Sustainability appraisal and public examination of a regional spatial strategy

Bob Giddings, Geoff Porter, Elaine Paterson, Kate Theobald

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


UK spatial planning guidance now recognises the importance of engaging stakeholders in appraisal processes at an early stage in the plan-making process. Regional Planning Authorities are required to consult proactively with a wide range of stakeholders on both the development of planning policy and the sustainability appraisal of that policy. However, there is no clear indication as to how they might go about this process, other than to confront the various stakeholders with a Sustainability Appraisal Report. Participation in Sustainability Appraisal therefore still relies on reaction to a technical appraisal of an existing plan – and in this situation stakeholders might lack the incentive to participate. More thoughtful ways need to be devised to involve people in the sustainability debate – so that spatial policy more accurately reflects their knowledge and aspirations. The focus of this paper is to investigate ways in which Sustainability Appraisal of spatial plans can be made more accessible and transparent within the context of wider governance mechanisms. Of particular interest is the Public Examination of a Regional Spatial Strategy. The following research questions attempt to address the gaps in knowledge: 1. How can the quality and extent of engagement of stakeholders be improved, so that policy approaches delivered via Sustainability Appraisal more effectively reflect their ambitions, whilst continuing to meet the objectives for sustainability ? 2. How can the sustainability issues that might form the basis of discussions in a proactive engagement of interests be identified, and how can these issues be framed within a contextual setting that is meaningful to a range of stakeholders ? 3. What mediatory techniques can be identified to accommodate the various frames of reference that arise in potentially conflict situations?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2007
EventInternational Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment - Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland
Duration: 27 Jun 2007 → …


ConferenceInternational Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment
Period27/06/07 → …


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