We work in partnership with spatial planners and developers to improve the water environment as well as achieving sustainable economic growth.
Spatial planning can help to deliver River Basin Management Plan objectives by:
- checking that proposed development does not cause deterioration of water bodies;
- ensuring that the scope of Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment for spatial plans includes impacts on water bodies;
- respecting the limits of the water environment when generating development options;
- adopting spatial plan policies that will help to achieve ‘good status’ in water bodies.
Best practice for plan making includes using water cycle strategies to check the capacity of water bodies and infrastructure including public water supply and waste water treatment. In addition spatial plans can promote strategies to improve the water environment, for example to improve river corridors.
We also provide pre-application advice to developers. The Water Framework Directive requires us to consider water ecology and physical modifications to water bodies in addition to our advice on, for example, water resources, chemical water quality and flood risk. We will tell you about the standards we regulate, and about other water issues that affect your proposed development.
We have produced initial guidance on WFD and planning together with our partners, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Local Government Association and the Welsh Local Government Association. You can download it free below:
It’s a first step to telling you more about the WFD and what it means for planning and sustainable development. It highlights the key elements of the Directive and outlines some of the potential implications for you.
Each River Basin Management Plan, produced under the Water Framework Directive contains an annex which identifies how the spatial planning system in England and Wales aligns with the process of river basin management. Annex J of each river basin district plan provides information on the impacts of growth and development on the water environment and the role of spatial planning in helping manage these impacts.
and select the relevant river basin district.