes development of urban villages and

other types of mixed use development

Planning minister Richard Caborn said:

'This guidance will help local planners and others to plan new

housing and other essential new development in a way which better

meets the government's objectives for sustainable development.

Planners must work with local people and other stakeholders to

develop clear ideas of what kind of towns, cities and countryside we

want to hand on to future generations. Through the planning process

our communities need to create a vision for change which is both

beneficial and sustainable, and then draw up development plans to

manage that change effectively. This guide provides advice on how

this can be achieved.'

The Guide recognises that locating all new development in existing

towns and cities is not a practical solution. It therefore sets out

an approach to assessing other options such as urban extensions and

new settlements.

It also provides advice to planners on how they can help to realise

some of the aims of July's White Paper on the future of transport. It

suggests that authorities should focus development within transport

corridors, and ensure that it is accessible by sustainable forms of

travel. The Guide puts forward ideas for reducing car dependence, for

example through the design and location of new development, green

transport plans and parking strategies.

The Guide provides advice on planning for sustainable rural areas,

emphasising the importance of reviving rural settlements, protecting

landscape character and local distinctiveness; and providing for

recreation and leisure. It also identifies some sustainable

development issues which are common to all areas, with a chapter on

how issues such as ecology and energy can be integrated into plans.

It draws upon examples of good practice from local authorities and

further afield, and suggests how these might be applied more widely.

It also offers a methodology to ensure that sustainable development

principles are integrated from the outset of the plan-making process.

The guide points out that local authority planners have responded

imaginatively to the increasing emphasis upon having need,

articulated in national guidance and elsewhere, for development to be

sustainable. However, the research upon which the guidance has been

based has shown that planners would welcome further advice on how to

put this into practice.

Mr Caborn added:

'The planning system potentially has a very important part to play in

the delivery of sustainable development. The issues are complex and

challenging, and understanding is growing all the time. This Guide

represents an important step along the way. I commend it to all local

authorities and others who have a role in shaping the future of our

built environment.'

Copies of the guidance, priced at£35 are available from the

Stationery Office, ISBN No 0 11 753406 4

The Guide is based on research undertaken for the DETR by Arup

Economics and Planning.

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