Tender for Hire of Service for

Collection of the World’s Latest Practice on Environmental Evaluation and Strategic Environmental Assessment for Urban Development

(Tender Ref. SA 07-039)

 

Final Report

 

 

This Final Report was prepared by BMT Asia Pacific Limited to the best of our knowledge. For the English and Traditional / Simplified Chinese versions of the report, if any discrepancy exists between these versions, the English version shall prevail.

 

Prepared under the Management of:

Name:              Carmen Ng

Position:           Senior Environmental Consultant

 

 


Signature:

 

 

Reviewed and Approved by:

Name:              Ben Ridley

Position:           Director

 

 


Signature:

 

 

Reference:      R8507/03 Issue 02

 

Date:                3 September 2008

 

Filename:         J:\8507  -  SEA Review Urban Development\Task 3 - Final Report\8507_Final Report_v2.doc

 

 

5/F, ING Tower, 308 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong

Tel:    (852) 2815 2221             Fax:   (852) 2815 3377


1                 Contents

1     Contents. ii

2     Acronyms & Abbreviation. ix

3     Executive Summary. xii

4     Introduction. 1

4.1    Overview. 1

4.2    Objectives of the Services. 1

5     Background. 2

5.1    Concepts and Definitions. 2

5.1.1      Strategic Environmental Assessment 2

5.1.2      Policy. 2

5.1.3      Urban Development 2

5.1.4      Urban Development Policy and/or Action. 2

5.1.5      Statutory. 2

5.1.6      Non-statutory. 2

5.1.7      Administrative System.. 2

6     Methodology. 3

6.1    Information Collection and Review Process. 3

6.2    Analysis and Reporting. 3

7     Country Reports. 4

7.1    Asia Pacific. 4

7.1.1      Hong Kong. 4

7.1.2      Mainland China. 14

7.1.3      Japan. 23

7.1.4      Korea. 31

7.1.5      Macau SAR. 37

7.1.6      Singapore. 40

7.1.7      Thailand. 45

7.2    Europe. 52

7.2.1      Denmark. 52

7.2.2      Finland. 64

7.2.3      France. 74

7.2.4      The Netherlands. 82

7.2.5      United Kingdom.. 93

7.2.6      Austria. 107

7.2.7      Germany. 114

7.2.8      Norway. 123

7.2.9      Portugal 131

7.2.10    Spain. 135

7.3    North America. 139

7.3.1      Canada. 139

7.3.2      USA. 152

7.4    Oceania. 165

7.4.1      Australia. 165

7.4.2      New Zealand. 174

7.5    Development Co-operations. 182

7.5.1      World Bank. 182

7.5.2      Asian Development Bank. 191

7.5.3      Inter-American Development Bank. 200

7.5.4      United Nations Development Programme. 210

7.5.5      United Nations Environment Programme. 219

7.6    Africa. 227

7.6.1      South Africa. 227

8     List of Reference Materials and Internet Resources. 237

8.1    Asia Pacific. 237

8.1.1      Hong Kong. 237

8.1.2      Mainland China. 237

8.1.3      Japan. 238

8.1.4      Korea. 238

8.1.5      Macau SAR. 239

8.1.6      Singapore. 239

8.1.7      Thailand. 239

8.2    Europe. 240

8.2.1      Denmark. 240

8.2.2      Finland. 240

8.2.3      France. 240

8.2.4      The Netherlands. 241

8.2.5      United Kingdom.. 241

8.2.6      Austria. 242

8.2.7      Germany. 242

8.2.8      Norway. 242

8.2.9      Portugal 243

8.2.10    Spain. 243

8.3    North America. 244

8.3.1      Canada. 244

8.3.2      USA. 244

8.4    Oceania. 246

8.4.1      Australia. 246

8.4.2      New Zealand. 246

8.5    Development Co-operations. 247

8.5.1      World Bank. 247

8.5.2      Asian Development Bank. 247

8.5.3      Inter-American Development Bank. 247

8.5.4      United Nations Development Programme. 248

8.5.5      United Nations Environment Programme. 248

8.6    Africa. 250

8.6.1      South Africa. 250

9     Appendix A. 251

 


List of Figures

Figure 7.1.1.1.       EIA flow chart

Figure 7.1.1.2.       Process flow chart for plan making process

Figure 7.1.2.1.       Process flow chart for EIA for plans

Figure 7.1.3.1.       Outline of procedures for the Environmental Impact Assessment Law

Figure 7.1.3.2.       Approaches to Environmental Consideration at Each Stage of Establishing the Master Plans and Other Plans

Figure 7.1.3.3.       Process flow chart for EIA for plans

Figure 7.1.4.1.       Regulatory basis of Preliminary Environmental Review System

Figure 7.1.4.2.       Process flow chart for Preliminary Environmental Review System for plans and programmes

Figure 7.1.7.1.       Process flow chart for proposed EIA process

Figure 7.2.1.1.       Spatial Planning System of Denmark

Figure 7.2.1.2.       Denmark’s Planning System 2007

Figure 7.2.1.3.       SEA process

Figure 7.2.1.4.       Overall planning process

Figure 7.2.2.1.       Environmental administration in Finland

Figure 7.2.2.2.       EIA flow chart

Figure 7.2.3.1.       Stages in the environmental assessment

Figure 7.2.4.1.       The EIA Procedure in the Netherlands

Figure 7.2.4.2.       Main steps in Strategic EIA

Figure 7.2.5.1.       Tiering of environmental assessment in the UK

Figure 7.2.5.2.       Application of the SEA Directive to plans and programmes

Figure 7.2.5.3.       Stages in the SEA Process

Figure 7.2.5.4.       Approval of SA report

Figure 7.2.5.5.       Relationship between SEA tasks

Figure 7.2.6.1.       Process flow chart for SEA for plans

Figure 7.2.7.1.       SEA flow chart

Figure 7.2.8.1.       Process flow chart for Spatial Planning Procedure at Municipal Level

Figure 7.2.8.2.       Process flow chart for EA for policies and SEA for plans and programmes

Figure 7.3.1.1.       Preliminary scan for the initiation of SEA

Figure 7.3.1.2.       The SEA Process at Canadian International Development Agency

Figure 7.3.1.3.       The SEA Process at Canadian International Development Agency

Figure 7.3.2.1.       US Zoning Example

Figure 7.3.2.2.       Uniform Land Use Review Procedure of New York City

Figure 7.3.2.3.       Main steps in the US federal EIS process

Figure 7.3.2.4.       Typical Decision-making Process

Figure 7.4.1.1.       EPBC Act Environment Assessment Process – Assessment / Decision whether to approve

Figure 7.4.1.2.       EPBC Act Environment Assessment Process – Referral

Figure 7.4.2.1.       Steps for preparing an Assessment of Environmental Effect (AEE)

Figure 7.4.2.2.       Processing resource consents – stages and timeframes

Figure 7.5.1.1.       Overall process flowchart for Environmental Assessment

Figure 7.5.2.1.       Process flow chart for EIA for plans

Figure 7.5.3.1.       Process flow chart for SEA

Figure 7.5.5.1.       Process flow chart for SEA

Figure 7.6.1.2.       Process flow chart for SEA

 

 

 

 


List of Tables

Table 3.1       Summary Table of International Practices on Environmental Evaluation and Strategic Environmental Assessment for Urban Development

Table 7.1.1.1.        Summary Table for Hong Kong

Table 7.1.2.1.        Summary Table for Mainland China

Table 7.1.3.1.        Summary Table for Japan

Table 7.1.4.1.        Summary Table for Korea

Table 7.1.5.1.        Summary Table for Macau

Table 7.1.6.1.        Summary Table for Singapore

Table 7.1.7.1.        Summary Table for Thailand

Table 7.2.1.1.        Summary Table for Denmark

Table 7.2.2.1.        Summary Table for Finland

Table 7.2.3.1.        Summary Table for France

Table 7.2.4.1.        Summary Table for Netherland

Table 7.2.5.1         Summary Table for England, Wales, Scotland and North Ireland

Table 7.2.5.2.        Summary Table for England, North Ireland and Wales

Table 7.2.5.3.        Summary Table for Scotland

Table 7.2.6.1.        Spatial/Land use Planning Instrument at Different Planning Level

Table 7.2.6.2.        Summary Table for Austria

Table 7.2.7.1.        The competency regarding spatial planning of various levels of government

Table 7.2.7.2.        The competency and planning instruments regarding urban planning of various levels of government, International Society of City and Regional Planners

Table 7.2.7.3.        Summary Table for Germany

Table 7.2.8.1.        Summary Table for Norway

Table 7.2.9.1.        Summary Table for Portugal

Table 7.2.10.1.       Summary Table for Spain

Table 7.3.1.1.        Summary Table for Canada

Table 7.3.2.1.        Summary Table for USA

Table 7.4.1.1.        Summary Table for Australia

Table 7.4.2.1.        Summary Table for New Zealand

Table 7.5.1.1.        Summary Table for World Bank

Table 7.5.2.1.        Summary Table for Asian Development Bank

Table 7.5.3.1.        Summary Table for Inter-American Development Bank

Table 7.5.4.1.        Summary Table for United Nations Development Programme

Table 7.5.5.1.        Summary Table for United Nations Environmental Programme

Table 7.6.1.1.        Summary Table for South Africa

 

 

 


List of Appendices

Appendix A - Contact record for overseas agencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

2                 Acronyms & Abbreviation

 

ABF

Architectes des Bâtiments de France

ACE

Advisory Council on the Environment

AEE

Assessment of Environmental Effect

APA

Administrative Procedure Act

BP

Bank Procedure

CCLIP

Conditional Credit Line for Investment Projects

CEQR

City Environmental Quality Review

CESR

Conseil Economique et Social Régionale

CIADT

Comité Interministériel à l’Aménagement et au Développement du Territoire

COS

coefficient d’occupation des sols

CPE

Country Program Evaluation

CPER

Contrats de plan État –Régions

CPLD

Committee on Planning and Land Development

CRA

Comprehensive Regional Assessment

CSP

country strategy and program process

Danish SEA Act

Act on the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes

DATAR

Délégation à l’aménagement du Territoire et à l’action régionale

DDE

Direction départementale d’equipement

DEP

Director of Environmental Protection

DGP

Development Guide Plans

DMC

Developing Member Countries

DPA

Development permission area

DPDs

Development Plan Documents

DPL

Development Policy Lending

DPT

Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning

EA

Environmental Assessment

EIA

Environmental Impact Assessment

EIAO

Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance

EIR

Environmental Impact Report

EIS

Environmental Impact Statement

EMA

Environmental Management Act

EMP

Environmental Management Plan

EOU

Evaluation and Oversight Unit

EPBC Act

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act

EPD

Environmental Protection Department

EPMA

Environmental Protection and Management Act

EPS

Environmental Protection Scrutiny

ESMP

environmental and social management plan

E-Test

Environmental Test

EU

European Union

FAEP

Framework Act on Environment Policy

FONSI

Finding of No Significant Impact

FYP

Five Year Plan

HK2030 Study

Hong Kong 2030 Planning Vision and Strategy

HKPSG

Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines

HST

High-Speed Train

IADB

Inter-American Development Bank

IEE

Initial Environmental Examination

IEM

Integrated Environmental Management

IMAR

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

IUDSP

Integrated Urban Development Sector Project Integrated Urban Development Sector Project

KTD

Kai Tak Development

LASED

Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development

LDFs

Local Development Frameworks

LPA

Local Planning Authority

MDG

Millennium Development Goals

ME

Ministry of Environment

MEP

Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China

MMAH

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

MoE

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus

MOEWR

Ministry of Environment and Water Resource

MOHURD

Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People’s Republic of China

MONRE

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

MP

Master Plan Committee

NCEA

Commission for Environmental Assessment

NEMA

National Environmental Management Act

NEPA

National Environmental Policy Act

NEPP

National Environmental Policy Plan

NFPS

National Forest Policy Statement

NGOs

Non-government Organisations

NRA

National Road Administration

NSESD

National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development

OCPs

Outline Concept Plans

OD

Operational Directive

OM

Operations Manual

ONEP

Office of Natural Resource and Environmental Planning and Policy

OP

Operational Policy

OVE

The Office of Evaluation and Oversight

OZP

Outline zoning plans

PCFV

Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles

PER

Public Environment Report

PERS

Prior Environmental Review System

PLU

Plan local d'urbanisme

PODP

Preliminary Outline Development Plan

PP

Plan or Programme Proponent

PPMS

Project Performance Management System

PPPs

Policies, plans and programmes

PRC

People’s Republic of China

PSSC

Planning Standards Sub-Committee

REAM

Environment Council of Macao Special Administrative Region

REC

Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe

REAs

Regional Environmental Assessments

RHC

Representation Hearing Committee

RMA

Resource Management Act

RNU

Les dispositions imperatives du règlement nationale d’urbanisme

ROD

Record of Decision

RPB

Regional Planning Body

RSS

Regional Spatial Strategies

SA

Sustainability Appraisal

SASP

South Australia’s Strategic Plan

SCOT

Schémas de cohérence territoriale

SDAU

Schéma directeur d'aménagement et d'urbanisme

SEA

Strategic Environmental Assessment

SEIA

Summary EIA

SIA

Strategic Impact Assessment

SIEE

Summary Initial Environmental Examination

SLC

Social Land Concessions

SPDs

Supplementary Planning Documents

SRADT

Schemas regionaux d’amenagement et de developpement du territoire

TDS

Territorial Development Strategy

TKO

Tseung Kwan O

TORs

Terms of Reference

TPB

Town Planning Board

TT

Task Team

UNDP

United Nations Development Programme               

UNEP

United Nations Environment Programme

UN-HABITAT

United Nations Human Settlements Programme

URA

Urban Renewal Authority

VROM

Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment

3                 Executive Summary

The practices of the SEA process in urban development policies and actions vary from country to country depending on their internal administrative systems, historical and present socio-cultural and economic condition, and their internal political stability.

To capture the overall understanding on the SEA implementation progress in urban development policies at local / regional level, BMT Asia Pacific Limited was commissioned by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in April 2008 to conduct a desktop research on the international urban development policies and actions, and the latest practices in their Environmental Evaluation (EE) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

The whole review study is divided into 2 stages and this is the Final Report. It provides a comprehensive overview and analysis on the existing international practices on environmental evaluation and strategic environmental assessment for policies, plans and programmes in general and urban development specifically. Both statutory and administrative / non-statutory systems in EE /SEA of urban development proposals were reviewed. As a reference, the urban development policy and SEA practice in Hong Kong were also reviewed and analyzed in this report. 

Following the specifications in the Tender, countries and jurisdictions to be reviewed in this Final Report include:

·         Developed countries in Europe: Denmark, Finland, France, The Netherlands, United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and UK), Austria, Germany, Norway, Portugal and Spain;

·         Developed countries in North America: Canada and U.S. ;

·         Developed countries in Oceania: Australia and  New Zealand;

·         Developing and developed countries in Asia: Mainland China, Japan, Korea, Macau SAR, Singapore and Thailand;

·         Developing country in Africa: South Africa and

·         Development Cooperation (DC): World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and United Nations Environmental Programme.

Examples on the application of EE or SEA during urban development were included. This is to reveal the typical urban development cases, details of the integration of EE/SEA along the planning process (e.g. evaluation tools used, agencies involved, involvement of public consultation) and the outcome of the SEA/EE application.

The international urban development policies / actions and their respective EE/ SEA status are summarized in Table 3.1.

This Final Report was prepared by BMT Asia Pacific Limited to the best of our knowledge. The information provided in this Report is primarily based on Internet sources published in English, Traditional and / or Simplified Chinese language.  The exact website address links to each of the relevant documents has been presented in full. Relevant local authorities of the selected countries / DCs have also been contacted to obtain the most updated and accurate information for this study.

Based on the countries and DC concerned, it was observed that a general directive or act for urban development / land use/ planning in national perspective are usually in force in countries worldwide to develop a framework for urban development. While, more detailed and specific planning regulations and guidelines are developed down the administration level at the state, region or local level to control urban development. It is the state or regional level government normally develops urban development policies and plans.

Regarding their latest practice of EE / SEA, most of the European countries, e.g. United Kingdom and Finland, have already transposed the EU Directive 2001/42/EC (SEA Directive) into its own legislations. In addition, most of the reviewed countries and development co-operations have developed their own EE /SEA systems, e.g. EIA for plans in Mainland China, E-test for policies in the Netherlands. The review also indicated that EE / SEA process is commonly found to be integrated to the establishment of urban development policy, plans and programmes. All details of the latest EE / SEA can be reviewed in the subsequent chapters.


Table 3.1                      Summary Table of International Practices on Environmental Evaluation and Strategic Environmental Assessment for Urban Development

Countries / Development Co-operations

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development

 

Policy

Actions

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Type of Assessment

Requirement Mechanisms

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Applications

Project Examples

Asia Pacific

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines

Hong Kong 2030 Planning Vision and Strategy

·          Town Planning Ordinance

·          Urban Renewal Authority  Ordinance

·          Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines

·          General Circular No. 1/2004 - Site Searches

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

·          Sustainability assessment

Statutory:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Administrative system, statutory system

Administrative:

·          HKPSG Chapter 9

·          Sustainability Assessment System

·          2005-06 Policy Address

Statutory:

·          EIA Ordinance

·          Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process

Administrative:

·          Policies, plans and programmes

Statutory:

         Plans and programmes

·          Kai Tak Planning Review

·          Environmental Impact Assessment for Further Development of Tseung Kwan O Feasibility Study 2005

Mainland China

N/A

第十一個五年規劃, 《國務院關於編制全國主體功能區規劃的意見》

·          《中華人民共和國城鄉規劃法》

·          《城市規劃編制辦法》

·          《中華人民共和國土地管理法》

·          《中華人民共和國土地管理法實施條例》

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Administrative system, statutory system

Administrative:

·          《國務院關於編制全國主體功能區規劃的意見》

·          第十一個五年規劃

Statutory:

·          《中華人民共和國環境影響評價法》

·          《規劃環境影響評價條例(徵求意見稿)》

Administrative:

·          Plans and programmes

Statutory:

·          Plans and programmes

·          EIA for 11th FYP of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment for Beijing Pinggu

Japan

N/A

Comprehensive National Development Plan 1998

·          City Planning Act 1968 (2002 amended)

·          Building Standard Act

·          Land Consolidation Act

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          Environmental Impact Assessment

Administrative system, statutory system

Administrative:

·          Basic Environment Law

·          Draft Guidelines for the Introduction of Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          Environmental Impact Assessment Law

Administrative:

·          Policies and programmes

Statutory:

·          Plans

·          The "New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan"  on March 30, 2005

Korea

N/A

N/A

·          City Planning Laws 1962

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Preliminary Environmental Review System

Statutory system

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Framework Act on Environmental Policy (FAEP)

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Plans and programmes

·          Spatial development for a city in Kwangju, South Korea

 

Macau

N/A

N/A

·          N/A

Administrative / non-statutory:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          N/A

N/A

 

Administrative / non-statutory:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative / non-statutory:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          N/A

No example available for reference

Singapore

N/A

·          The Concept Plan (introduced in 1971 and revised every 10 years)

·         The Master Plan (introduced in 1998 and revised every 5 years)

·          The Planning Act

Non-statutory:

·          Environmental Impact Assessment

Statutory:

·          N/A

Non-statutory system

 

Non-statutory:

·          Environmental Protection of Management Act (EPMA)

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative:

·          Policy, plans and programmes

Statutory:

·          N/A

·          Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Integrated Resort at Sentosa

 

 

Thailand

N/A

Comprehensive Plan

·          City Planning Act 1975

Non-statutory:

·          Environmental Impact Assessment

Statutory:

·          Environmental Impact Assessment

Statutory and non-statutory system

 

Non-statutory:

·          Improvement and Conservation of the National Environmental Quality Act 1975

·          Enhancement and Conservation of Nation of National Environmental Quality Act  1992, Section 46

·          General Guidelines in Preparing EIA Report

Statutory:

·          Improvement and Conservation of the National Environmental Quality Act 1975

·          Enhancement and Conservation of Nation of National Environmental Quality Act  1992, Section 46

Administrative:

·          Projects

Statutory:

·          Projects

·          Integrated urban air quality management (UAQM) in Bangkok

 

Europe

Denmark

Planning Act 2007

N/A

·          Prime Minister’s Office Circular of 1993 (amended in 1995 and 1999)

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory system

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Prime Minister’s Office Circular of 1993 (amended in 1995 and 1999

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment of Bills and Other Proposals

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Bills, proposals and ministry budgets

·          North Jutland Regional Development Plan (1995-1997)

·          Municipal Plan for Hillerød

 

Finland

Finnish EIA Act (Section 24)

N/A

·          Finnish EIA Act (Section 24)

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory system

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          SEA Directive

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Bills, proposals and ministry budgets

·          Main Road network development plan Assessment of the Nordic Triangle

·          Assessment of the National Waste Plan

France

N/A

·          Municipal Zoning Plans

·          Plan local d'urbanisme (PLU)

·          1995 Spatial Planning and Development Act

·          Urban Solidarity and Renewal Act

·          Territorial Cohesion Blueprints (SCOT)

·          Local Urban Planning Maps

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory system

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Strategic Impact Assessment for policy level

·          Environmental Code for plans and programmes

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Strategic Impact Assessment (SIA) for Policies level

·          SEA for plans and programmes level

·          Northern Corridor

·          The Franco-Spanish Highway project (The Somport Tunnel)

The Netherlands

N/A

N/A

·          Spatial Planning Act 1965

Administrative:

·          Environmental Evaluation

Statutory:

·          Environmental Test (E-test)

·          Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment

Administrative system, statutory system

Administrative:

·          Environmental Appraisal of Development Plans: A Good Practice Guide (DoE, 1993)

Statutory:

·          European Directive 2001/42/EC

·          Official Gazette 1995, No.15

·          Environmental Management Act (1993, 1994, 2006)

Administrative:

·          Policies, plans and programme

Statutory:

·          Policy for E-test, plan

·          Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment for plans and programmes

·          Canal Link: New Opportunities for Inland Waterways across the North Sea

·          SEA for the 2002 Dutch Waste Management Plan

United Kingdom (England, North Ireland and Wales)

N/A

·          Regional Spatial Strategies

·          Spatial Plan (for England only)

·          Wales Spatial Plan

·          Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act

·          SEA Directive

·          Draft Planning Policy Statement 11 (Sustainability Appraisal)

·          Planning and Policy Guidance 12 (Policy Appraisal)

·          Development Plans and Regional Planning Guidance

 

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Administrative system, statutory system

Administrative:

·          Environmental Appraisal of Development Plans: A Good Practice Guide (DoE, 1993)

Statutory:

·          European Directive 2001/42/EC

·          Environmental Assessment for Plans and Programmes Regulations (2004)

·          Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Wales) Regulations 2004

·          Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004

·          Policy Planning Guidance Note 12:2

·          Development Plans and Regional Planning Guidance (DoE, 1992)

Administrative:

·          Policies and programme

Statutory:

·          Plans and programmes

 

·          The RSS for the South East of England (the South East Plan)

·          SEA of Torbay Local Transport Plan (LTP) 2006 – 2011

United Kingdom (Scotland)

N/A

N/A

·          Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act

·          SEA Directive

·          Draft Planning Policy Statement 11 (Sustainability Appraisal)

·          Planning and Policy Guidance 12 (Policy Appraisal)

·          Development Plans and Regional Planning Guidance

 

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment

Statutory system

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005

·          Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Strategy, plans and programmes

 

 

Austria

The national spatial planning concept

N/A

·          No general planning law over the country, different provinces have different planning law, like Spatial Planning Act in Vienna

 

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory for federal level and Administrative for Lander level

Administrative:

·          Federal Act on strategic assessment

Statutory:

·          Federal Act on strategic assessment

Administrative:

·          Policy, plan and programme

Statutory:

·          Policy, plan and programme

 

·          Land use plan revision in the municipality of Weiz

·         Pilot SEA for Vienna’s waste management plan

Germany

N/A

N/A

·          Federal Spatial Planning Act 2004, Federal Building Code 2004, Federal Construction Law 2004 and 16 Federal States’ own law (add in those in Table 2) Federal Building Code

·          Spatial Organization Act

·          Federal Town Planning Act

·          Land Use Ordinances

·          Map sign Ordinances

·          Special Provisions for development and urban renewal

 

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory for federal level and Administrative for federal state level

Administrative:

·          16 Federal States’ own law

Statutory:

·          Federal EIA Act (UVPG - Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung 2005)

Administrative:

·          Plans and programmes

Statutory:

·          Plans and programmes

 

·          Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2003

·         Municipality of Ketzin in Brandenburg land use Plan

Norway

N/A

N/A

·          The Planning and Building Act 1985 (amended in 2005)

 

Administrative:

·          Environmental Assessment for policy. Strategic Environmental Assessment for plan and programme

Statutory:

·          Environmental Assessment for policy. Strategic Environmental Assessment for plan and programme

Administrative system, statutory system

Administrative:

·          Guideline on Environmental Assessment in Accordance with the Instructions for Official Studies and Reports

·          Different municipal government’s own laws, systems and regulations. 

Statutory:

·          Administrative Order 1994

·          Environmental Assessment – Instructions for consequence assessment, submission and review procedures in connection with official studies, regulations, positions and reports to the Storting

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment – Planning and Building Act, Regulations on Environmental Impact Assessment

For both administrative and statutory applications, EA applies to policy while SEA applies to plans and programme

 

·          Norwegian Road and Road Transport Plan 1997

 

Portugal

N/A

N/A

·          Land Use Planning Act 1998

 

Administrative:

·          Strategic Impact Assessment

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative system

Administrative:

·          Guidance on SIA of land-use/spatial plans

·          National Directorate General for Land-Use Planning & Urban Development (2003)

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative:

·          Plans and programmes

Statutory:

·          N/A

 

No example available for reference

Spain

N/A

N/A

·          Land use planning and Appraisal Law 1998

 

Administrative:

·          Environmental Impact Assessment

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative system

Administrative:

·          A total of 17 states have their own legislations

·          1997 Government Act

·          EU SEA Directive (2001/42)

Statutory:

·          SEA Law 9/2006

 

Administrative:

·          Plans and programmes

Statutory:

·          N/A

 

No example available for reference

North America

Canada

N/A

N/A

·          Public Lands Act

·          Cabinet Directive (1999)

·          Crown Land Use Policy Atlas

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative system

Administrative:

·          Cabinet Directive (1999)

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative:

·          Policies, plans and programs

Statutory:

·          N/A

·          British Columbia offshore oil and gas development

·          Overview of Activities in the Magdalen Islands sector

USA

N/A

·          City Environmental Quality Review

·          National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and its amendments

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Environmental Impact Assessment

Statutory system

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          National Environmental Policy Act

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Policies, plans and programs

·          National Park Service Yosemite Valley Plan and EIS

·          California High-Speed Train Final Program EIR/EIS (2005)

Oceania

Australia

N/A

·          National Charter of Integrated Land Use and Transport Planning

N/A

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Strategic Assessment

 

Statutory system

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC, 1999)

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Policies, plans and programs

·          Domestic and international airport at Badgerys Creek in western Sydney

·           Foundry Expansion by Bradken Resources Pty Ltd at Kilburn

New Zealand

N/A

·          Sustainable Development Programme of Action

·           New Zealand Urban Design Protocol

Resource Management Act of 1991 and its amendments

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Assessment of  Environmental Effects

Statutory system

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Environmental Act

·          Resource Management Act

Administrative:

·          N/A

Statutory:

·          Policies, plans and programs

·          Auckland’s Regional Growth Strategy 2050

·          Waikato Regional Plan

Development Co-operations

World Bank

·          Operational Policy / Bank Procedure (OP/BP 8.60)

·          Safeguard policies: OP/BP 4.01, OP 4.04, OP/BP 4.36, OP 4.09, OP/BP 4.11, OP 4.12, OP/BP 4.10, OP 4.37, OP/BP 7.50, OP/BP 7.60

N/A

·          Operational Policy / Bank Procedure (OP/BP 8.60)

·          Safeguard policies: OP/BP 4.01, OP 4.04, OP/BP 4.36, OP 4.09, OP/BP 4.11, OP 4.12, OP/BP 4.10, OP 4.37, OP/BP 7.50, OP/BP 7.60

·          Good Practice Notes for Development Policy Lending

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative system

 

Administrative:

·          Operational Policy / Bank Procedure (OP/BP 4.01)

·          Operational Policy / Bank Procedure (OP/BP 8.60)

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative:

·          Policy, plan and programme

Statutory:

·          N/A

·          Malawi: Community-Based Rural Land Development Project

·          Cambodia: Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development

Asian Development Bank

·          Urban Sector Strategy

·          Bank Policy

N/A

·          Operational Procedures (OP)

·         Operations Manual (OM) Section 22: Project Performance Management System (PPMS)

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative system

 

Administrative:

·          Environmental Policy

·          Operations Manual (OM) Section 20: Environmental Considerations in ADB Operations

·          Environmental Assessment Guidelines

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative:

·          All loans and investments projects

Statutory:

·          N/A

·          Environmental Assessment Report- Kingdom of Tonga: Integrated Urban Development Project

·          A Strategic Environmental Assessment of Fiji’s Tourism Development Plan

Inter-American Development Bank

·          Urban and Housing Development sectoral operational policies

N/A

·          General Operational policies

·         Financial Operational policies

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative system

Administrative:

·          Environment Strategy

·          Environment and Safeguards Compliance Policy

·          Conditional Credit Line for Investment Projects

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative:

·          Policies, plans and programs

Statutory:

·          N/A

·          Strategic Environmental Studies for Guyana and Suriname

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Northern Corridor La Paz-Guayaramerín

United Nations Development Programme

N/A

·          Local Initiative Facility for Urban Environment

·          Results-oriented Monitoring and Evaluation: A Handbook for Programme Managers

·         Decentralized Governance for Development: A Combined Practice note on Decentralization, Local Governance, and Urban/Rural Development

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative system

Administrative:

·          UNDP Environmental Mainstreaming Strategy

·          Apply Strategic Environmental Assessment: Good Practice Guidance for Development Cooperation

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative:

·          Policies, plans and programmes

Statutory:

·          N/A

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Yerevan City Master Plan

 

United Nations Environment Programme

N/A

N/A

N/A

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative system

Administrative:

·          Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment: Towards and Integrated Approach

Statutory:

·          N/A

Administrative:

·          Policies, plans and programmes

Statutory:

·          N/A

·          Environmental assessment of the areas disengaged by Israel in the Gaza Strip

·          Sudan Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment

Africa

South Africa

N/A

·          Land Reform Programme

·         Urban Development Framework, 1997

·          Land Use Management Bill, 2008

·          Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000

Administrative:

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment

Statutory:

·          Environmental Impact Assessment

·          Statutory and non-statutory system

 

Non- statutory:

·          Guideline Document: Strategic Environmental Assessment in South Africa

Statutory:

·          General Guide to the Environmental Impact Assessment regulations, 2006

Administrative:

·          Policy, plan and programme

Statutory:

·          Policy, plan and programme

·          Durban South Basin Strategic Environmental Assessment

·          Strategic Environmental Assessment for uMhlathuze Municipality, South Africa


4                 Introduction

4.1           Overview

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a process through which any potential significant environmental effects arising from policies, plans and programmes can be identified, assessed, mitigated and communicated before those effects occur or are exacerbated.  The SEA process can thus assist with sustainable public planning and policy-making, including large-scale development projects under a jurisdiction.

This Final Report presents a review of the latest global practices for evaluating the strategic environmental issues / implications of urban development policies and actions under both the statutory and administrative / non-statutory systems.

4.2           Objectives of the Services

The practices of the SEA process in urban development policies and actions vary from country to country depending on their internal administrative system, historical and present socio-cultural and economic condition, and their internal political stability.

To capture the overall understanding on the SEA implementation progress in urban development policies at local / regional level, the following 21 selected countries and 5 Development Cooperation (DC) were reviewed and reported at this Final Report:

·         Developed countries in Europe: Denmark, Finland, France, The Netherlands, United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and UK), Austria, Germany, Norway, Portugal and Spain;

·         Developed countries in North America: Canada and U.S. ;

·         Developed countries in Oceania: Australia and  New Zealand;

·         Developing country: Mainland China, Japan, Korea, Macau SAR, Singapore and Thailand

·         Developing country in Africa: South Africa and

·         DC: World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and United Nations Environmental Programme.

In addition, the present SEA process in urban development policies and actions in Hong Kong is also reviewed and reported as reference.

5                 Background

5.1           Concepts and Definitions

5.1.1       Strategic Environmental Assessment

SEA is a systematic process for evaluating the environmental consequences of proposed policy, plan or programme initiatives in order to ensure they are fully included and appropriately addressed at the earliest appropriate stage of decision-making on par with economic and social considerations (Sadler and Verheem, 1996).

5.1.2       Policy

A general course of action or proposed overall direction that a government is or will be pursuing and that guides ongoing decision-making (Sadler and Verheem 1996).

5.1.3       Urban Development

Proposed large-scale development projects, which may cause significant environmental impacts, in urban or rural areas.

5.1.4       Urban Development Policy and/or Action

An action of a government takes in the urban development aspect. The action includes the systems for setting up of development plans, land use, land ownership and zoning as well as many other areas of government. Such policies are often influenced by political beliefs and the administrative hierarchy.

5.1.5       Statutory

The action is obliged by statutes, which are laws enacted by a legislature or other governing authority such as the executive branch of government and international institutions.

5.1.6       Non-statutory

In contrast, non-statutory actions are those that follow the system but are not obligated by law. Its authority rests not on legislation, but on individual parties. Although lacking force of law, such instruments usually establish requirements that may be interpreted as mandatory or discretionary for government agencies. Non-statutory system consists of guidelines or communication, executive instructions, etc..

5.1.7       Administrative System

System/ internal procedures set up by the government in which all the government agencies are mandatory to adopt when performing their jobs and duty internally. The system/ internal procedures are not obligated by law. Its authority rests on individual agencies.

6                 Methodology

6.1           Information Collection and Review Process

The primary task under this study is to review and collate applicable available information on international approach in relation to the

·         Urban development policies and actions;

·         Environmental evaluation / strategic environmental assessment for policy proposals; and

·         Environmental evaluation / strategic environmental assessment for urban development planning policies.

The environmental evaluation / SEA procedures identified for both general policy proposals and urban planning policy proposal have included statutory and administrative / non-statutory systems, the overall evaluation process and evaluation tools applied.

The information collected has been derived from, but has not been limited to, the following channels:

·         Legal documents (e.g., relevant legislation, regulations, directives, etc.);

·         General and statutory guidance documents (e.g., technical circulars / memoranda, handbooks, guidance notes / guidelines, etc.) similar to the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) and the EIAO Technical Memorandum (EIAO TM) etc;

·         Government / DC related agencies (e.g., environmental agency, planning authority, etc.);

·         Requirements of reports / environmental statements; and

·         Requirements of SEA processes.

To assist the readers in better understanding the viability of each SEA system, at least two implemented projects have been identified and assessed as practical case studies in this Report.

The information provided in this Report is primarily based on Internet sources published in English, Traditional and / or Simplified Chinese language.  The exact website address links to each of the relevant documents has been presented in full and confirmed to be valid up until completion of this report.

Relevant local authorities of the selected countries / DCs have also been contacted to obtain the most updated and accurate information for this study. The list of contact information is provided as Appendix A.

6.2           Analysis and Reporting

Available information gathered for all selected countries and DC has been reviewed and analyzed individually.   

 

7                 Country Reports

7.1           Asia Pacific

7.1.1       Hong Kong

7.1.1.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

The Planning Department published Hong Kong 2030 Planning Vision and Strategy (HK2030 Study) in 2007, which aims at updating the Territorial Development Strategy (TDS) for Hong Kong.  It recommended, on the basis of a series of assumptions, how spatial environment of Hong Kong should respond to various social, economic and environmental needs in the next 20 to 30 years, taking Hong Kong towards a shared vision.

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

In Hong Kong, the shaping of urban development including the HK2030 Study is implemented in accordance with either statutory or departmental district plans. These plans aim to regulate and provide guidance to development in terms of land use, building density and development characteristics, and to ensure that they are in line with the planning objectives of the districts.

For statutory planning, the principal responsible body is the Town Planning Board (TPB). Established under the Town Planning Ordinance, the TPB is responsible for preparing statutory plans for the use of land in different areas. There are two standing committees under the TPB, namely, the Metro Planning Committee and the Rural and New Town Planning Committee. These broad scale statutory plans cover the use of land for major roads and transport systems, and provide statutory planning controls in the form of land zoning and specification of development parameters. There are two types of statutory plans: outline zoning plans (OZP) and development permission area (DPA) plans.

OZP shows the proposed land uses and major road systems of an individual planning area. DPA plans are similar to outline zoning plans except that they are interim plans. They cover rural areas of the New Territories and they are eventually replaced by outline zoning plans. A set of notes is attached to each statutory plan, indicating the uses in particular zones that are always permitted and others for which the TPB's permission must be sought.

At district level, the District Planning Offices of the Planning Department prepare two types of departmental district plans - departmental Outline Development Plans and Layout Plans. These administrative plans are prepared for individual districts or planning areas to show the planned land uses, development restrictions and transport networks in greater detail. Under section 25 of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) Ordinance, development scheme plans prepared by the former Land Development Corporation and its successor URA, also require approval by the TPB.

B.     Overview of evaluation approach

Guiding the preparation of all these plans is the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG). This is a Government manual of criteria for determining the scale, location and site requirements of various land uses and facilities. In particular, Chapter 9 of the HKPSG specifically covers environmental.

The Planning Standards Sub-Committee (PSSC) is a sub-committee of the Committee on Planning and Land Development (CPLD), which is responsible for the formulation and review of the HKPSG. Members of the PSSC are all government department representatives. However, for territorial significance or unique uses and facilities (such as airports, museums, and universities), the provision of these facilities and their locational requirements would be subject to individual investigations and other internationally recognized criteria, therefore the HKPSG does not provide standards or guidelines for them. Once the policy authorities and committees formulate or revise a Government policy that has land use implications, the HKPSG are reviewed and may revise accordingly.  As a tool in forward planning, the HKPSG provides general guidelines to ensure that, during the planning process, the Government will reserve adequate land to facilitate sustainable development of Hong Kong (see Chapter 1, HKPSG). 

The Government also issues guidelines for specific purpose of land use planning or urban development.  An example is “General Circular No. 1/2004 - Site Searches” by Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau (HPLB).

 

The plan making process is summarized as follow:

·         TPB agrees the proposal with reference to the HKPSG, all new plans, amendments to approved plans or amendments to draft plans will be exhibited for public representation (either supportive or adverse)..

·         All received representations by the TPB will be published for comments. The TPB or its Representation Hearing Committee (RHC) will hold a hearing to consider the representations and comments received, and may propose amendments to the draft plan.  This representation consideration process will repeat once again for possible further amendment of the draft plan.

·         Upon completion of the representation consideration process, TPB is required to submit the draft plan incorporating the amendments, representations, comments and further representations to the Chief Executive in Council for approval. In parallel, all representations / comments / further representations should be made available for public inspection until the Chief Executive in Council has decided on the draft plan.

·         The Board may accept the application in whole or in part or refuse the application. The applicant will be notified in writing of the Board’s decision and the reasons for that.

·         Applicants who are unsatisfied with the decisions of the TPB may lodge appeals with the independent Town Planning Appeal Board

7.1.1.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

Hong Kong has a statutory system to carry out SEA for certain landuse plans and major proposals.

The Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) was enacted in 1997 and became operational since April 1998. The Ordinance requires a list of Designated Projects, including major urban development and redevelopment projects, to produce mandatory documentation and conduct public consultation. Development plans classified as Designated Projects have to conduct EIA. These major development and redevelopment plans are listed under Schedule 3 of the EIA Ordinance and they are regarded as SEA in many developed countries:

·         engineering feasibility studies of urban development projects with a study area covering more than 20 ha or involving a total population of more than 100,000; and

·         engineering feasibility studies of redevelopment projects with a study area covering more than 100,000 existing or new population.

Administrative / non-statutory mechanism

In addition to the statutory EIA system, SEA has also been applied to urban development policies, plans and programmes (PPPs) through the administrative system. This helps to ensure that environmental considerations are taken into account even during the policy making process.

·         As stated in 1992’s Governor’s Policy Address, environmental implications arising from proposals of new policies or strategies should be stated clearly in all submissions to Executive Council (the highest decision making body in Hong Kong).

·         Since 2002, “Sustainability Implication” section is also required to be included in the submissions to the Executive Council, which is a full assessment of their social, environmental and economic implications.

 

·         As stated in the 2005-06 Policy Address, it is anticipated that all future new major government policies (including land use planning) will be subject to environmental protection scrutiny.

Although the standards and guidelines in the HKPSG are neither statutory nor rigid, any departure from the standards and criteria considered in the HKPSG should not be accepted by the TPB without full consideration of all the implications to the living conditions in Hong Kong. Chapter 9 provides specific guidance for including environmental considerations in the planning of both public and private developments which will have potential to cause significant changes to the biophysical environment or which are sensitive to environment.  General environmental considerations in land use planning cover air quality, noise, water quality and waste management. During the preparation of statutory plans, TPB take into account these environmental considerations. Where appropriate, mitigation measures related to planning standards and guidelines in HKPSG may be included in the lease conditions or stipulated as a condition of planning permission granted by the Town Planning Board.

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

For certain urban development plan (i.e. under Schedule 3 designated project under the EIAO), statutory environmental impact assessment is usually carried out under the EIAO process:

Stage 1: The applicant submits an application for an EIA Study Brief along with a project profile describing issues relevant to the project, and advertises the availability of the project profile for public comments.

Stage 2: The Director issues an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study brief to the applicant. The applicant should prepare an EIA report in accordance with the requirements of the EIA study brief and the Technical Memorandum on EIA Process. An EIA Report shall comprise series of documents providing detailed quantitative EIA wherever possible, and the likely environmental impacts and benefits of the project. This would typically include areas like water and sediment quality, air quality, the noise environment, ecology, the cultural heritage and the man-made environment. It shall describe the characteristics of the environment, identify potential impacts which may be harmful or beneficial to the environment, evaluate anticipated changes and effects that shall be made, and propose mitigation measures which shall give priority to avoidance of impacts.

Stage 3: The Director shall evaluate the adequacy of the EIA Report based on the following consideration:

·         Comprehensive coverage of the EIA report, which factually reflect the scope and extent of the project as well as associated potential environmental impacts;

·         Adoption of sound and adequate assumptions and assessment methodologies

·         Comparison of environmental benefits and disbenefits of various scenarios with or without the project;

·         Maximum avoidance of adverse environmental effects, definition of all necessary environmental protection requirements and best mitigation measures;

·         Incorporation of lessons learned from other similar projects;

·         Adequate address of the need for environmental monitoring and audit together with a schedule.

Stage 4: If Director is satisfied with the EIA report, it will exhibit for public inspection for 30 days. The EIA report may also be required to submit to the Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE) for comments.

Stage 5: Once approved, the EIA report will be placed on the Register established under the EIA Ordinance for future referral.

Administrative / non-statutory mechanism

The strategic environmental assessment of land use planning through administrative system is guided by the online Hong Kong SEA Manual (http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/SEA/eng/index.html).

The environmental planning process flowchart within the non-statutory planning framework is shown in Figure 7.1.1.2.

·         Following Chapter 9 of HKPSG, proponents or development agents in consultation with Environmental Protection Department (EPD) should carry out an analysis of the environmental implications of the development.

·         The matrix analysis showing environmental concerns relating to various land uses against different environmental aspects are classified into three types according to the likelihood and severity of, or sensitivity to, environmental impacts:

-          Type I: Only some of the activities may cause environmental impacts. Impacts may be minimised through various measures. Least adverse impacts to the environment;

-          Type II: Majority of the activities have potential to cause environmental impacts. Environmental standards and guidelines should be applied. Scoped environmental assessments of the developments at the project planning stage may be necessary.

-          Type III: Land uses are likely to cause significant environmental concerns. The associated environmental standards and guidelines must be fully observed. Detailed Environmental Impact Assessments of the developments at the project planning stage may be necessary. Most significant impacts to the environment.

·         Based on the matrix results and the environmental factors influencing particular areas, the proponent or development agents should consider and evaluate various parameters during the design of the urban development plan, such as the land use conflict, feasibility of development control imposition, necessity of alternative development options, effectiveness of land use zoning and site layout.

·         The subsequent statutory plan making processes will be followed, which involve public consultation and possible amendments.

C.     Process Flow Chart

The statutory EIA process flow chart for a Schedule 3 designated project (i.e. planning projects under the EIAO) is presented in Figure 7.1.1.1. The administrative environmental planning process flow-chart under Chapter 9 of HKPSG is listed in Figure 7.1.1.2.

 


Figure 7.1.1.1.        EIA flow chart

 Sources: A Guide to the EIA Ordinance - http://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/english/guid/ordinance/fig1.html

 

Figure 7.1.1.2.        Process flow chart for plan making process

Source: Chapter 9 Environment of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines -http://www.pland.gov.hk/tech_doc/hkpsg/english/ch9/ch9_fig2_1.htm

 

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.1.1.1.                Summary Table for Hong Kong

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, Hong Kong 2030 Planning Vision and Strategy

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, Town Planning Ordinance, Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance, General Circular No. 1/2004 - Site Searches

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment, sustainability assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Requirement Mechanism

Administrative system

Statutory system

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

HKPSG Chapter 9, Sustainability Assessment System, 2005-06 Policy Address

EIA Ordinance, Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process

Applications

Policies, plans and programmes

Plans and programmes

 

7.1.1.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

The TPB, established under the Town Planning Ordinance, is responsible for all the statutory plans. Development projects are implemented in accordance with statutory (i.e. outline zoning plans and development permission area plans) or departmental district plans. These plans aim to regulate and provide guidance to development in terms of land use, building density and development characteristics, and to ensure that they are in line with the planning objectives of the districts. This covers the urban development of the whole territories. Along the plan making process, Hong Kong has established statutory public representation, comments and further representation processes, in which new plans and amendments to the plans shall be considered accordingly. In addition, representatives from different relevant government departments (e.g. transport department, environmental protection department, housing department) are all engaged during the urban development process.

Environmental evaluation / SEA

The concept of SEA for policies, plans and programmes in Hong Kong is provided under statutory and administrative / non-statutory systems for PPPs. The Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) is the principle statutory requirements governing the SEA for certain redevelopments and urban developments. The administrative system has also been applied to urban development PPPs. Along the statutory town planning process, Chapter 9 of the HKPSG provides specific guidance for including environmental considerations in the planning of both public and private developments, which will have significant environmental impacts.

With the public engagement mechanism along the EIA process / town planning process, environmental concerns from the public can be addressed.

 

 

 

 

7.1.1.4  Project Examples

Example 1

Kai Tak Planning Review

Description of the Study

(scope and objectives of the study, why this study initiated, location / brief history about this study)

The Kai Tak Planning Review (the Study) was commissioned by the Planning Department in July 2004. It is tasked to conduct a comprehensive planning review of the South East Kowloon Development in view of the latest legal interpretation on reclamation. It formulated a Preliminary Outline Development Plan (PODP) for Kai Tak Development (KTD), with “no reclamation” as the starting point. The scope of this Study basically followed the coverage of the Kai Tak Outline Zoning Plans.

Extensive public engagement activities were proceeded throughout the Study.

Process of the Study

(overview of general process, more detail description on environmental evaluation. Also describe the parties involved, time schedule of the overall process (which month/year did which step))

To ensure compliance with the clarified Protection of the Harbour Ordinance, a comprehensive planning and engineering review of the Kai Tak Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs), which would originally involve reclamation, was conducted with “no reclamation” as the starting point. This Study is the first stage of the comprehensive review.

To foster community support and general consensus on the key issues and to promote ownership on the study proposals, a 3-stage public participation programme was formulated.

For this Study, it was further divided into several phases:

Inception Phase:

·          Plan the overall approach, methodology and programme of the Study; Stage 1 Public Participation to gauge the community’s visions on the future development of Kai Tak.

Review Phase:

·          Carry out a baseline review on the development vision, planning principles, development constraints and design opportunities, re-investigate the development requirements and parameters. The major elements for review including planning, urban design and landscape, engineering, drainage & sewerage, traffic & highways, cruise terminal, helicopter service and environmental review. This process involved the consultation of various government departments.

·          In particular for the environmental review, previous EIAs and findings for Kai Tak Approach Channel sediment contamination and treatment proposals were critically reviewed.

·          Based on the information gathered in the baseline review, prepare 3 options of OCP presenting different land use and urban design themes; conduct preliminary sustainability assessment on the draft OCPs; Stage 2 Public Participation to discuss the three Outline Concept Plans (OCPs).

Plan Preparation Phase:

·          Prepare Preliminary Outline Development Plan (PODP) after taking into full consideration the input from the Stage 2 Public Participation.

·          Conduct preliminary technical assessments covering traffic & transport, highway infrastructure, environment, marine, drainage & sewerage and water & utility; develop implementation framework; conduct preliminary sustainability assessment for PODP.

·          For the preliminary environmental assessment, air quality, noise, water quality, sediment contamination, hazard, waste management, landscape & visual and cultural heritage were covered. Through identification of sensitive receivers, pollution sources identification, modelling simulation, pollution loading estimation and other assessment methods, environmental impacts were critically reviewed.

·          Stage 3 Public Participation to invite public discussion on more detailed land use and transport proposals of the draft PODP..

Recommendation Phase:

·          Finalize PODP with reference to the findings of the preliminary technical assessments and the views gathered; prepare Draft Final Report and Executive Summary.

Outcome of the Study

Key environmental issues were identified through the Study, some of them are highlighted as below:

·          Appropriate treatments/ mitigation measures for odour emissions from contaminated sediments should be explored.

·          Areas and buildings/ structures with high heritage value should be taken into account in planning for KTD.

·          New utility installations would be required within the development area to cater for future demand.

The completed PODP served as a basis for the amendments to the statutory Kai Tak OZPs and also provided input to the Engineering Feasibility and Environmental Impact Assessment Studies in the next stage of the comprehensive review as KTD is a Schedule 3 Designated Project under the EIAO. The new draft Kai Tak Outline Zoning Plan was gazetted for public inspection on 24 November 2006. After taking into account the representations/comments/further representations received during the statutory exhibition period, Town Planning Board amended the OZP. On 6 November 2007, the Chief Executive in Council approved the draft Kai Tak OZP.

 

Example 2

Environmental Impact Assessment for Further Development of Tseung Kwan O Feasibility Study 2005

Description of the Study

Tseung Kwan O (TKO) is the seventh New Town in Hong Kong.  Feasibility Study for Further Development of Tseung Kwan O (TKO) (hereafter referred to as “the Project”) had been conducted by Civil Engineering and Development Department of HKSARG in 2005 to review the overall planning of TKO. This is to ensure that a comprehensive planning approach to the development of this area within the context of the South East New Territories Development Strategy. The proposed developments under the Project comprised of new developments at Town Centre South, Pak Shing Kok and remaining areas of Tiu Keng Leng, Western Coast Road, and Cross Bay Link.

Prior to public consultation and the development of a Concept Plan, four alternative development themes were evaluated against a range of performance criteria and subjected to comparative assessments from environmental, planning and technical perspectives. The Concept Plan was used for formulation of more detailed layout plans that provide the land use and infrastructure layout framework for testing in the various impact assessment studies including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to confirm their feasibility.

The scope of this EIA study covered all developments proposed under the Project and any development proposals to be recommended in the course of the EIA study, and any other works associated with the proposed developments. It provides information on the nature and extent of potential environmental impacts arising from the construction and operation of the developments proposed under the Project and related activities taking place concurrently.

Process of the Study

Before undertaking this EIA and consolidation of the Concept Plan, the views of the public were combined with the technical assessments (i.e. with reference to the HKPSG) to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the alternative development themes. The combined evaluation yielded a ranking of the development themes which reflected public acceptability and that were sustainable from engineering, planning, and environmental perspectives.

Under the EIAO, this Project is classified as a Schedule 3 Designated Project because it involved a total population of more than 100,000, therefore this detailed environmental impact assessment was required.

An EIA study brief was issued by the Director of Environmental Protection (DEP) after the submission of project profile by proponent to specify assessment area.  The EIA was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the EIA study brief and the Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process.  It comprises 13 key areas, including air quality, noise, hydrodynamic and water quality, sewerage and sewage treatment, terrestrial ecology, marine ecology, fisheries, landscape and visual, waste management implications, biogas assessment, cultural heritage, landfill gas hazard and hazard to life were evaluated.

Impacts of key subject areas during construction and operational phase were assessed. For each assessment area, the following aspects were covered:

·          relevant governing legislation and standards;

·          assessment criteria and methods (e.g. air quality and noise modelling, literature review, 6-month ecological surveys and qualitative risk assessment);

·          assessment findings and relevant mitigation measures, such as provision of indirect technical remedies to noise sensitive receivers where exceedance of the relevant noise limit was predicted after implementation of all recommended mitigation measures; and

·          recommendation of environmental monitoring and audit programme to check the effectiveness of recommended mitigation measures.

Director of Environmental Protection (DEP) evaluated the adequacy of the Report and the overall environmental acceptability of the Project after the implementation of environmental mitigation measures. DEP satisfied with the Report content. 

Outcome of the Study

Given proposed mitigation measures for construction and operation phases are implemented, the Report concluded that the proposed Project would be environmentally acceptable.

Once DEP was satisfied that the Report met the requirements of the Study Brief and Technical Memorandum, the Report was exhibited for public to comment from 15 October 2005 to 13 November 2005. During the period, 4 sets of written comments were received from the public. On 8 December 2005, the EIA report was approved without conditions.

 

7.1.1.5   List of References

·         Hong Kong: The Fact – Town Planning, (September 2007) http://www.gov.hk/en/about/abouthk/factsheets/docs/town_planning.pdf

·         Town Planning Ordinance (Chapter 131), http://www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_ind.nsf/CurAllEngDoc?OpenView&Start=117&Count=30&Expand=131#131

·         Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines – Chapter 9, http://www.pland.gov.hk/tech_doc/hkpsg/english/ch9/ch9_text.htm

·         Town Planning Board, http://www.info.gov.hk/tpb/en/about_us/intro.html

·         Sustainability Assessment of HKSARG, http://www.susdev.gov.hk/html/en/su/sus.htm

·         Kai Tak Planning Review, http://www.pland.gov.hk/p_study/prog_s/sek_09/website_chib5_eng/english/index.html

·         Further Development of Tseung Kwan O Feasibility Study (EIA 111/ 2005), http://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/register/report/eiareport/eia_1112005/index.htm

·         EIA Ordinance, http://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/english/legis/index1.html

·         Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process, http://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/english/legis/index3.html

 


7.1.2       Mainland China

7.1.2.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

As a big country like Mainland China, urban development is a key issue for the sustainable growth of the country. The 11th Five Year Plan for 2006-2010 of Mainland China, which was approved in the Communist Party of China 5th section and 16th session of central committee 2005, provides a general framework for the short and medium term development of China. It covers economic, social and environmental aspects. In particular, there is also an emphasis on the village urbanization and development, as well as facilitation of regional development coordination in the Plan. 

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

As stated in《中華人民共和國土地管理法》, all the land within Mainland China is owned by the country and governed by the State Council on behalf of Mainland China. Other than those villages and rural lands which are owned by the farmer collective, the remaining is government land. The two major ministries involved in land management are the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People’s Republic of China (MOHURD) and the Ministry of Land and Resources.

Binding to 《中華人民共和國土地管理法》, the Ministry of Land and Resources is responsible for both urban and rural land throughout China, the administration of land ownership and land use rights, the land register, land use planning and the protection of land resources, and the conveyance of land use rights in coordination with other relevant departments. MOHURD is responsible for housing, urban-rural planning and the provision of major infrastructure.

In rural areas, the administration at the county level is responsible for overall land use planning within its respective jurisdiction, including issuing “land contract certificates” to farmers and rectifying the conversion of farmland to non-agricultural uses. It is only at the county level and above that can approve the conversion, with the approval level required increasing progressively depending on the area of land being considered for conversion.

Control of development planning by the national government is based on the 2008 《中華人民共和國城鄉規劃法》. This Law aims at enhancing the urban-rural planning management, coordinating the spatial environment, improving the living environment and facilitating sustainable development of the urban-rural economy and society.

The Law establishes the specifications for the development & implementation of urban-rural plans, including City-township System Plans, City Plans, Township Plans, Rural Township Plans and Village Plans. City Plans and Township Plans are further categorized into Overall Plans and Detailed Plans, in which Detailed Plans are classified into regulated Detailed Plans and corrective Detailed Plans. Local governments at or above the level of municipality are responsible for the development of plans within their regions.

Land use activities within the planning districts must comply with this Law and defined in urban-rural plans. And the planning districts refer to the developed zones of cities, townships and villages as well as areas that the land use must be controlled due to the development needs.

Different urban-rural plans, once approved, are to be “strictly implemented”. Urban-rural development and planning management should strictly follow these plans. The compliance of the urban-rural plans is monitored and checked by the administrative divisions of the Planning Bureaus of county level or above.

For those outside the planning districts (e.g. farmland owned by the farmer association or grassland, ponds), development of these areas is governed by 《中華人民共和國土地管理法》. Through the administration of land ownership and land use rights, environmental and land resources of these areas are to be protected.

To implement the 11th Five Year Plan (2006-2010), the State Council introduced the concept of Functional Zones associated with environmental and natural resource concerns in 2007. The purpose is to ensure that local governments respond to different sets of incentives according to different functional zones (other than the dominant objective of promoting GDP and growth), emphasizing better environmental performance and taking account of environmental carrying capacity. The four categories of Functional Zones are: Optimized Development Zones (which include areas where land development density is already high and environmental resource carrying capacity starts to decline); Key Development Zones (which include areas where resource environmental carrying capacity is relatively strong and the economic and population concentration condition is relatively good); Restricted Development Zones (which include areas where environmental resource carrying capacity is relatively weak and a large-scale, concentrated economic and population condition is not desired); and Prohibited Development Zones (which include legally established nature reserves).

B.     Overview of evaluation approach

For urban-rural plans, the statutory establishment process is summarized as follow:

Preparation of plans

Under the MOHURD, the urban-rural planning administration division of State Council is tasked to develop national urban-rural system plans for State Council’s approval. And the Planning Bureaus of different administrative divisions should hire qualified planners to produce different levels of plans.

The plans should aim at providing reasonable spatial arrangement, improving ecological environment, facilitating resources and energy saving and integrated usage, saving farmland and preserving cultural heritage, preventing pollution, satisfy population growth, defense development, fire safety and public safety needs.

For the Overall City Plans and Overall Township Plans, details relating to the land use, infrastructure development, public service facilities, water resources, agricultural land and greening areas, environmental protection, natural environment, heritage preservation and fire prevention must be included in these plans.

The planned project period of the Overall City Plans and Overall Township Plans is normally 20 years.

At local levels, the planning specifications such as infrastructure, land-use, spatial environment, housing, utility supplies and site are to be listed at the Rural Township Plans and Village Plans in more detail.

Public consultation

Before submitting the plans for approval, preparation unit should exhibit the draft plans for public comments. They should also engage experts and the public through hearings, discussion forums and other means.

Approval

With the consolidation of comments into the draft plans, the Planning Bureaus of different administrative divisions will submit the plans to the approval authority (i.e. the administrative division that is one tier up the administration hierarchy). 

Revision in plans

As stated in the 《中華人民共和國城鄉規劃法》, plans should be constantly reviewed and assessed by the relevant preparation unit together with experts. Comments from public should also be consolidated through hearings and other public consultation channels. Feedback from public and the planning assessment report will be submitted to the approval authority for approval.  In general, changes to these plans can only be made with the authorization of the approval authority (i.e. by the administrative division that is one tier up the administration hierarchy) and under the following situation:

·         there is change in the urban-rural plans prepared by the upper administration divisions;

·         revision of administrative region;

·         approval of mega project at that region by State Council;

·         revision suggested through the planning assessment; and

·         the recognition by the approval authority of a need in changes of the plans.

For the development of Functional Zones, they are prepared through administrative mechanism following these three stages:

Stage 1: Objective analysis of the spatial environment of the whole territory, which includes:

·         resources and environmental carrying capacity;

·         current development density; and

·         development potential.

Stage 2: Identification of the number, location and scope of the main function districts base on the analysis and other parameters such as population, transport, and the property development in spatial environmental change.

Stage 3: Enhancement of the local financial, investment, property, land-use, population management, environmental and effectiveness in policy assessment is to facilitate the development of main function districts.

 

7.1.2.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China (MEP) is the major ministry responsible for regulating strategic environmental assessment.

The SEA of China is mainly governed by the Environmental Impact Assessment Law, which was prepared by the Environmental and Resources Protection Committee of the National People’s Congress.  This was adopted on 28th October 2002 and became effective on 1st September 2003. EIA in this Law was defined as the methodology and system of performing analysis, projection and evaluation on potential environmental impacts resulting from implementation of a plan or a construction project, proposing counter measures to prevent or alleviate adverse impacts, and carrying out tracing monitoring. This EIA Law provides for EIAs of long-term (i.e. 5-10 years) strategic plans at national, provincial and sector levels; and short-term (i.e. less than 5 year) project plans at local levels. The 2nd chapter of this EIA Law specifically refers to EIA for Plans.

For development plans, the law requires relevant departments under the State Council, and local governments at or above the level of municipality with districts and relevant departments under them to:

·         Organize an EIA and prepare chapters or descriptions of environmental impacts of draft land use plans and construction projects and exploitation plans of regions, river basins and sea areas; and

·         Prepare EIAs and submit an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for draft sectoral plans concerning: land use; agriculture; livestock breeding; forestry; natural resources; urban construction; industries; energy; transportation; tourism and other specific plans.

Draft land use plans without chapters or descriptions of environmental impacts will not be approved by relevant government authority.

《規劃環境影響評價條例》had been prepared by the MEP in March 2008. As a supplement of the EIA Law, it aims to elaborate the assessment methodology of EIA for plans. The public consultation period of this regulation was completed in end of April 2008, but has not been approved by the State Council upon this research study. 

Administrative mechanism

In addition to the Environmental Impact Assessment Law,《國務院關於編制全國主體功能區規劃的意見》stated that the environmental carrying capacity of spatial areas within the territory should be assessed before categorizing into different Functional Zones. The four Functional Zone categories are defined by their environment performances, development potential and functions.

 

 

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

Under the EIA Law, draft sectoral plans should adopt the following environmental impact assessment process:

·         The specifications of the environmental impact assessment for plans as required by the EIA Law are determined by the environmental protection administration division of the State Council and relevant government agencies under the State Council, which subsequently submitted to State Council for approval.

·         The proponents must engage a qualified professional for conducting the EIA study, which must be rigorous and undertaken in a realistic and scientific manner.

·         The EIS should cover three major areas:

·         The analysis, projection and evaluation on potential environmental impact resulting from the implementation of a plan

·         Proposal of alternative measures to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts

·         Conclusion of the environmental impact assessment

·         Proponents must consult with the “interested” public (including government agencies, experts and the public) through expert meetings and public hearings or other means) to solicit comments and suggestions on the draft EIS; and the EIS must provide an account of the participation process and indicate what comments/suggestions have been adopted.

·         The EIS should be incorporated into the draft sectoral plans for the submission to the authority responsible for the policies and plans (i.e. local governments at or above the level of municipality) before they are examined and approved.

·         The submitted EIS will be examined by a review group selected randomly from a national expert database.

·         The approval of the draft sectoral plan will take into account the conclusion of the environmental impact assessment and review group’s comment.

While for those land use plans, construction projects and exploitation plans specified in the EIA Law, environmental impact assessment should be carried out as the following steps:

·         During the preparation of plans, an EIA should be organized to include environmental chapters or relevant descriptions of environmental impacts.

·         The environmental chapters or descriptions of environmental impacts should cover three major areas:

·         The analysis, projection and evaluation on potential environmental impact resulting from the implementation of a plan

·         Proposal of alternative measures to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts

·         Conclusion of the environmental impact assessment

·         The draft plans with environmental chapters are submitted to the approval authority.

Administrative mechanism

Under the《國務院關於編制全國主體功能區規劃的意見》, prior to the categorization of Functional Zones, the resources and environmental carrying capacity of the spatial environment of the whole territory must be objectively assessed through scientific methods. This includes analysis of the natural resources availability, environmental carrying capacity (e.g. water and air), ecological sensitivity of the environment (e.g. weathering, dissertation), ecological importance (e.g. biodiversity) and frequency of natural disasters (e.g. earthquake, climate, and typhoon).

From the lowest to the highest environmental capacity, areas will be categorized from Prohibited Development Zones to Optimized Development Zones respectively.

After the categorization, the development of the Functional Zones must be in compliance with the environmental limitations issued:

1.       Optimized Development Zones: Must implement more stringent discharge limits and standards, significantly reduce pollution discharge;

2.       Key Development Zones: Maintain current environmental carrying capacity;

3.       Restricted Development Zones: Ensure environment protection acts as the first priority of development, and ensure ecological function recovery and ecological conservation;

4.       Prohibited Development Zones: Must conserve the environment in compliance with the Regulations.

C.     Process Flow Chart

The statutory EIA process flow chart for sectoral plans is presented in Figure 7.1.2.1.

 

Figure 7.1.2.1.        Process flow chart for EIA for plans

 

 

 

 

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.1.2.1.                Summary Table for Mainland China

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

第十一個五年規劃, 《國務院關於編制全國主體功能區規劃的意見》

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

《中華人民共和國城鄉規劃法》, 《城市規劃編制辦法》, 《中華人民共和國土地管理法》, 《中華人民共和國土地管理法實施條例》

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Requirement Mechanism

Administrative system

Statutory system

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

《國務院關於編制全國主體功能區規劃的意見》, 第十一個五年規劃

《中華人民共和國環境影響評價法》, 《規劃環境影響評價條例(徵求意見稿)》

Applications

Plans and programmes

Plans and programmes

 

7.1.2.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

The implementation of 《中華人民共和國土地管理法》 has not been effective. In 2007, the Ministry of Land and Resources registered demolition of illegal constructions of more than 6 million square meters, confiscation of illegal construction of more than 2.9 million square meters and penalty of RMB$0.5 billion.

For 《中華人民共和國城鄉規劃法》, it clearly defines the preparation, implementation and amendment of urban development plans. The roles and responsibilities of different administration units involved along the urban-rural planning are clearly elaborated. Public consultation is integrated into the planning process. However, since it is a new legislation that was enacted in January 2008, the full implementation of this Law is still pending. Relevant administration divisions are still learning this Law and trainings on the interpretation of this Law are still continued.

Environmental evaluation / SEA

The integration of environmental concerns into urban development policies is not through market-based mechanisms, but through institution. The EIA Law was enacted in September 2003, which regulates the environmental assessment of both plans and projects. It defined the methodology and system of performing analysis, projection and evaluation on potential environmental impacts resulting from implementation of a plan. However, the analysis methodology was not well defined, only a framework was provided. Also, the specifications of the environmental impact assessment for plans as required by the EIA Law are defined by the environmental protection administration division of the State Council instead of clearly stated in the EIA Law or any guidelines. Together with the loss enforcement of this EIA Law on plans, only 11 administrative regions have been selected to undergo pilot EIAs for plans since mid 2005. The full implementation of the EIA Law on policies and plans is still pending, waiting for the elaboration of assessment methodology through the enactment of《規劃環境影響評價條例》.

Under this legal framework, mandatory public engagement along the EIS preparation process allows the public / affected parties’ concerns to be addressed at early stage. This helps to resolve any potential conflicts and to enhance the efficient implementation of future plans.

 

 

7.1.2.4  Project Examples

Example 1

EIA for 11th FYP of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

Description of the Study

To promote the establishment of EIAs for plans at different provinces following the EIA Law, Ministry of Environmental Protection of PRC (previously named as State Environmental Protection Administration) in 2005 selected 11 standard administrative regions, iconic industries and important topic plans to develop EIAs as a pilot study. The 11th Five Year Plan (FYP) of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) was one of them because of its enriched mineral resources and strategic importance to China.

 

Process of the Study

In August 2005, Ministry of Environmental Protection of PRC and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region jointly kick off the EIA for 11th FYP of IMAR.

EIA for 11th FYP of IMAR analysed the relationship between the environmental carrying capacity of IMAR and the development plan of IMAR (including position, distribution, composition and scale of regional and property development).

EIA result drew up 5 major conclusions:

·          IMAR should strategically develop as “Ecological Zones”

·          Development from economic and environmental perspectives instead of administrative districts

·          Better functional arrangement of districts, so as to have proper integration of manufacturing, residential and ecological zones

·          Change the mode of industry to industries that consume less water.

·          Limit the scale of industry development with respect to the environmental carrying capacity of IMAR

Following the statutory process, the EIA report was submitted to Ministry of Environmental Protection of PRC (i.e. expert group) for approval.

Outcome of the Study

As the 11th FYP of IMAR was developed in parallel with the EIA, recommendations were addressed in the 11th FYP. The EIA provides scientific baseline information for the position, distribution, composition and scale of regional and property development of IMAR.

An expert group composting of ecological, economical and property experts approved the EIA report for 11th FYP of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in 2006.

 

Example 2

Strategic Environmental Assessment for Beijing Pinggu

Description of the Study

In compliance with the EIA Law and the public consultation guidelines developed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Pinggu of Beijing commissioned Environmental Impact Assessment Centre of Agricultural University of China to conduct a strategic environmental assessment (i.e. EIA for plan) for the new city plan of Pinggu. The Plan is developed in response to the Beijing City Overall Plan (Year 2004-2020).

The scope of the EIA covers the planning area of Pinggu administrative region, which is of 1075 square kilometres. Within the administrative region, the new city plan of Pinggu occupies 114 square kilometres.

Process of the Study

The process flow of the Strategic environmental assessment was summarized as follow:

The new draft city plan of Pinggu was developed after the completion of Beijing City Overall Plan 2004-2020, which was aimed to lead Pinggu to become a cosmopolitan industrial city, logistic hub and resort area.

An environmental impact assessment of the Plan was conducted and completed by 2007 in compliance with the EIA Law. It analysed, projected and evaluated the potential environmental impact resulting from the implementation of the draft Plan. Projected environmental impacts assessment were summarized in five areas:

·          Limited land supply as a result of the fast industrial and residential growth

·          Causing air and noise pollution as a result of city and industrial development

·          Tourism and fish farming may affect the ecological system of Pinggu and reduce the biodiversity. Also, water pollution and waste generation may arise from the increase in visitors.

·          Shortage of water

·          Ecological conservation measures can counter some of the adverse environmental impacts resulted from the implementation of the Plan

Outcome of the Study

The EIA result is exhibited on the webpage for public review. Proponent consulted the “interested” public to solicit comments and suggestions on the draft EIS through online questionnaires, emails and meetings. The public consultation process lasts from 15 December 2007 to 31 August 2008.

 

7.1.2.5  List of References

·         中共中央關於制定十一五規劃的建議(2005), http://gov.people.com.cn/GB/46742/3781970.html

·         《中華人民共和國城鄉規劃法》(2008), http://www.mohurd.gov.cn/zcfg/fl/200710/t20071029_159509.htm

·         《城市規劃編制辦法》(2006), http://www.mohurd.gov.cn/zcfg/jsbgz/200611/t20061101_159085.htm

·         《中華人民共和國土地管理法實施條例》(1999), http://www.mlr.gov.cn/zwgk/flfg/tdglflfg/200406/t20040625_369.htm

·         《中華人民共和國土地管理法》(1999), http://www.mlr.gov.cn/zwgk/flfg/gtzybl/200506/t20050607_68184.htm

·         《國務院關於編制全國主體功能區規劃的意見》 (2007), http://www.mohurd.gov.cn/zcfg/gwywj/200708/t20070801_155516.htm

·         《中華人民共和國環境影響評價法》 (2002), http://zfs.mep.gov.cn/fl/200210/t20021028_84000.htm

·         OECD Environmental Performance Review of China 2007, http://www.efchina.org/csepupfiles/report/200812095029729.8523773582758.pdf/Environmental%20Performance%20Review%20-%20China%2007-23-07.pdf

·         《規劃環境影響評價條例(徵求意見稿)》(2008),  http://www.mep.gov.cn/law/fg/gwyw/200803/t20080328_119745.htm

·         編制環境影響報告書的規劃的具體範圍(試行)》和《編制環境影響篇章或說明的規劃的具體範圍(試行) ,  http://www.gzepb.gov.cn/hjgl/jsxm/xgyq/200611/t20061109_44148.htm

·         國家土地總督察公告(第1號)(2008), http://www.mlr.gov.cn/zwgk/tjxx/200805/t20080509_102644.htm

·         環保總局:中國首個省級行政區戰略環評通過評審(2006), http://www.gov.cn/gzdt/2006-06/14/content_310183.htm

·         平谷區區域戰略環境影響評價簡介(2007), http://qyzl.bjpg.gov.cn/jj.jsp

 


7.1.3       Japan

7.1.3.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

Japanese planning system is a complex set of ingredients covering legal and legislative controls, plan-making, land use planning, zoning, control over population density etc. Planning in Japan is carried out at three levels - national, regional and local.

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

National Development Plans

The Comprehensive National Development Plan 1998 is based on the Comprehensive National Land Development Act of 1950 and is determined by the Prime Minister of the country, in consultation with concerned ministers. It covers economic strategies, nationwide transport network planning and the metropolitan cities’ development strategies.

Regional Planning

Japan is broadly divided into eight regions and administratively with 47 prefectures. Each prefecture is overseen by an elected governor, legislature and administrative bureaucracy. 

According to City Planning Act, city planning in Japan stipulates the basic provisions for the planned development of urban areas by local city government. They include:

·         the types and standards of city planning;

·         planning procedure;

·         planning control; and

·         urban development projects.

The City Planning Act of 1968 (2002 amended) forms the basis for city planning in Japan. The main features of this Act include:

·         Effective land-use control - Areas within a city were designated as 'urbanization promotion areas' and 'urbanization control areas' depending on the degree of urbanization.

·         Functional city planning areas - With rapid economic development, improved motor ways and other factors, 'functional city planning areas' were designated integrating multiple municipalities into single planning units. This formed a common basis within which a prefectural governor makes plans involving more than one municipality.

·         Delegation of power to local governments - Power to implement city planning was initially vested with the Minister of Construction (under the 1919 Act). This was delegated to the Prefectural Governors under the 1968 Act. City plans involving more than one municipality are made by the Governor, while other plans are made by the municipalities.

The regulation of land development in general is ensured through various acts, including Nature Conservation Act, Agricultural Land Act, Forest Act etc. Within urban areas, there are primarily two types of regulations - a development permission system which regulates the location and form of development, and the building confirmation system which regulates the use and structural safety of building.

Details of regulations and planning practices are specified in separate legislations. For instance, the Building Standard Act regulates building activities in accordance with the zoning plan, and the Land Consolidation Act provides legal procedures for land consolidation projects on sites specified in the authorized city plans.

 

B.     Overview of evaluation approach

An original draft city plan is prepared by the Local Planning Council and explained to the public. The Draft Plan is then opened for public opinions and concerned municipalities. This results in a Proposed City Plan. A public notice is issued, and submission of written opinions is invited from the public for two weeks. The Local Planning Council is constituted for the implementation. Approval from the Minister of Construction is sought in coordination with the concerned Ministries. The Final City Plan is then implemented.

City plans are decided principally by local authorities of cities, towns and villages, and by the Prefecture Governor for plans that require integrated planning on prefectural basis. Exception is cases which stretch over more than two prefectures, where city plans are to be decided by the Minister of Construction. Local Planning Councils are established in prefectures, cities towns or villages for this purpose.

A complex process of authorization has been put in place for city planning. Prefectural governments are normally the bodies which approve City Planning, while small-scale projects are approved by municipalities. As City Planning approval regulations involve restrictions on the rights of private property, various democratic procedures are provided such as holding of public hearings, public review of plans, holding of City Planning Councils etc.

A public hearing is held to reflect the thoughts of the residents in the affected area before public plans are prepared by the government authorities. Public hearings are held when restrictions on rights are significant, such as alterations of the Urban Promotion Area and review of arterial roads etc. The government authorities disclose the contents of the city plans to the public for more than two weeks, and requests opinions from the public. The plans are further consulted with the City Planning Councils of the prefectural government, a committee totally independent of the agency administrating the city plan.

7.1.3.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

In Japan, no formal provision has been made for a national system of SEA of policies, plans or programmes.

The Environmental Impact Assessment Law stipulates the mandatory implementation of environmental impact assessment for large-scale projects that may have a marked impact on the environment. This covers projects for constructing roads, dams, railways, airports, power stations, and landfills and land reclamation, and area development projects including land readjustment. The Law has been in full effect since June 1999. The Environmental Impact Assessment is focused on planning level.

The Basic Environment Law is the tool for governing the basic environmental policies as well as programmes.

Article 19 of the Basic Environment Law stipulates:

“The State shall consider environmental conservation when formulating and implementing policies which are deemed to influence the environment.”

The direction to include environmental consideration for government policies and public work plans is clearly stated in the Basic Environment Law Article 19 of the Basic Environment Law stipulates that environmental consideration must be included during the formulation and implementation of government policies that are expected to cause environmental impact. Concerning SEA, there is currently no national SEA system and national SEA legislation in Japan. On the other hand, there is mandatory EIA for certain port and harbour plans according to the national EIA system established plans in year 1972 and legislated in 1993, but in full effect in June 1999. Such EIAs on plans can actually be regarded as SEAs by definition.

While there is no formal provision for a national system of SEA, the concept of SEA for policies, plans and programmes is taking into consideration by national and local governments.

In Japan, SEA is done through EIA for port and harbour plans or at local level. SEA is implemented mainly by administrative process at a local government level, where each government have their own local ordinances. As the national SEA system has not been developed, no unified SEA procedure has therefore been established.

The Basic Environmental Law addressed SEA and considered the establishment of rules for SEA. It provided mandates to:

·         Carry out a review of the content and methods for including environmental considerations into decision-making on policies, plans and programmes.

·         Evaluate the effectiveness and practicability of such measures by reviewing cases and formulating guidelines based on the review.

·         Consider the framework for including environmental consideration in decision-making on policies, plans and programmes, if necessary.

Administrative mechanism

Several local governments such as Tokyo metropolitan government and Saitama Prefecture and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport have already introduced the idea of SEA into their environmental related plans and programmes.

The Ministry of Environment issued preliminary guideline on SEA in the formulation of municipal waste management plans in 2003. The Ministry of Land, infrastructure and Transport also introduce guidelines for promoting public involvement in road, airport and harbour planning and for taking into consideration alternatives in an early stage of the planning process.

Local governments are taking leading role in SEA applications in Japan, with totally 47 prefectures and 12 big cities having applied SEA under their jurisdictions mainly in the areas of regional, land use and development planning.

The Ministry of Environment established the "Panel for Comprehensive Research on Strategic Environmental Assessment" in 1998, and has been carrying out comprehensive investigation and research on the implementation status of related systems to systemize environmental assessment.

“Draft Guidelines for the Introduction of Strategic Environmental Assessment” was published in 2007 by the Ministry of Environment of Japan. SEA is still on the initial stage.

 

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

The Environmental Impact Assessment Law states that through the preparation of the plan, a project proponent selects the categories and methods for environmental impact assessment that are most appropriate to the characteristics of the locality and the type of project, taking into consideration the opinions of citizens and local governments. If the documents required by this legislation had been created in accordance with the ordinances or administrative guidance before the legislation was enforced, the required document shall be deemed complete, allowing legal procedures to begin from mid-process.

Environmental Impact Assessment Law is adopted to evaluate the environmental aspects of proposals in Japan.

Step 1: Screening and scoping

Screening is required for class-2 projects (refers to the Environmental Impact Assessment Law chapter 2, scetion1) with significant environmental impact while it is always required to undertake environmental assessment for class-1 projects in the Environmental Impact Assessment Law. The judgment is made by the authorizing agencies in accordance with the judgment criteria made by the relevant industry Ministry.

Scoping

Scoping is required under the Environmental Impact Assessment Law. The “scoping document” is prepared by the project proponent that describes the assessment method to the prefectural governor and the municipal mayors and also makes it public available. The project proponent sends the summary of the public comments on the scoping document to the municipal mayors and the prefectural governor. Upon the opinions of the municipal mayors and the public opinions, the prefectural governor shall express his/her opinions to the project proponent. The project proponent then decides the assessment method by considering these opinions.

Also, the assessment method would be determined during the scoping process.

Step 2: Implementation of survey, forecast and evaluation

After the screening and scoping of the environmental impact assessment, the project proponent should carry out survey, forecast and evaluation of the environmental impacts in accordance with the method decided through the scoping procedure, and take into account measures necessary for protecting the environment.

Step 3: Environmental reporting

Draft environmental report describing the assessment results and the approach to addressing environmental assessment shall be submitted to the prefectural governor and the municipal mayors. Upon the completion of the evaluation of the plans and programmes, the draft environmental Impact assessment report should be publicly available.

Upon the opinions and within 120 days, the project proponent shall send the finalized environmental report to the authorizing agency and the Minister of the Environment for opinions. Taking into account the opinions, the project proponent shall finalise the environmental report and send to the prefectural governor, the municipal mayors and the authorizing agency, and makes it available for public review.

Step 4: Consultation

With authorities

The prefectural governors and the municipal governors will be consulted in the process of scoping and the assessment of the environmental report and the Minister of the Environment will be consulted for the environmental report if applicable.

With public

Public consultation is undertaken in the scoping and assessment of environmental report. Specific to the local governments, public hearing will be held to solicit citizens’ comments and they have adopted the practice of consulting a third party when prefectural governors give their opinions and when project proponents to conduct follow-ups.

Monitoring and enforcement

Follow up monitoring is required and the results of the follow up survey shall be made available publicly. 

Administrative mechanism

There is no explicit implementation on SEA in Japan. The Basic Environment Law is the tool for governing the basic environmental policies as well as programmes.

The Basic Environmental Plan addressed SEA and considered the establishment of rules for SEA. The procedures for evaluation are still under progress. Several local governments such as Tokyo metropolitan government and Saitama Prefecture and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport have already introduced the idea of SEA into their environmental related plans and programmes. The general procedures vary as different local governments have their own drafting stage SEA.

C.      Process Flow Chart

Figure 7.1.3.1.        Outline of procedures for the Environmental Impact Assessment Law

Source: Ministry of the Environment, http://www.env.go.jp/policy/hakusyo_e/hakusyo.php3?kid=221

 


Figure 7.1.3.2.        Approaches to Environmental Consideration at Each Stage of Establishing the Master Plans and Other Plans

 

Figure 7.1.3.3.        Process flow chart for EIA for plans

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.1.3.1.                Summary Table for Japan

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

Comprehensive National Development Plan 1998

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

City Planning Act 1968 (2002 amended), Building Standard Act, Land Consolidation Act

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Environmental Impact Assessment

Requirement Mechanism

Administrative

Statutory

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Basic Environment Law, Draft Guidelines for the Introduction of Strategic Environmental Assessment

Environmental Impact Assessment Law

Applications

Policies and Programmes

Plan

7.1.3.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

The Administration opens the contents of the city plans to the public for more than two weeks, and requests opinions from the public. The plans are further consulted with the City Planning Councils of the prefectural government, a committee totally independent of the agency administrating the city plan. The public opinions can be collected effectively and genuine consultation exists in Japan.

Environmental evaluation / SEA

In Japan, there is no formal provision national system of SEA of policies, plans or programmes while the concept of SEA for policies, plans and programmes have taken into account for national and local governments. SEA is generally adopted by local government. That is, the local government has greater power to implement the SEA.

The concept of SEA for policies, plans and programmes in Japan is provided under the Basic Environmental Plan, which administratively describes the need to consider the content and methods of consideration of environmental matters in plans and policies.

7.1.3.4  Project Examples

There is not enough information on the example of SEA in Japan. Only one example can be found.

Example 1

The "New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan"  on March 30, 2005

Description of the Study

The New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan is a regional development plan in which details of individual projects comprised in the plan are not confirmed. New guidelines applying to this plan were necessary since this type of plan is subject to neither the Environmental Impact Assessment Law nor the Aomori Prefectural Ordinance for Environmental Impact Assessment.

Process of the Study

As request by the Aomori Prefecture, the Ministry of the Environment set guidelines for environmental assessment to be conducted for formulating the "New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan” on March 30, 2005.

Main points of the Guidelines

1. Based on the procedures of environmental assessment conducted at the implementing stage of a project as it is, environmental assessment for the New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan should be implemented in considering that it is carried out at the planning stage when details of individual projects comprised in the New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan are not confirmed yet.

Environmental impacts by the New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan to the whole region, rather than the detailed environmental impacts of each projects, should be studied.

Measures for environmental conservation should be placed in the New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan based on the result of the environmental assessment. Each project to be implemented should be compiled in advance as stipulated in the "Guidelines for Environmental Considerations".

2. The information about environmental load by existing facilities built under the second Mutsu-Ogawara Development Plan should be collected and utilized.

Any detailed environmental assessments which are already conducted at implementing stage of the projects, the results of these environmental assessments should be considered.

Environmental load caused by any projects under operation such as Mustu-Ogawara National Oil Storage Base and environment changes by these projects should be apprehended as current environment of the region.

3. Considering the long-term implementation period of the New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan, forecasts of environmental impact should be targeted at two different stages. Based on the progress of the New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan, forecast and other survey should be conducted again at the mid-term of the implementation period.

Since the New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan is a long-term plan, forecasts should be targeted at two different stages. One is 2020's - the target year of the New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan and the other is an intermediate stage of implementation.

When the New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan reached at "an appropriate intermediate stage", forecasts should be conducted again based on the information available at that stage, such as shaping up of individual projects. Based on these forecasts, environmental conservation measures should be revised, if necessary.

Outcome of the Study

The New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan is a succeeding plan of the first Mutsu-Ogawara Development Plan developed in 1972 and the second Mutsu-Ogawara Development Plan developed in 1975 and revised in 1985 which were formulated to promote development of a large scale industrial park in Mutsu-Ogawara region. Considering enormous changes in socio-economic situation after the revision of the second plan, the Aomori Prefecture, in cooperation with the central government, has been making an effort to formulate it.

 

7.1.3.5  List of References

·         Ministry of the Environment, Japan, Environmental Impact Assessment Law, 1997, http://www.env.go.jp/en/laws/policy/assess/index.html

·         The Basic Environment Law, http://www.erc.pref.fukui.jp/info/Eho.html

·         Ministry of the Environment, Quality of the Environment in Japan 2003, http://www.env.go.jp/policy/hakusyo_e/hakusyo.php3?kid=221

·         The Japan Urban Observatory , Japan: Overview of Planning, http://www.gdrc.org/uem/observatory/jp-overview.html

·         Ministry of the Environment, 2005, Framing of the Guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessment for "New Mutsu-Ogawara Development Basic Plan", http://www.env.go.jp/en/press/2005/0330c.html

·         Ministry of the Environment, Environmental Impact Assessment in Japan, http://www.env.go.jp/en/policy/assess/pamph.pdf

·         The Role of Development Planning in Japan, National Institute for Research Advancement, 2004, The International Conference on China’s Planning System Reform, http://www.adb.org/Documents/Events/2004/PRC_Planning_System_Reform/takafusa7.pdf

·         5th Comprehensive National Development Plan, http://www.mlit.go.jp/kokudokeikaku/zs5-e/index.html


7.1.4       Korea

7.1.4.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

Korea has a multi-tiered structure of national, regional and local plans. The City Planning Laws 1962 govern the development and land-use change in the urban area of South Korea. The Korean placed great emphasis on broader land-use zoning concerns, and little emphasis on the tools and procedures for regulating new development. The Korean framework concerned with broad visions rather than detail. The details of development were to be regulated through a new “building code” in 1962. This system of broad zoning and subsequent technical control administered at the city government level has remained largely unchanged during the last 40 years.

There were numerous types of development zones being introduced since 1962. At the city government level, these include “residential”, “commercial”, “industrial” and “green land” zones. At the regional level, like the Capital Region around Seoul, the zoning includes “over-concentration restriction”, “growth management” and “preservation”. One important zone is the restricted development zone which surrounds different large cities, overlying the outer edge of the over-concentration restriction zone.

During the last 20 years, the national government has enacted a number of laws and programmes designed to foster regeneration and improvement within the major cities, including an “Urban Renewal Law”, a “Residential site Development Promotion Law” and a “Housing Construction Promotion Law”. The national government has also implemented a programme of public housing provision and introduced a statutory requirement for public participation in the planning process in 1980.

Land-use plans concerning nature protection vary greatly among municipalities. There is no standard and unitary land-use plan over the country. 

B.     Overview of evaluation approach

Planning in Korea is largely carried out by the city government. Under the City Planning Laws, urban development control is largely carried out by the zoning system. Each area is categorized as different zone like commercial zone, residential zone and institutional zone. The existing SEA-like system Prior Environmental Review System is another mechanism in controlling plans and programmes in affecting the environment.

According to Article 21 of the City Planning Laws of Korea, the Minister of Construction and Transportation may designate a development restricted zone, when deemed necessary to restrict urban development, in order to prevent disorderly urban expansion and preserve the environment, or upon request from the Minister of Defense for national security purposes. Within the development restricted zone, any construction or change in the form and nature of land is prohibited. The Constitutional Court ruled that "this regulation is one which the legislature has confirmed the rights and obligations relating to property rights over land in a general and abstract manner. It defines the content and limits of property rights as protected within the legal order, and at the same time specifies social limitations as required by public necessity."  This is one of the development control used by the government to limit the expansion of urban land use into some specific area.

7.1.4.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

There are statutory requirements on the environmental evaluation of plans and programmes while there is no statutory or administrative requirement on the environmental evaluation of policies.

An SEA-like system, Preliminary Environmental Review System, is adopted in 1994 under the directive of the Prime Minister, to assess environmental impact at the planning stage of various administrative plans and development plans which affect development projects.

The Preliminary Environmental Review System is enforced under the Framework Act on Environment Policy 1999 (amended in 2003) and has been applied to some of the major administrative plans and programmes ever since.  In 2004, the Framework Act on Environment Policy was amended by:

·         Extending the list of plans and programmes subject to Preliminary Environmental Review System;

·         Stipulation of implementation of Preliminary Environmental Review System at an early stage to enhance its effects in decision making; and

·         Enhancement of public participation and disclosure.

The Preliminary Environmental Review System aims to balance development and conservation by identifying possible environmental impacts of development plans or projects in the early stages of planning. It includes considering ways to carry out development plans while harmonizing the built and natural environments in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

The Preliminary Environmental Review System is applied to:

·         39 administrative plans specified under the Basic Environmental Policy Act and other individual laws;

·         Any development activities conducted in 20 specified types of conservation and protection areas

By the latest amendment on the Framework Act on Environment Policy (Article 25 and Article 26, etc.), Preliminary Environmental Review System has been improved and made it towards SEA system by:

·         extending the list of plans and programmes subject to Preliminary Environmental Review System

·         stipulation of implementation of Preliminary Environmental Review System at an early stage to enhance its effects in decision making

·         enhancement of public participation and disclosure

Administrative mechanism

There is no administrative mechanism of SEA in the urban development of South Korea.

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

·         Screening and scoping are not required.

·         Only includes plans and programmes of small size development projects.

·         For the assessment method, it is not specified in the legislation

·         For environmental reporting, assessment results is required to be reported and preliminary review reporting is not required.

·         Public consultation is not required. Participation of general public, stakeholders are restricted while participation of relating agencies, Preliminary Environmental Review System committee are guaranteed.

·         Monitoring is required.

·         SEA approach is not adopted.

General Workflow of Preliminary Environmental Review System

·         The heads of  administrative agencies that establish, permit, or approve administrative plans are to consult with the Minister of Environment or the head of the local environmental agency on the matter of environmental validity review

·         The heads of governmental bodies that establishes or approves administrative plans must fill in the basic forms/ individual forms, and submit to the Minister of Environment or the head of the regional environmental office. Basic forms must be submitted for all administrative development plans due for environmental validity previews and must include items such as project purpose, current land usage, and present distribution of preservation areas. Individual forms cover specific ecological characteristics, the current level and types of pollutants, and environmental impact projection and reduction plans.

The Preliminary Environmental Review System can cancel or downsize plans when the environmental impact is deemed serious in terms of quality and quantity. It can also force the project operator to preset countermeasures to minimise environmental impacts.

·         The heads of administrative agencies that establish, permit, or approve administrative plans or development projects are to consult with the Minister of Environment or the head of the local environmental agency on the matter of environmental validity review.

·         Forms required for the preview are specified and the submission of documents is now mandatory. The heads of governmental bodies that establish or approve administrative plans or that permit, approve, and authorize development projects must either fill out the forms themselves or receive them from project operators, and then submit the forms to the Minister of Environment or the head of the regional environmental office.

Figure 7.1.4.1.        Regulatory basis of Preliminary Environmental Review System

Source: Korea Environment Insitute,2004, http://info.worldbank.org/etools/docs/library/135715/SEA_Song_Beijing_June_04_EN.pdf

Administrative mechanism

There is no administrative mechanism of SEA in Korea.

C.     Process Flow Chart

Figure 7.1.4.2. shows that apart from the environmental reporting of assessment results and monitoring are required, the other procedures such as screening, scoping, reporting of preliminary review and consultation are absent.

Figure 7.1.4.2.        Process flow chart for Preliminary Environmental Review System for plans and programmes

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.1.4.1.                Summary Table for Korea

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

Zoning is carried out at city level

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document  *

City Planning Laws 1962

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

N/A

Preliminary Environmental Review System

Requirement Mechanism

N/A

Statutory

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

N/A

Framework Act on Environmental Policy (FAEP)

Applications

N/A

Plan and programme

 

7.1.4.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

The national government has implemented a programme of public housing provision and introduced a statutory requirement for public participation in the planning process in 1980. The City Planning Laws governs the land-use in the urban area of South Korea.

The decentralization trend over the whole country in recent years led to a more efficient governance. The local councils can exercise their power more effectively and help urban planning policies formulate and exercise suitable to the local context.

 

Environmental evaluation / SEA

At policy level, ministerial consultation is required for the Comprehensive National Territorial Plan according to Article 9 of the Framework Act on the Discussion National Territory. The Preliminary Environmental Review System can be recognized as the statutory SEA system in Korea.

Regarding SEA requirements in Korea, it is a statutory requirement in Korea under the Framework Act on Environmental Policy that an SEA-like system called Preliminary Environmental Review System should be conducted at the planning stage for various development plans and programmes.

In the meantime, in Korea, a SEA-like system called Preliminary Environmental Review System is used to monitor the environmental concerns for parties in the early stages of planning.

Meanwhile, the Preliminary Environmental Review System had some limitations. The system was confined to public projects; private development projects were not covered. The system was also limited as a preventive measure since those projects targeted for the Environmental Impact Assessment System were excluded from the Preliminary Environmental Review System. Additionally, as mandated by provisions in other laws, like the “Urban Renewal Law”, a “Residential site Development Promotion Law” and a “Housing Construction Promotion Law”, the system also excluded administrative plans and development projects that were already under Ministry of Environment review. Thus, even though administrative plans such as national territory usage plans were referred to the Ministry of Environment for review or comment, they were not required to undergo the Preliminary Environmental Review System.

The earlier Preliminary Environmental Review System and the Environmental Impact Assessment System, the Basic Act on Environmental Policy was amended, and as a result the Preliminary Environmental Review System was adopted as law. Also, the enforcement ordinance was amended to largely expand the scope of administrative plans and development plans that fall under the system. The strengthened Preliminary Environmental Review System also now specifies the documents required for preview, and sets the timeframe and procedures for reaching agreement, so that the Preliminary Environmental Review System can fully function as a preventive decision-making mechanism.

 

 

7.1.4.4  Project Examples

 

There is not enough information on the example of SEA in South Korea. Only one example can be found.

 

Example 1

Spatial development for a city in Kwangju, South Korea

Description of the Study

Spatial development for a city in South Korea with a population of 1.5 million, Kwangju.

The central area of Kwangju contains the most important urban and regional functions. There are many residences in the central city while recently many residents have moved to outer suburbs because of high land prices and the scarcity of land in this area.

The expansion of built-up areas and the growth in mobility reinforce each other and aggravate the environmental problems. It can be expected that the environmental problems of Kwangju may become worse in the near future. The environmental problems in Kwangju, therefore, should be considered in a comprehensive way with respect to spatial urban development resulting from the relationship of land-use and transport.

 

Process of the Study

In the study different combinations of land-use and transport policies to reduce environmental problems of Kwangju are investigated.

This task a transport simulation model is combined with an environmental assessment model. The model is used primarily to analyse the prevailing environmental problems of Kwangju resulting from its present spatial urban structure. It is used further to construct three scenarios with different combinations of land-use and transport policies in order to identify a sustainable spatial development for Kwangju: a trend scenario (toward further decentralisation) and two alternative scenarios (toward a more compact city and toward decentralised concentration).

The development plan was also investigated by the environmental assessment model with respect to its environmental impacts on residents and local resources. The environmental problems of Kwangju in the future will be severely aggravated by the enormous expansion of built-up areas and the corresponding explosive growth in mobility.

Outcome of the Study

The transport simulation model is applied to examine all the traffic problems generated by the present urban spatial form and traffic network of Kwangju. According to the simulation results the main roads which connect the city centre of Kwangju with the centres of suburbs are heavily loaded.

The environmental assessment model calculates the present environmental problems of Kwangju resulting from the spatial distribution and intensity of land uses and link loads.

 

7.1.4.5  List of References

·         Framework Act on Environment Policy, 2002, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTEAPREGTOPENVIRONMENT/Resources/Korea_Act_on_PERS_2002.doc

·         Strategic Environmental Assessment in Korea, Korea Environment Institute, http://info.worldbank.org/etools/docs/library/135715/SEA_Song_Beijing_June_04_EN.pdf

·         Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations and Strategic Environmental Assessment Requirements –Practices and Lessons Learned in East and Southeast Asia, by the Environmental and Social Development Unit (EASES), 2006, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTEAPREGTOPENVIRONMENT/Resources/EIA&SEA-regional-review.pdf

·         Korea Environment Institute, 2004, http://www.nrcs.re.kr/english/03institutes/sub01_4.php

·         Seungil Lee, 1998, Sustainable Spatial Development for Kwangju, South Korea, http://www.raumplanung.uni-dortmund.de/irpud/pro/lee/lee_e.htm#top

·         National Territory & Land Use, National Comprehensive Territorial Plan, http://www.moct.go.kr/EngHome/DataCenter/Statistic/list3.html

 

 


7.1.5       Macau SAR

7.1.5.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

There is no plan or strategy for urban development in Macau. Currently, the Macau Concept Plan work group is working on the first urban development plan for Macau. In November 2007, the Research Centre for Sustainable Development Strategies presented a report on Macau's urban development plan, in which it concluded that Macau’s urban development lacks a plan and strategies. The report also points out that the lack of land is Macau’s biggest problem in the face of population growth and rapid economic development. The actual Concept Plan will be presented in July 2008 for public consultation.

At present, the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau researches policy for land utilization and assists in policy making for land and social installation management.

B.     Overview of evaluation approach

No evaluation approach has been formulated in Macau.

7.1.5.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

 There is no statutory mechanism for environmental evaluation / SEA in Urban Development in Macau.

Administrative / Non-statutory mechanism

In Macau, no formal SEA system has been implemented even though the government has mentioned the concepts of SEA. The concepts of environmental assessment were formally mentioned only in Article 27 & 28 of the Decree Law No.2/91/M.

The Environment Council of Macao Special Administrative Region (REAM) (restructured in 1998 in accordance with Law No. 2/98/M) proposes, implements and gives advice on strategies or policies on environment protection, nature and ecological balance. It also enhances scientific research in protection of the environment, nature and ecological balance.

Every year, the REAM prepares a Report on the State of the Environment in Macau. In the report, the REAM adopts the "Driving forces – Pressures – State – Impacts – Responses" framework developed by the European Environment Agency (EEA) to analyse and assess Macau's environment and investigates the inter-relationship between the various environmental factors. Environmental management is a collective term used by the REAM to describe all the efforts for the conservation of the environment and natural resources and reduction in pollution. It is defined in the report as a means to promote the harmonious coexistence between human beings and nature, encompassing administration, legislation, economics, education and technology.

Macau is undergoing rapid economic development that causes increasing pressure on the environment. In order to become a sustainable city, the government recognizes the need to timely balance the development of its population, economy and society, the use of resources, transport, energy and planning. On 1 March, 2005, the Centre for the Studies of Quality of Life, later renamed as Research Centre for Sustainable Development Strategies, was established to study in detail the aspects concerning the improvement of the quality of life of the population and devise strategies for Macau.

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

There is no statutory mechanism for environmental evaluation/ SEA in Urban Development in Macau.

Administrative / Non-statutory mechanism

No evidence on evaluation methodology is found for Macau’s environmental management.

C.      Process Flow Chart

N/A

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.1.5.1.                Summary Table for Macau

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

N/A (Macau is currently drafting the first urban development plan)

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document  *

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative / non-statutory

Statutory

Type of Assessment

N/A (no formal SEA system for policies, plans or programmes in Macau)

Requirement Mechanism

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document*

Applications

7.1.5.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

Urban Planning is at a premature stage in Macau. The Macau Concept Plan work group is currently formulating the region’s first urban development plan.

Environmental evaluation / SEA

No formal environmental evaluation/ SEA system has been established in Macau. The government recognizes the imperative and significance of environmental management. Every year, the Environment Council prepares a Report on the State of the Environment in Macau to reveal environmental problem in Macau and recommends appropriate strategy.

7.1.5.4  Project Examples

There is not enough information on the example of SEA in Macau. No  example can be found.

7.1.5.5  List of References

·         Report on the State of the Environment of Macau 2006, the Environment Council, http://www.dspa.gov.mo/tc/05/2006/en/index.html

·         Research Centre for Sustainable Management Strategies, http://www.ceeds.gov.mo/en/index.html

·         Hengqin Island possible solution for Macau's lack of land problems, Macau Daily, http://www.macaudailytimesnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11850&Itemid=28

·         The Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau, http://www.dssopt.gov.mo/en/index.php

 


7.1.6       Singapore

7.1.6.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

The Urban Redevelopment Authority is Singapore's national land use planning authority. The Authority prepares long term strategic plans, as well as detailed local area plans, for physical development, and then co-ordinates and guides efforts to bring these plans to reality.

The Concept Plan, introduced in 1971 and last revised in 2001 by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, broadly outlines land use policy and maps out Singapore's physical development into the year 2000 and beyond. It is Singapore’s strategic land use and transportation plan for the coming 40-50 years and is reviewed every 10 years. It aims to ensure future economic growth balances with environmental stewardship and social progress. The Concept Plan is translated into 55 detailed proposals for local areas called “Development Guide Plans” (DGPs) for gazetting a master plan.

The mid-term review of the concept plan in 2006 concluded that there is sufficient land to cater to a higher population, support economic growth, while maintaining a good quality of life. There are four broad strategies suggested to meet the future challenges. They include:

·         Make better and more creative use of land, such as using underground spaces and co-location of compatible uses

·         Decentralization through new growth centres which are proposed at Jurong and Paya Lebar

·         Priority on public transport system, the new rail lines in particular, to meet the rising transportation needs

·         Enhance quality of life through broadening leisure options, and at the same time, retain Singapore’s built and natural heritage to foster a sense of beloning

In December 1998, all the 55 DGPs were completed by Urban Redevelopment Authority. The implementation of DGPs is coordinated by the Master Plan Committee, which is a collaborative effort by all the public authorities in Singapore. The Master Plan Committee consists of representatives from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the MOEWR, the Housing and Development Board, the Public Works Department, The Jurong Town Cooperation, the National Parks Board, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Economic Development Board.

The completed DGPs were gazetted as the new statutory Master Plan, known as Master Plan 1998. The Master Plan is the statutory land use plan, which guides Singapore’s development in the medium term over the next 10 to 15 years. It is reviewed every 5 years and translates the broad long-term strategies of the Concept Plan into detailed plans to guide development. The Planning Act (last revised in 2003), an act for the planning and improvement of Singapore and for the imposition of development charges on the development of land and for purposes connected therewith, provides the legal foundation for the review process of the Master Plan.

The draft Master Plan 2008 is currently receiving public opinion and will be gazetted after incorporating public feedback by the end of 2008.

B.     Overview of evaluation approach

No evidence of a comprehensive evaluation approach of Singapore’s urban planning has been found. However, it is evident that public consultation is conducted during the review of the Concept Plan and the Master Plan.

For the making of the Concept Plan 2001, the Minister of National Development launched the public consultation phase of the Concept Plan in August 2000 with the formation of two focus groups to study land use dilemmas. In order to reach out to a wide spectrum of Singaporeans, the two focus groups comprised professionals, interest groups, industrialists, businessmen, academics, grassroots and students. The job of the focus groups is to produce an interim proposal of the Concept Plan and consult members of the public through public forums, internet and other feedback channels. A public dialogue to discuss views on the Draft Concept Plan was held. The Final Plan was adopted after taking into account the extensive public feedback.

 Figure 7.1.6.1              Planning Process

Sources: Master Plan 2008 Fact Sheet, http://www.ura.gov.sg/DMP2008/intro.htm

 

7.1.6.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

There is no statutory mechanism available for Environmental Evaluation/SEA in Urban Development in Singapore.

Non statutory mechanism

 

The Ministry of Environment and Water Resource (MOEWR), former Ministry of Environment, is responsible for the management of the environment in Singapore.

At present, there is no specific legislation in Singapore making EIAs compulsory for major development projects. EIA is implemented through the requirements stipulated in the Environmental Pollution Control Act which came into force on 1 April 1999 and amended and renamed as the Environmental Protection and Management Act (EPMA) in June 2007.

For items related to hazardous waste (Part VII Hazardous Substances Control of EPMA) and establishing of industrial plants (Part IX License and Industrial Plant Works of EPMA), EPMA provides legal requirements of EIAs. When the MOEWR deems a particular project to have sufficient potential for pollution that may affect public health, an EIA may be required. For instance, EIAs have been required for petrochemical works, gasworks, and refuse-incineration plans. Regarding foreign investment project using or storing large quantities of substances, they are required to engage third-party consultants to conduct EIAs to support the establishment of a plant in Singapore. MOEWR issued a general format of EIA.

Apart from the EPMA, the integration of environmental concern with development is done through the Land Planning process- a combination of Master Plan/Concept Plan/Zoning, and Development Guide Plans (DGPs) which form part of the Master Plan.

In practise, the Master Plan Committee has required EIAs of development projects which have pollution potential. The planning process under the Concept Plan and the DGPs/Master Plan insures that polluting industries are sited far away from residential and recreational facilities.

The basic environmental concerns that are considered in the DGPs/ Master Plan are:

·         Identification of development constraints and major land uses that affect the environment, e.g. airports, live-firing areas for military training, areas for pollutive and hazardous industries;

·         Projection of land needs for environmental infrastructure such as refuse facilities (incinerators and dumping grounds), sewage treatment plans, etc.

·         Identification of possible areas for major utility installations and infrastructural needs that may be pollutive, e.g. gasworks, explosive storage, other hazardous-goods storage;

·         Identification of possible areas for nature conservation

·         Continued protection of water-catchment areas.

 

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

There is no statutory mechanism for evaluation methodologies of environmental assessment/SEA in Urban Development.

Non statutory mechanism

No evidence of a comprehensive evaluation process of environmental assessment in Singapore can be found. No EIA report is found on the Internet.

C.     Process Flow Chart

No process flow chart is available.

 

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.1.6.1.                Summary Table for Singapore 

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

The Concept Plan (introduced in 1971 and revised every 10 years)

The Master Plan (introduced in 1998 and revised every 5 years)

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document  *

The Planning Act

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

EIA

N/A

Requirement Mechanism

Administrative

N/A

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document*

Environmental Protection of Management Act (EPMA)

N/A

Applications

Policy, plans and programmes

N/A

7.1.6.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

Urban Planning in Singapore is chiefly governed by the Concept Plan which is Singapore’s strategic land use and transportation plan for 40-50 years. The Concept Plan leads to the formulation of the Master Plan which guides Singapore’s development in the medium term over the next 10 to 15 years. The Urban Redevelopment Authority, cooperating with other government agencies like the Ministry of National Development and Housing and Development Board, is responsible for land use plan implementation. In order to adapt to the ever-changing environment, the Concept Plan and the Master Plan are reviewed every 10 years and every 5 years respectively. No information can be found about the review process apart from the public consultation phase.

Environmental evaluation / SEA

In Singapore, the Environmental Protection and Management Act provides a legal framework for managing the environment. Environmental Impact Assessment is implemented through the requirements stipulated in EPMA. The Ministry of Environment and Water Resource may require an EIA of projects that it deems to have sufficient potential for pollution that may affect public health. In addition, EIA is enforced through the Land Planning Process- a combination of Master Plan, Concept Plan and Development Guide Plans. Environmental concerns are taken into account during the formulation and review of various land use plans. The Master Plan Committee requires EIAs of development projects which have pollution potential. Since there is no specific legislation in Singapore making EIAs compulsory for major development projects, environmental assessment relies more on planning and control system.

Lastly, there is no formal system of SEA for policies, plans or programmes in Singapore.

 

7.1.6.4  Project Examples

 

There is not enough information on the example of SEA in Singapore. Only one example can be found.

 

Example 1

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Integrated Resort at Sentosa

Description of the Study

The Integrated Resort at Sentosa is to be completed in 2009. It is envisaged to be a large-scale iconic development and a “must-visit” attraction for visitors. The Integrated Resort on Sentosa will occupy a 49-hectare site, and yield up to 343,000 sqm in gross floor area. The Integrated Resort carries potential impact on coral reefs, seagrasses and water lives around the island and might negatively affect the water quality.

Process of the Study

An EIA is conducted for the Integrated Resort at Sentosa. However, there is no information concerning the details of the EIA.

Outcome of the Study

N/A

 

7.1.6.5  List of References

·         Preliminary Assessment of Singapore’s Environmental Law, National University of Singapore, http://sunsite.nus.edu.sg/apcel/dbase/singapore/reports.html

·         Master Plan 2008, Urban Redevelopment Authority, http://www.ura.gov.sg/DMP2008/intro.htm

·         Planning Act, Urban Redevelopment Authority , http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?actno=REVED-232&doctitle=PLANNING%20ACT%0A&date=latest&method=part

·         Land-use Planning/Zoning to Integrate Environmental Concerns into Economic Development Framework, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Virtual Conference, http://www.unescap.org/drpad/vc/conference/bg_sg_14_lup.htm

·         Singapore Tourism Board, http://app.stb.gov.sg/asp/new/new03a.asp?id=5063

 


7.1.7       Thailand

7.1.7.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

In Thailand, the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning (DPT) is responsible for urban development and planning as well as building standards and controls. Under the City Planning Act 1975, DPT and other local governments are given the power to prepare and adopt a Comprehensive Plan. Under the City Planning Act, Comprehensive Plans are identified as the policy plans, projects and controls that guide urban and related areas or rural conservation and preservation, in terms of the asset management, transportation, public utilities, public services and environment. The comprehensive plan consists of land use plan, open space plan, communication and transportation plan, and infrastructure plan. The plan will be put into action by passing 5-year Ministry Enactment. Despite the enactment of Comprehensive Plan, much of Thailand’s early development is done without comprehensive planning. In July 2002, the Thai Cabinet finally mandated the DPT to develop comprehensive land use planning throughout the country.

The first comprehensive plan to pass the Ministry Enactment is “The Rayong Master Plan” in 1983. Today, there are 154 plans passed the Ministry Enactment, 12 plans are on the process of enactment, and 250 plans are in the planning process. So far, only one Comprehensive Plan, “The Bangkok Comprehensive Plan” is made by the local government. The rest are in the responsibility of DPT. 

With the challenge of growing population, urbanization and environmental degradation, the proposed land use planning aims to preserve agricultural land and greenbelt, designate area for tourism and environmental conservation, mitigate the impact of flooding and confine urban sprawl.

The comprehensive land use planning process also identifies 9 urgent urban planning priorities within five years. The 9 priorities are:

·         Preparing protection and mitigation plans for high-risk natural disaster areas, especially all river basin areas. The plan will include designated disaster risk zones, control permits and flood warning systems.

·         Conserving and rehabilitating natural resources such as forests, watershed and coastal areas by rehabilitating forests, watershed and coastal areas by rehabilitating forests, determining buffer zones between community, forests and beaches; developing land use plans for coastal zones in Bangkok, Samut Prakarn and the southern region

·         Disbursing developments to regional areas by further developing transportation infrastructure linking Bangkok and vicinity with regional cities

·         Balancing regional city developments by encouraging regional-development clusters that can benefit from their collaboration and proximity to Bangkok. Improving regional area’s public facilities and utilities so that they are capable of serving new development roles

·         Developing corridor potential by linking north-south corridor with the southern China and Lao PDR.

·         Developing major economic zones that will enhance national growth-enhancing land, water, rail and air linkages linking Bangkok and Eastern Seaboard

·         Developing sustainable and healthy urban areas- managing urbanization, improving public facilities and infrastructure, developing long-term environmental infrastructure- for Bangkok and Eastern Seaboard region

·         Promoting global-class natural and cultural tourism by developing tourist centers in all regions including Chiangmai, Chiangrai, Udonthani, Nakorn Ratchasrima and Hatyai, and linking them with world heritage routes and coastal tourist destinations- accelerating tourist area land use planning

·         Developing rural communities through land use planning by conserving productive agricultural lands, providing convenient and fast communication networks and developing water resources for agriculture and industry

 

B.     Overview of evaluation approach

No substantial evidence can be found on the evaluation procedure of urban planning in Thailand.

 

7.1.7.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

Under the Improvement and Conservation of the National Environmental Quality Act 1975, environmental impact assessment (EIA) is first required for projects of various categories. Although EIA has been practiced for over twenty years, there is no established SEA system in Thailand so far.

 

By Section 46 of the Enhancement and Conservation of Nation of National Environment Quality Act 1992, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) with the approval of the National Environment Board has required 29 different types and sizes of projects or activities of government agency, state enterprise or private organization to prepare EIA at present. The projects and activities that require EIA range from public works such as construction of dam or reservoir to private sector projects such as plant construction in the petrochemical construction plants. Since highway or road, commercial port, commercial airport, mass transit system, residential building, land allocation of residential or commercial purpose are all subjected to EIA, environmental considerations are incorporated into urban planning activities through EIA.

 

The Office of Natural Resource and Environmental Planning and Policy (ONEP) under the MONRE is responsible for examining the EIA report and related documents and also making preliminary review. The EIA report is subjected to a two-tier process. EIA report will first be reviewed by the Environmental Impact Evaluation Bureau under the ONEP. After that, it will send its preliminary comments to the Expert Review Committee for final consideration of the project. The Expert Review Committee is composed of expert members who are qualified or specialized in various fields of related disciplines and the authority legally competent to grant permission for the given project or activity under review. The Committee may approve or reject the report or may ask for report revision or additional information.

 
Non-statutory mechanism

In order to tackle the controversial environmental process, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment appointed a special committee to review the entire EIA process in 2003. The committee identified and proposed solutions to 8 major issues below:

·         Steps in EIA process

·         Public participation

·         EIA expert panels

·         EIA fund

·         Special EIA organization

·         EIA consultant registration

·         Types and sizes of EIA projects

·         Integrated EIA, Social Impact Assessment and Health Impact Assessment

The detailed solution will be presented under the evaluation methodologies. The improvements on EIA process proposed above are expected to be implemented in 2005, but no information can be found about the implementation of proposed solutions.

SEA in Thailand

Although a SEA system has not yet been established to extend the integration of environmental concerns from project level to policy/plan/programme level, the Interim Guidance Notes on piloting for the country EA system (published in 2005), which covers SEA, marked a large step towards establishment of such a system.

Voluntary preliminary synthesis of SEA approaches has occurred in Thailand. There are mainly 4 approaches adopted by the Thai society.

SEA- EIA School

This EIA approach is mainly expanded from the EIA concept to perform above the project-level, such as program, or sometime mega-project. Sharing the same aim as EIA, this approach still aims to minimize environmental impacts by identifying mitigation measures. The main process of this approach still follows the EIA process of Screening, Scoping, Impact Analysis, Reporting and Monitoring. The main limitations of the SEA-EIA School is that it has less or no effects on changing the direction or the policy, since it still try to ‘fine-tuning’ but just the larger scale than EIA project.

SEA Area Base

SEA Area Base approach focuses on area as basis for considering strategic issues. An area can be community and district to province and region. The main analysis is on natural resources and environment, for example, forest area, conservative and other ecological area, water and ground water resources, pollution sources etc. Moreover, this analysis may include other aspects, such as cultural heritage sites, ethnic group, health service, etc. However, this approach has no effect on sectoral or national policy as these policies not bound by area.

SEA Policy Options

The main aims of this approach is to support and influence the public decision-making process by providing information and analysis on the impacts of various policy options as well as the trade-off in each option. It will identify various policy alternatives and options and analyze the impacts on various aspects for the comparison of each option. The scope of impacts investigated by this process is set according to the development goals, which are deem important by stakeholders to the issue in focus.

SEA Development Direction

The SEA Development approach follows the concept and tool of Strategic Environmental Analysis (SEAN) which has been developed by the Netherlands Development Organization and AIDEnvironment. SEAN integrates environmental issues into strategic planning. It is a systematic and comprehensive analysis of context, value, factors, problems, and opportunities to synthesize the best strategic direction and/or option.

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

The ONEP under MONRE set up guidelines for preparing EIA. The owners of the projects or activities have to submit EIAs to ONEP and the Expert Review Committee for review and approvals before further proceedings. And they must employ consultant firms registered by ONEP and permitting agencies to prepare the EIA. The whole EIA process involves only the stage of scoping and EIA reporting.

Non-statutory mechanism

Since the existing EIA system is to be reformed, we will focus on the improvement of present EIA process proposed by the special committee appointed by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

There are 5 proposed steps in the EIA Process as listed below:

1.       Screening

This stage involves site selection and local authorities’ involvement.

2.       Scoping

Site selection, public and stakeholder’s involvement help define the scope of EIA.

3.       Report preparation

Preceding the preparation of final report, owners of the projects or activities need to employ consultant who will acquire data and ask for public input/opinion to draft the EIA report.

4.       EIA review

For private project, the final report will be submitted to permitting authority. For government project, the final EIA report will be submitted to National Environmental Board and to the Cabinet.

5.       Monitoring

Follow-up by permitting authority including third party monitoring is necessary to ensure the projects/activities compliance with environmental legislations.

Apart from reforming the EIA process, the special committee also proposed more solutions to the present EIA system.

·         Public participation is included in all steps of EIA process. The special committee identifies twenty groups of stakeholders to be consulted during the EIA process. They include local community which would be impacted, local expert panels, local administrative offices, educational institutions, civil society organizations, general public and more.

·         A roster of EIA experts will be prepared.

·         A separate EIA fund is proposed to be set up, so that more resources can be used for EIA.

·         A special EIA organization is proposed as a government supported organization, independent from the ONEP. Its duty is to support and act as the secretary to the expert panels, performs EIA monitoring, manages the EIA Fund, conducts public participation activities, and promotes EIA knowledge. 

·         The government should promote EIA consultant profession. Consultants firms and groups of persons must have at least 1 fulltime EIA expert, 2 EIA specialists in different fields, and 4 EIA assistants. Experts can be from all related fields including, engineering, science economics, architecture, social, health, town planning, etc.

·         There will be 2 levels of EIA: the initial environmental examination (IEE) and the full EIA. Projects with less environmental impact will be required to do only IEE, while projects with significant impact will be required to do full EIA.

·         Besides, it has been proposed that EIA should incorporate more aspects of social impact assessment, and health impact assessment as well. Public participation during the EIA scoping process can help identify local social and health issues of concern.

C.     Process Flow Chart

 

Figure 7.1.7.1.        Process flow chart for proposed EIA process

 

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.1.7.1.                Summary Table for Thailand

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

Comprehensive Plan

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document  *

City Planning Act 1975

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

EIA

Environmental Impact Assessment

Requirement Mechanism

Non-statutory

Statutory

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Improvement and Conservation of the National Environmental Quality Act 1975

Enhancement and Conservation of Nation of National Environmental Quality Act  1992, Section 46

General Guidelines in Preparing EIA Report

Improvement and Conservation of the National Environmental Quality Act 1975

Enhancement and Conservation of Nation of National Environmental Quality Act  1992, Section 46

 

Applications

Projects

Projects

 

7.1.7.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

Urban development in Thailand traces back to the City Planning Act in 1975. It grants the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning (DPT) and local government the power to carry out comprehensive plan which includes Land use plan, Open space plan, Communication and transportation plan and Infrastructure plan. The comprehensive urban planning concerns the integration of all the sectoral issues in the provision of public utilities and facilities, but it has been done by various responsible agencies in accordance with their own development assumptions.

In 2002, the Thai Cabinet mandated the DPT to develop comprehensive land use planning in order to cope with the problem of growing population, urban sprawl and environmental degradation.

 

Environmental evaluation / SEA

Statutory EIA mechanism is present in Thailand while there is only administrative mechanism for SEA in Thailand. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been introduced to the country since the adoption of the Improvement and Conservation of the National Environmental Quality Act 1975. There are only two steps, namely scoping and EIA reporting in the whole EIA process.

In order to reform the existing EIA system, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment appointed a special committee to review the entire EIA process in 2003. The special committee designs a 5-step EIA process which includes screening, scoping, report preparation, EIA review and monitoring. It proposes to set up a roaster of EIA experts, EIA Fund and an independent EIA organization. A 2-level EIA process which includes the initial environmental examination (IEE) and the full EIA is advocated. The committee highlights the importance of public participation and ask the government to promote the profession of EIA consultant. There is initial synthesis of SEA in Thailand and has been adopted by different parties in the country

7.1.7.4  Project Examples

There is not enough information on the example of SEA in Thailand. Only one example can be found.

Example 1

Integrated urban air quality management (UAQM) in Bangkok

Description of the Study

The current population in Bangkok is about 6 million and the population within the metropolitan area is about 10 million. Most inhabitants in Bangkok and the five provinces around travel to the city for work, services, industrial, energy, and construction sectors. Air pollution from the transportation sector has caused serious health impacts in Bangkok. Moreover, the road network is heavily congested, as on an average 500 additional cars enter into the network every day. In order to improve the air quality, the government carried out the UAQM from 1990 to 2002. The government first control the most crucial pollutants by phasing out leaded gasoline and reduce sulphate content of fuels. For medium term objectives, the government aims to improve air quality through capacity building which includes urban planning.

Process of the Study

Under the UAQM, urban planning in Bangkok concerns the road network and its distribution for various vehicles including bus lanes, mass transit system including Sky train and underground, and the availability of green areas, especially near roads, to reduce the regeneration of particulate matter.

This management plan involves the monitoring and analysis of pollution levels, and identification of pollution sources. The national government agency (Pollution Control Department under the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment) and local government, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration are responsible for monitoring the ambient air quality in the city.

Outcome of the Study

In 1999, Bangkok’s first mass transit system, the electricity-powered Sky Train, become operational with a 23.5 km line, at a cost of $1.4 billion. During the first month of operation, about 200,000 trips were made each day and it is estimated that the line will eventually carry 65,000 passengers per day.

The first phase of the Bangkok’s very own underground train system is scheduled to open on 12 August 2004.

 

7.1.7.5  List of References

·         Urban Planning Policies in Thailand, http://www.ghb.co.th/en/Journal/Vol2/15.pdf

·         Banasopit Mekvichai, Urban Land Management in Thailand, UMP-Asia Occasional Paper No. 13, www.serd.ait.ac.th/ump/op13.pdf

·         Kingdom of Thailand Planning System, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism, Japan, http://www.mlit.go.jp/kokudokeikaku/international/sp/en/general/pdf/08_Thailand/08_03_en.pdf

·         Environmental Impact Assessment, http://www.onep.go.th/eia/ENGLISH/eia_eng_index.htm

·         Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning. Thailand,, http://www.onep.go.th/eng/policy/policy_1.asp

·         Environmental Evaluation Bureau, http://www.onep.go.th/eia/ENGLISH/about_eieb/about_eieb.htm

·         Improvement of EIA Process in Thailand, The Environmental Engineering Association of Thailand, http://www.eeat.or.th/articles/ImprovementofEIA.pdf

·         Annex 11 Thailand, Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations and Strategic Environmental Assessment, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTEAPREGTOPENVIRONMENT/Resources/EIA&SEA-regional-review.pdf

·         Addressing health in SEA for Healthy Public Policy: A contribution from SEA Development in Thailand, Heath Systems Research Institute, Thailand, 2005, http://www.iaia.org/non_members/conference/SEA%20Prague/Prague%203/D3_Nuntavorakarn_Sabrum_Sukkumnoed.pdf

·         Integrated urban air quality management (UAQM) in Bangkok, http://ekh.unep.org/?q=node/1149

 


7.2           Europe

7.2.1       Denmark

7.2.1.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

The Finger Plan 2007 is Danish town planning showcase as it involves comprehensive concepts of the urban development. The infrastructure of roads and commuter railways forms the backbone of the Finger Plan. It covers the overall urban development in Denmark. The Finger Plan for Copenhagen was first developed in 1947 and remains the basis of the urban development and structure. Based on this Finger Plan, the Danish town planning practice is traditional and has been evolved into today’s comprehensive hierarchical system with emphasis on public engagement.

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

Denmark has a simple and clear spatial planning system with strong decentralised delegation of responsibility. The municipal councils are responsible for comprehensive municipal planning, detailed local planning and permits for construction and changes in land use in rural zones. The 12 regional planning authorities are responsible for regional planning. The Minister for the Environment may influence decentralised planning through national planning initiatives. The state may veto the planning of municipalities and regional planning authorities to uphold national interests. Planning decisions can be appealed through the Nature Protection Board of Appeal.

Figure 7.2.1.1.        Spatial Planning System of Denmark

 

Source: Ministry of Environment, Denmark - http://www.map21ltd.com/COSTC11/dk-planning.htm#A2

 

The regional planning authority shall produce regional planning guidelines for:

·         the location of and the maximum permitted gross floor space for shops when the size of shops exceeds 3000 m² of gross floor space for general shops or 1500 m ² of gross floor space for specialty shops; and

·         the location of and the maximum permitted gross floor space for construction for retail trade purposes in city districts and secondary centres, when the total gross floor space in an area exceeds 3000 m ² (6b, EIA Act)

 

Figure 7.2.1.2.        Denmark’s Planning System 2007

Source: Spatial Planning Act 2007, Ministry of Environment, http://www.ymparisto.fi/download.asp?contentid=76407&lan=FI

 

The Planning Act was revised in 2007, which regulates land use through a tiered system of plans. The new Planning Act transfers most of the planning responsibility to the new municipalities by giving them almost full planning control of both urban areas and the open countryside.  The Planning Act provides a framework for the following:

·         strengthened national planning;

·         5  regional spatial development  plans;

·         98 municipal plans;

·         1300 Local plans, prepared by the municipalities, creating the context for the approvals of construction, building and land use

The Planning Act contains rules for:

·         Public participation at every planning level (including a period for the public to present ideas and proposals for the forthcoming planning process and hearings of objections to proposed plans);

·         Local Agenda 21 strategy contributions;

·         Special rules for planning in coastal zones to protect coastal areas from development and installations;

·         Special rules for retail trade planning to promote a diverse supply of retail shops in small and medium-sized towns; and

·         Environmental assessment - Projects that are likely to have significant effects on the environment shall not be initiated before the release of the municipal plan guidelines on the location and design of the project with an EIA.

Planning instruments operating at the national level are:

·         National planning reports

·         National planning directives

·         Orders

·         Guidance

·         The Minister for the Environment’s right to veto regional and municipal plans

Planning instruments at the regional level consist of planning guidelines applicable to the municipal authorities and to land use in the open countryside.

Planning instruments at the municipal level are the biding local plans for specified developments.

B.     Overview of evaluation approach

Planning process in Denmark over the regional and municipal level:

1.       Prior public participation for every four years:

·         Information on previous planning disseminated;

·         Regional planning: ideas and proposals solicited;

·         Municipal planning: a strategy for planning developed;

·         Deadline at least eight weeks.

2.       Each municipality shall have a municipal plan. The municipal plan shall cover a period of 12 years:

·         Prepared by the municipal council in cooperation with other public authorities, citizens, non-governmental organizations, etc.

·         In producing guidelines in the municipal plan for projects subject to subsection 1 of the Planning Act 2007, the municipal council shall, before initiating the work on the report on the likely important effects of the project on the environment, publish a brief description of the main features of the proposed project and solicit ideas and suggestions to be used in establishing the content of the report.

·         The Minister for the Environment may establish rules specifying which projects shall be subject to EIA

3.       Project Proposal published:

·         Deadline for objections by the public to be at least eight weeks;

·         Proposal sent to other public authorities;

·         A regional plan or municipal plan can be vetoed to uphold national interests.

4.       Plan adopted:

·         Objections (including vetoes) and comments processed by the municipal council from the general public and proposed changes negotiated.

5.       Final plan approved by the municipal council published:

6.       Administration of plan:

·         Relevant planning authorities strive to implement the plan.

The rules on SEA in the Planning Act comprise Danish implementation of a European Union directive (SEA Directive). The regional planning authority usually conducts the assessment and prepares a supplement to the regional plan with a SEA review.

7.2.1.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

The Planning Act 2007 stated that there should be an impact assessment for a designated project which is under the list of assessment. The municipal council shall, before reporting on the likely important effects of the designated project on the environment, publish a brief description of the main features of the proposed project and solicit suggestions to be used in establishing the content of the report.

The Minister for the Environment may establish rules stating that projects subject to the above mentioned shall not be initiated without a permit from the municipal council or the Minister.

The Minister for the Environment may establish rules specifying which projects shall be subject to Section 11g of the Planning Act 2007. However, the projects of which are adopted by a specific act shall always be prioritised. The Minister for the Environment may also establish rules specifying the minimum information required to conduct environmental impact assessment.

The EU SEA Directive (2001/42/EC) was integrated into the Danish planning system in 2004. The SEA Directive, instead of just government proposals, now ensures that SEA has been extended to plans and programmes. The Act on the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Danish SEA Act) was passed into law in May 2004 and stated that the Danish SEA Act must be strictly in accordance with the requirements of the [2001/42/EC] directive. The primary objective is to promote sustainable development through the environmental assessment of state, regional and municipal plans, programmes and proposals that may have significant environmental impacts.

Before 1995, the SEA process was limited only to government proposals and did not extend to plans and programmes. SEAs were required to focus on the proposals that would have physical, ecological, cultural, health and risk impacts. In 1995, the SEA requirement was extended to new parliamentary acts in addition to government proposals at the national level.

Based on the Planning Act 2007, large development projects that are likely to have significant effects on the environmental are subject to environmental impact assessment and a public hearing before being initiated.

Similar to the administrative order of 1993, the Danish SEA Act allows the Minister for the Environment a certain amount of discretion when they are acting in the capacity of a public authority. The Minister could determine a private or publicly owned company is required to carry out a Danish SEA on their plan or programme.

In order to avoid duplication with “land use plans that have been prepared in accordance with the Planning Act”, the SEA Act can be overruled, as long as a plan or programme complies with the procedural and substantive requirements of the EU SEA Directive.

In 2006, The Ministry for the Environment released up to date guidance that related to the SEA requirements for plans and programmes dating from 2004. The new guide was later supplemented in 2007.

Administrative mechanism

Apart from the integration of the EU SEA Directive, SEA guidance was restricted to a publication called Strategic Environmental Assessment of Bills and Other Proposals: Examples and Experience issued in 1995 by the Ministry for the Environment. This guidance is not legal binding. The 1995 guidance issues a six step approach with regards to the type of information that should be included within an SEA:

1.       Formulating the problem and describing the process of the proposal and the alternatives that have been considered

2.       Identifying the relevant environmental effects

3.       Describing the extent of the likely environmental effects

4.       Identifying mitigation measures and monitoring follow up programmes

5.       Assessing and weighing the environmental effects in relation to policy objectives

6.       A statement with the summary of the main findings

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

In the late 1990s, the Ministry of Environment asked the county authorities (project proponent) to undertake SEA in conjunction with the revision to their regional development plans. The municipal councils implemented national policy directives and established the guidelines for land use and infrastructure outside the urban zones. A series of trial runs was undertaken, beginning with the Northern Jutland regional plan and using this as a starting model for integrating SEA into the planning process. Administrative scale of SEA is regional and municipal level.

Five principles of SEA:

  1. Documentation of the process and results
  2. A clear and comprehensive procedure
  3. Analysis of alternatives
  4. Inclusion of public participation
  5. Evaluation of the significance

Six steps in SEA of bills or other proposals (including urban development project as stated in Section 11g Planning Act 2007:

1.       Screening –Environmental screening is mandatory for the Danish International Development Agency supported development programmes and projects. The main objectives of the screening are to identify environmental opportunities and benefits and to identify and manage environmental risks. The screening ensures that Danish International Development Agency supported activities are consistent with the partner country environmental policies and legislations as well as international environmental agreements. A checklist is used at the ‘heading level’ to identify proposals that are likely to have significant environmental impact and require further assessment. Also, the Ministry of Environment carries out a preliminary screening of the legislative calendar to flag bills that might be environmentally important. Ministry for the Environment screens the monitoring report. Ministry for the Environment contacts proponents to inform them that an SEA is required. Also, Ministry for the Environment issued a Guidance on SEA procedures that includes a checklist for screening potential environmental effects of proposals as the Planning Act 2007 stated (on a case-by-case basis).

 

The five stages in the SEA following the environmental screening include:

·         Compile environmental regulation relevant to the key sector sources of information that is directly relevant to environmental assessment and management of the national sector policy or programme.

·         Analyse the context - Prepare a public environmental expenditure review of funding available for environmental issues, prepare a review of environmental regulation, and assess the institutional capacity and available procedures (tools) for the inclusion of environment issues in the sector.

·         Identify the main direct and indirect environmental impacts or changes as a result of the programme as well as the main opportunities for reducing environmental risks or gain environmental improvements.

·         Develop a plan for specific actions to implement the findings of the SEA.

·         Establish or enhance an existing environmental monitoring system to assess the changes in the environmental status of the sector and to follow up with the implementation of the SEA recommended actions.

The effort going into each stage of the SEA process will have to be balanced with the potential gains for improvements in development.

2.       Scoping – the checklist is used at the ‘sub-heading level’ with specific questions to identify the nature and scope of the major or cumulative environmental effects of a bill or proposal. Reference is also made to the effects of national actions at different geographic scales – primarily local and regional, but in some cases extending to the global level.  Proponent authority determines the scope on a case by case basis. It is noted that the assessment is carried out to the extent possibly with the given administrative and data limitations. Generally speaking, scoping is either based on advice issued in the form of guidance.

3.       Assessment – an analysis of the effects that are identified as potentially significant is carried out by the responsible Ministry. Danish procedural guidance states that it is not possible to give an overall description of when environmental effects are considered to be significant; rather, it includes a list of factors for this purpose.

4.       Report –a detailed description of the environmental effects is prepared by the municipal council, included as a separate section in the commentary, which is attached to the bill or other government proposal when it is submitted to Parliament. It should be an easily understood, non-technical statement that is publicly accessible. Background assessment statement should be made accessible for the Parliament and the public as soon as the Bill is proposed

5.       Public consultation – During the scoping stage, the public can participate by addressing the scope that needs to be assessed. All planning applications by other public authorities and the public must be recorded and such records should state how the responsible authority acted on the representation. Also, the SEA Act requires the responsible authority to state how the SEA findings and the comments and proposals from the public hearing were taken into account and why the adopted plan was chosen from amongst other alternatives. During the assessment stage, the responsible Ministry should conduct a non-technical summary to the public in a section within the commentary on the bill or the proposal background assessment statement along with the submitted bill or proposal.

According to the Planning Act 2007, the Minister for the Environment may establish rules governing the public announcement of:

·         decisions stating that a project is subject to or not subject to the provisions of Section 11g of the Planning Act 2007;

·         decisions stating that a proposal for a supplement to the municipal plan for a project that is subject to the provisions of Section 11g of the Planning Act 2007 will not be adopted;

·         decisions stating that a proposal that has been published will not be adopted in final form; and

·         decisions stating that a permit issued pursuant to the rules established in accordance with Section 11g of the Planning Act 2007, subsection 4 has been granted or has not been granted.

The public can be well-informed for the progress of the project with the public announcement over different stages of the projects.

 

6.       Impact mitigation is required in the SEA system. It also includes monitoring and follow-up programmes.

Reviewing -- There is no reviewing procedure in the SEA system. The provision for the SEA of land use plans require proposals submitted during the public hearing to be taken into account by the responsible authorities and the outcomes to be publicly announced. Ministry for the Environment only prepares the monitoring report

The output of the SEA can be an integrated part of the policy, programme and plan design. A separate report is suggested but not always required. The outcome and impacts of the SEA are wider concerns and actions concerning environmental management. These can be included in an Environmental Management Plan.

Administrative / non-statutory mechanism

There is no administrative / non-statutory mechanism over SEA.

C.     Process Flow Chart

Figure 7.2.1.3.        SEA process

 

Figure 7.2.1.4.        Overall planning process

 

 

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.2.1.1.                Summary Table for Denmark

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

Planning Act 2007

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Prime Minister’s Office Circular of 1993 (amended in 1995 and 1999)

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

N/A

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Requirement Mechanism

N/A

Statutory system

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

 

N/A

Prime Minister’s Office Circular of 1993 (amended in 1995 and 1999);

Strategic Environmental Assessment of Bills and Other Proposals

Applications

N/A

Bills, proposals and ministry budgets

 


7.2.1.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

A notable element of regional and municipal planning in Denmark is the mandatory period for early public participation. This participation period, which lasts at least eight weeks, is intended to give the public the opportunity to influence the issues considered during the planning process through the submission of ideas and proposals. It is obligatory for planning authorities to acknowledge the submissions made by the public and other public authorities during this period. This early public participation is additional to the public participation procedures and hearings that take place after the proposed plan has been published. Individuals have the opportunity, during this ‘ordinary’ public participation period, to comment on how the planning authorities have dealt with the proposals they made initially and to make objections about this and other issue within the proposed plan. The public has a further opportunity to submit new proposals at this stage of the planning process.

Environmental evaluation / SEA

It was possible to implement the five SEA principles within an SEA of a parliamentary Bill. Public interest organizations are an effective proxy for the General Public. The decision making process associated with the development and passage of a Bill through Parliament is comprised of many stages allowing numerous opportunities for revision and amendment and the analysis of impacts should concentrate on the direction rather than their quantification or exact geographical location.

One distinctive feature of Danish SEA system is that the authorities are responsible to use information obtained from the project proponent to write up the final report. It can ensure that the project would not be manipulated by the project proponent, who may have bias in finishing the project.

Public participation is legally ensured in different steps of the SEA process. As refer back to figure 7.2.1.3 (flow chart), a shot hearing phase is mandatory during the scoping phase to allow the public to come with ideas and suggestions. Also, after the draft EIA report has been prepared, it has to go through a public hearing phase of no less than 8 weeks. Furthermore, after the public hearing phase, the raised objections have to be processed, and a final decision has to be taken by the regional council. The decision has to be made public with the reasons for the decision and a guideline for how to object the decision.  The timeframe for submitting complaints or objections is four weeks. Before the regional plan amendment is finally approved by the politicians there must be a public hearing about the project. After the regional council has approved a regional plan proposal, it must be published. Comments to the plan have to be given within eight weeks. This kind of well developed and highly institutionalised system can ensure the public could participate into the planning process in every stage.

In Denmark, the requirements for public participation in the SEA procedure are very precise, but they are implemented in such a way so that considerable resources are required to participate in the process. Public participation is extensive, which has significant influence on the detailed design of the project.

There has been a long history of considering the environmental effects that the planning process may have before the implementation of the SEA Directive into the Danish planning system which resulted in the transposition of the SEA Directive into Danish legislation conforms fully, and the supporting guidance ensures that SEAs conducted should be directive compliant. At the time when SEA introduced in the Danish planning system, the country had a long tradition in land use planning and the regulation of the administrative system is well-developed. Integrating the SEA into the existing system took some years which resulted in a complex but work-efficient system.

This historical background has ensured that the SEA process has been institutionalised into the planning process. This ensures that environmental considerations are the subject of political debates and those parliamentary bills are prepared adequately with the SEA Directive and Danish SEA Act in mind.

The SEA process in Denmark is transparent and SEAs have influence upon the decision making process to a certain extent. There is a long tradition of public participation in the Danish planning system and this philosophy is no exception with regards to the SEA system. Despite the costs generated from conducting the SEA (including time cost), overall it is a worthwhile and productive process.

With respect to determining mitigation measures for reducing or alleviating the potential impacts of the proposed strategic action, Denmark has stipulated clear requirements. Denmark also has monitoring requirements.

Danish SEA system requires assessments for at least two tiers of strategic decisions (i.e. any combination of PPPs): Administrative Order No. 31 of 1993 requires all ministries to prepare a statement on the environmental consequences of bills and government proposals if they are likely to cause significant effects on the environment (MEE, 1995, 1997). Amendments were made in 1995 and 1998, respectively, requiring (a) that impacts on resources, buildings and cultural heritage as well as on health and security, flora and fauna, soil, water, air, climate and landscape are taken into account, and (b) environmental assessments for ministry budgets. A checklist is used to determine whether the proposed bill, proposal or budget will require an SEA (MEE, 1997).

Government ministries are responsible for the integration of the SEA Directive into Danish legislation.

Currently monitoring of environmental impacts is done through informal communication and the Minister for the Environment could issue specific rules.

There is an exemption of going through screening process when the projects are approved through legal act. However, the objectives stated in the EU Directive, like the public access to information, have to be achieved through the legal process.

Also, the SEA competence is mostly located at the regional level with only some exceptional cases in the local level. For example, some environmental permits for minor industries are located at local level. There is a smooth coordination between the local and regional councils. Moreover, the SEA process is not always the responsibility of regional council like the Ministry of Transport is responsible for the project relating to the sea, and in case of projects that require a ‘Country Planning Directive’ the responsibility is within the Ministry of Environment. The integration with the existing planning system and environmental permit system is ensured by stipulating in the relevant statutory orders that for project subject to an SEA the other permits may not be issued before the SEA permit is given.

 

 

7.2.1.4  Project Examples

 

Examples of Danish SEAs carried out following the introduction of the EU SEA Directive are “so far few” (Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2007). Below are some examples of SEA that have been produced prior to the introduction of the EU SEA Directive.

 

Example 1

North Jutland Regional Development Plan (1995-1997)

Description of the Study

This was the very first SEA to be carried out in Denmark and was carried out before the introduction of the EU SEA Directive.

The project was divided into five parts:

·          reporting of international experience and experience from other case studies on relevance for the project

·          an environmental assessment of the existing regional North Jutland plan adopted in 1993

·          the development of a method for SEA of regional plans based on the assessment of the 1993 plan

·          a trial run, a case study, on SEA as an integrated part of the revision of the 1993 plan in order to test the developed method

·          an evaluation of the experiences of the case study

 

Process of the Study

In time of high speed development of the North Jutland County, there was a need for a comprehensive regional business development plan.

This study was conducted during the years 1995 to 1997. It was done in cooperation of the Planning Administration in North Jutland County, the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy and the EIA Centre at Roskilde University, Denmark.

The regional business development strategies take their starting point in the main growth opportunities in the regions and the strengths and weaknesses in the regional business structure. In the agency, the initiatives for future improvement of local growth opportunities is being developed and prioritised, and as part of this, also the development of the rural and more peripheral areas.

The Regional Development Plan must relate to a wide range of different themes linked to the development of the region:

·          Business Development and Innovation

·          Tourism

·          Employment, Education and Qualificational Development

·          Culture, Press and Event Development

·          Landscape, Nature and Environment

·          Infrastructure and Transportation

·          Roles of the Cities

·          Rural Areas

Business development and creation of new jobs is the top priority.

Outcome of the Study

The planners concluded that no new knowledge was produced through the SEA but the planning process became clearer.

From the politicians point of view it was concluded that they got better information as basis for choices.

NGO’s experience was that they should participate early in the process preferably already in the scooping stage.

As a whole it seems that a better regional land use plan was produced. Lessons learnt were for example that SEA must be integrated through the whole planning process and that there should be an assessment of the planning objectives and strategies even if this is a difficult task.

The question of the relation between the regional land use plan and the structural funds process was raised during the seminar. Every project in the structural funds programs is screened by the people working with the land use plan. But it also happens that the structural funds people come to ask for help with analysis of environmental impacts at terribly short timeframes.

It was also decided that consultation should be carried out during the scoping process, rather than at later stages of the SEA process.

It took 2 years to conduct the SEA in this plan. Normally it takes less than one year to conduct the SEA.

 

Example 2

Municipal Plan for Hillerød

Description of the Study

It is a new municipal plan for Hillerød which is located in North Zealand.

Process of the Study

This plan was initiated by inviting public proposals and ideas in November 1999. The final plan was adopted by the municipal council in October 2001. The reason for conducting the SEA in this plan was to relate the proposed Municipal Development Plan to the 1999 Municipal Environmental Plan.

The proposed plan, which would develop 13 city areas, was assessed for its impact on eight environmental objectives that were taken from the Municipal Environmental Plan.

Alternatives:

·          to concentrate housing and services within the city to reduce journeys within and outside the municipal area.

·          to construct housing and service developments in designated development areas on the periphery of the existing urban area

The impacts of the alternatives on each environmental objective were assessed as positive, negative, neutral or not relevant.

Each impact was evaluated both locally and regionally.

Outcome of the Study

The SEA affected decisions about the plan in four key ways:

·          More retail development was concentrated in the city area, thus contributing to a reduction in the number of motor vehicle-kilometres driven

·          new housing was designed to reduce the use of electricity and water and the creation of waste. Moreover, the need for transport was reduced as a result of concentration of new housing within the city

·          additional employment was concentrated around the railway station to contribute to the use of public transport and bicycles instead of private cars

·          a place for commuters to meet, to share vehicles and a commuter station were established to reduce the number of drivers commuting from Hillerød to the Greater Copenhagen area

The SEA thus led to the negative impacts of the adopted plan being highlighted and addressed.

 

7.2.1.5  List of References

·         OECD Environmental Performance Review Denmark 2007 , http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/12/31/39577343.pdf

·         Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, 2007,http://www.danidadevforum.um.dk/en/menu/Topics/EnvironmentalSustainability/ToolsAndReferences/Guidelines/StrategicEnvironmentalAssessment/

·         Experience of Strategic Environmental Assessment in regional land use planning in North Jutland County in Denmark, http://www.nordregio.se/pdf/wp009experience.pdf

·         Strategic Environmental Assessment at the Policy Level: Recent Progress, Current Status and Future Prospects, the Regional Environment Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CZECH REPUBLIC, 2005, http://www.unece.org/env/eia/documents/PolicySEA/SEA%20of%20Policies%20volume.pdf

·         Spatial Planning in Denmark, http://www.mim.dk/NR/rdonlyres/FD0A7E4B-4349-453F-A704-99FF51DCC6A2/0/COP15_EP_spatialplanning07.pdf

·         The Copenhagen Finger Plan, after the Administrative Reform 2007, Ministry of the Environment, http://www.ymparisto.fi/download.asp?contentid=76407&lan=FI

·         Spatial Planning in Denmark, 2007, Ministry of Environment, http://www.blst.dk/NR/rdonlyres/27A9A4B3-802E-46E9-A073-DC864F0D7509/50763/planlovenpengelsk2007.pdf

·         Ministry of the Environment, Denmark, 2006 National Planning Report, 2006, http://www.sns.dk/udgivelser/2006/87-7279-728-2/pdf/87-7279-728-2.pdf

·         Green Structure and Urban Planning, Spatial Planning in Denmark, 2002, Progress Report, http://www.map21ltd.com/COSTC11/dk-planning.htm#A2

 


7.2.2       Finland

7.2.2.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

Finland has reformed its land use planning system in 2000. The new system consists of three levels of land use plan, namely the regional land use plan, the local master plan and the local detailed plan, with a clear division of labour among them. The Land Use and Building Act set the framework of the overall planning legislation controlling mechanism and is the most powerful and statutory mechanism all over Finland. Under this Act, there are many other guidelines which can guide the planning procedure without the statutory power.

System of land use planning

In Finland, the land use planning system is hierarchical, from higher level plans to lower plans.

·         Land use in municipalities is organized and steered by local master plans and local detailed plans.

·         The local master plan indicates the general principles of land use in the municipality

·         the local detailed plan indicates how land-areas within a municipality are used and built.

·         Regional and local plans are drawn up through participatory planning procedures that local resident can influence the planning process through higher involvement.

Local authorities may draw up a joint master plan. Regional land use plans contain a general plan for land use for the entire region or for a specific sub-area therein. (Land Use and Building Act, 1999, Section 4)

Statutory mechanism

The functions of the competent ministry (e.g. Ministry of the Environment) include the general development and guidance of land use planning and building activities. The competent ministry promotes, steers and monitors regional planning.  While the regional environment centre promotes and steers the organization of land use planning and building activity within the areas covered by a local authority, the local authority shall take charge of land use planning and building guidance and control within its territory. If the local authority's population is greater than 6,000, a qualified planner must be available to manage the local authority's planning functions. (Land Use and Building Act, 1999, Section 20)

The most important legislation controlling land use, spatial planning and construction in Finland is contained in the Land Use and Building Act, which came into force in 2000.

The Land Use and Building Act aims:

·         to organise land use and building to create the basis for high quality living environments,

·         to promote ecologically, economically, socially and culturally sustainable developments,

·         to ensure that everyone has the chance to participate in open planning processes,

·         to guarantee the quality of openly publicised planning decisions and participatory processes, and

·         to ensure that a wide range of planning expertise is available.

These general objectives are supplemented by more specific objectives relating to controls over land use planning and construction. More detailed regulations and controls on land use and construction are included in the Land Use and Building Decree.

The Land Use and Building Act stated that plans must be founded on sufficient studies and reports. When a plan is drawn up, the environmental impact of implementing the plan, including socio-economic, social, cultural and other impacts, must cover the entire area where the plan may be expected to have material impact. When a land use plan’s impact is investigated, the purpose of the plan, earlier investigations and other factors affecting the need for investigation must be considered. A municipality whose territory is affected by the material impact of a local master plan or a local detailed plan must undergo a sufficient degree investigation on the impact of the plan. A regional council whose administrative area is affected by the material impact of a plan must be similarly involved.

According to the Land Use and Building Act in Section 7, which stated that at least once each year, local authorities must draw up a review of all planning matters that are or will in the near future become pending in the local authority or the regional council and which are not of minor importance (planning review). The review contains a brief explanation in planning matters and the stage of processing reached and any such decisions and other actions which have an immediate influence on the basic premises, objectives, content and implementation of plans.

The Land Use and Building Act also form the basis for the maintenance and protection of Finland’s architectural heritage and cultural landscapes.

Other legislations protecting the built environment and landscapes can be found in the Building Protection Act and the Nature Conservation Act as well as statutes established in other administrative sectors (including the Church Act).

Administrative mechanism

The Land Use and Building Act empowers the national land use guidelines for instructing all land use decisions and land use planning in the country. The Finnish Government redefined national land use guidelines in 2000. The national land use guidelines outline Finland's present and future land use. The guidelines indicate which issues should be taken into account for all land use and land use planning throughout the country.  Regional planning, planning at the local level, and the activities of government authorities should promote the implementation of these guidelines.

The national land use guidelines have been grouped according to subject as follows:

·         well-functioning regional structure,

·         more coherent community structure and quality of living environment,

·         cultural and natural heritage, recreation uses and natural resources,

·         well-functioning communication networks and energy supply,

·         special issues of the Helsinki region and

·         aerial entities of outstanding interest as natural and cultural sites.

Finland’s National Building Code

The National Building Code contains regulations and guidelines that complement the legislation in the Land Use and Building Act. The regulations are binding and concern about the construction of new buildings. The regulations are applicable to renovation and alternation works only insofar as the type and extent of the measure and a possible change in use of building require.

The building regulations must be followed, but building guidelines are not obligatory, and other solutions may be used in construction as long as all the compulsory regulations are observed.

B.     Overview of evaluation approach
Regulatory mechanisms

When a plan is being drawn up, a scheme covering public participation and interaction procedures and assessment of the plan's impact must be drawn. The initiation of the planning process must be publicized so that interested parties have the opportunity to obtain information on the principles of the planning and of the participation and assessment procedure. The publicity may also take place in connection with the publication of a planning review.

The local authority may negotiate with the regional environment centre on the adequacy and implementation of the participation and assessment scheme. Before the plan proposal is made available to the public, interested parties have the opportunity to propose negotiations to the regional environment centre on the adequacy of the participation and assessment scheme. If the scheme is clearly inadequate, the regional environment centre shall, without delay, arrange negotiations with the local authority to examine what additions are required.

The interested party making the proposal and, as necessary, authorities and organizations whose sphere of activities the matter concerns, shall be invited to attend the negotiations.

The plan proposal shall be presented in public. Members of the municipality and interested parties shall be provided with an opportunity to express their opinion on the matter. The local authority's reasoned opinion on the objection shall be made known to objectors.

When the regional plan is being drafted there shall be contact with the competent ministry and the regional environment centre. Negotiations shall be set up between the competent ministry, the regional environment centre and the regional council to clarify how national objectives and other key goals pertain to drawing up of the plan. Other plans which concern national or important regional land use objectives, or which are otherwise important in terms of land use, natural values, cultural environment or government authorities' implementing obligations shall be prepared in contact with the regional environment centre. Negotiations shall be set up between the regional environment council and the local authority to clarify how national objectives, and regional and other key goals pertain to drawing up such a plan.

The decision to approve a plan must be sent immediately to those members of the municipality and objectors who so requested, and at the same time provided their address, while the plan was available to the public. If a letter stating such a request has several signatories, only the first signatory need be notified of approval of the plan. The first signatory is responsible for making the information known to the other signatories.

Public participation:

A local master plan proposal shall be made available to the public in the municipalities in the plan. Members of the municipalities and other interested parties are entitled to enter objections to the proposal. Owners of land, titleholders or whose address is otherwise known to the local authority, shall be sent a written notification that the local master plan proposal is being made available to the public. If the party in question has accepted the local master plan proposal, no notification need be sent.

There is a comprehensive appeal system. Local residents or concerned parties can make an appeal at municipal levels from administrative courts to the Supreme Administrative Court. 

Planning permission for building developments is subject to hearings involving the owners and tenants of neighbouring properties. Neighbours must be duly notified of applications for planning permission and the timing of official surveys of sites to be developed. 

Figure 7.2.2.1.        Environmental administration in Finland

Source: Finnish environmental administration - www.vyh.fi/eng/orginfo/organisa/organisa.htm

 

7.2.2.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

Finland had established two systems for SEA. First, a general requirement to assess the environmental impact policies, plans and programmes is imposed on responsible authorities under the EIA Act. There is a detailed provision for SEA of land use plans under the Building and Planning Act (1999) and brief reference to the assessment of environmental impact in the Act on Regional Development (1993). Second, the environmental impact of legislative proposals is subject to assessment under a decision-in-principle of the Finnish Government (11 June 1998).

The legal obligation to investigate and assess environmental impact is also laid down in various other laws, decisions and directives, including the Building Act (370/1958, amended 469/1994), the Water Act (264/1961), the Forest Act (1093/1996), and the Nature Conservation Act (1096/1996), the Regional Development Act (1135/1993) and the Regional Development Decree (1315/1993), the Decision of the Council of State on the objective programmes under the Regional Development Act and on the general grounds for allocation of regional development financing (25.4.1996), and the Decree on the European Union’s Structural Funds (2081/1993).

Chapter 5 of the Finnish Act on EIA Procedure (468/1994) related to general investigation duty and states (section 24) that policies, plans and programmes “that may have a significant impact effect on the environment shall be investigated and assessed to a sufficient degree”. This provision requires all spheres of government to assess their own actions at this level. A subsequent Decree on EIA Procedure (268/1999) sets out the functions of various Finnish environmental authorities at the project level, but does not specifically address the role of the responsible authority with regard to policy, plan or programme. The Council of State issued Guidelines for this purpose (Finnish Ministry of the Environment, 1998).

SEA is particularly well developed for land use plans, reflecting the detailed procedure laid down in the Building and Planning Act (1999), and in transport sector. There have been applications at the policy level. For example, there will be an SEA of national land use objectives and another of guidelines for road management and development to 2015.

A separate SEA process applies to the preparation of bills and other proposals, such as government resolutions and ministry decisions. It requires all statutes to be appropriately assesses and monitored for their overall environmental impact by each ministry. Guidelines for EIA of legislative proposals were issued by the Council of State (Finnish Ministry of the Environment, 1998) and are intended to complement other guidelines relating to economic and business impacts. Specially, they are intended to promote and support comprehensive expert assessment of the environmental impacts of all new legislation and shall apply immediately. Each ministry is responsible for assessing its own legislation but, if necessary, may undertake a cooperative approach with other branches of the administration.

Another mechanism for regulating the environmental evaluation is by the statutory Finnish guidelines.

The Finnish guidelines have several principles and measures:

·         establishing the need for EIA by reference to the different functions of legislation and their potential environmental impacts

·         inclusion of a checklist to address the effects of a new law and a flow diagram illustrating the progression of EIA at different stages of the legislative process

·         stipulation that the various alternatives and their environmental impact shall be examined broadly and methodically including the zero alternative

·         obligations related to early communication with groups of citizens and parties who may be affected by the law and the authorities responsible for implementing it

·         requirement to present the information on the positive and adverse effects of the law in the government bill concisely but comprehensively

·         plan to monitor environmental impact of a law after it enters into force

 

Section 24 of the EIA Act stated that when an authority prepares a plan, programme or policy whose implementation is likely to have a significant impact on the environment, its impact must be investigated and assessed to the necessary extent. This applies to policy on taxation, payments and subsidies, and to plans, programmes and policies concerning the environment, energy, transport, industry, forestry and agriculture, for example. As stated in its preamble, the legal obligations of the EIA Act also apply to administrative and financial planning, and to regional development plans (Government proposal 319/1993vp, 9).

Council of State’s decision on committees (218/1988, amended 216/1990) separately stated that committee reports shall include an assessment of the social, administrative, economic, environmental and other impacts of each proposal.

In compliance with the Decree on the State Budget (1243/1992), the Ministry of Finance issues each year a regulation requiring an investigation into the environmental effects of the budgets and action plans proposed. Assessment of the environmental impact of Government proposals is required by the guidelines for drafting Government proposals (HELO guidelines, 1992). The Act on Regulations and Instructions Issued by the Authorities (1036/1996) requires that preparation of legislative proposals should have the investigations into the functional, administrative, economic, employment, environmental and other effects of the planned provisions. In connection with the Council of State’s programme for developing legislative procedures, the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for drafting a separate proposal for guidelines for environmental assessment in the preparation of legislative proposals.

Administrative mechanism

The Finnish national land use guidelines are one of the mechanisms that restrain the development project with non-legal binding power. The Guidelines laid down there include requirements on the quality of the living environment, economical and ecological development of community structures, the preservation of natural values and the built heritage, sparing utilization of natural resources, and functional communication networks.

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

The Finnish EIA Act (Section 24) requires that an environmental assessment be made for all policies, plans and programmes that may have significant effects on the environment. The Finnish requirement to carry out environmental assessments of strategic actions is broader than that of the SEA Directive. The authority responsible for drafting the policy, plan and programme is responsible for determining the need for an assessment.

The SEA Directive does not specify the type of methods or approaches that could be used in an assessment of the issues. Finnish assessments have used a wide range of methods, from quantitative modelling to collection of qualitative information and expert opinions.

Basically, it can divide the assessment process into four stages. The first stage is the preliminary assessment stage. It has to undergo a checklist to determine whether the plan, policy and programme need the assessment or not. Preliminary screen can narrow down the projects need to be assessed.

Following the preliminary assessment stage, it comes to the scoping stage. The responsible ministry would define the scope for assessment. Scoping is a critical phase in all assessments, where this stage serves as a basis for both understanding the scope and boundaries of the assessment. The alternative actions that need to be assessed would also identify in this stage.

In the detailed assessment stage, there are many steps involved. The detailed can be referred to the flow chart below.

The EIA report should specify the following:

·         The stages of preparatory work and environmental assessment, and the parties involved;

·         key environmental problems related to the task at hand/environmental goals concerning the authorities;

·         the main obstacles to solving environmental problems/attaining environmental targets (e.g. perceived conflict with previous practices);

·         a description of how the main focus of policy has shifted, as compared with earlier plans, programmes and policies;

·         how the new plan, programme or policy relates to existing documents drafted by the authorities, and to their prior environmental assessment;

·         the preparation process and any factors restricting its scope;

·         environmental impacts of alternatives

·         outline of differing views on perceived impacts and the magnitude of impacts;

·         prevention and mitigation of any harmful effects;

·         the basic premises and methods used in the assessment, and any shortcomings or uncertainties in the data used;

·         differences of opinion, both those that were resolved during environmental assessment and those remaining unresolved;

·         recommendations for taking environmental aspects into consideration in implementing the plan, programme or policy; and

·         recommendations for monitoring of environmental impact

After the publishing of the EIA report, the most prominent and distinctive feature is there should have the public review of the assessment. The public can voice out their opinions in this stage and the responsible authority should make reference to the opinions into the report. After undergoing the public review part, the environmental ministry would decide whether or not to implement the project.

In the final stage, the project is already implemented. The follow-up action would undergo monitoring and evaluation of the impacts of a project or plan for management of, and communication about, the environmental performance of that project or plan. 

The Checklist for determining the need for environmental assessment has incorporated the environmental protection and nature conservation, land use and transport, production and consumption, people and communities, management or likelihood of environmental hazards. There are many criteria that needed to be screened like the volume or type of emissions or waste, human health, living conditions, the volume of emissions from transport would be considered.

Administrative / non-statutory mechanism

Apart from the statutory mechanism in the SEA formulation, there is no other administrative / non-statutory mechanism in controlling the SEA formulation.

C.     Process Flow Chart

 

Figure 7.2.2.2.        EIA flow chart

 

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.2.2.1.                Summary Table for Finland

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

Finnish EIA Act (Section 24)

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Finnish EIA Act (Section 24), Building and Planning Act (1999)

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

N/A

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Requirement Mechanism

N/A

Statutory system

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

N/A

SEA Directive, The Finnish EIA Act,

Applications

N/A

Policies, plans and programmes

7.2.2.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

Establishing working links among different government departments takes a longer time due to the separate traditions and planning paces in the sectors. The interagency collaboration between regional councils, regional environmental authorities, municipalities and the Finnish Road Administration is not a simple process.

The parliamentary committees have taken up transport policy, but strategic planning has developed on an ad hoc basis.

Environmental evaluation / SEA

In some cases arguments about the need to carry out an assessment delayed the initiation of the assessment. Other delay in this regard were caused by argument over whether or not an assessment can be made before a policy, while plan or programme is available, at least in draft form. Delays in the initiation of the assessment would affect the possibilities to use the assessment results.

 

For land use plans the question of timing has been solved at the level of legislation. The Land Use and Building Act require public participation and assessment scheme to be prepared at the beginning of the planning.

 

SEA appears to have led to a greater environmental awareness of those involved in SEA and plan making processes. Public participation has extended and there is a more transparent public decision-making under the requirements formulated in the Finnish constitution.

Finland provides Guideline lists for plans, programmes and policies whose implementation may be presumed to have a significant impact on the environment. There is also a checklist for determining the need for environmental assessment.

 

7.2.2.4  Project Examples

Example 1

Main Road network development plan Assessment of the Nordic Triangle

Description of the Study

A project, in which the National Road Administration (NRA) was closely involved, provides an example of environmental assessment within the framework of a long-term project programme. The Nordic Triangle transport projects in Finland had undergone the environmental assessment concerning different possible impacts in the area.

Process of the Study

In 1995, the Ministry of Transport and Communications formed a task force to assess the environmental impact of the Nordic Triangle transport projects in Finland. This was the first Finnish broad range transport corridor development impact assessment The task force was to study and assess traffic development, development alternatives and environmental impacts of the alternatives. (Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications 1996).

The task force formulated four road and railway investment alternatives, with different transport policy aims, and evaluated their most important positive and negative consequences. Starting with a traffic impact study, the evaluation looked at impacts on the national economy, regional and urban structure, the natural and cultural environment, well-being, groundwater protection, energy use, emissions and traffic safety. The time period studied extended to the year 2010.

Transport infrastructure planning involves the analysis of all forms of transport in urban and semi-urban areas, as well as its impact on land use.

Budget and action plans are the link between long-term goals and annual policy decisions, but their role in the overall planning process is somewhat ill-defined. It is therefore difficult to gauge their precise role from an environmental perspective. Recently, the drafting of budget and action plans has no connection with the assessment of transport policy and related public debate.

In the first stage of assessing the environmental impact of the National Road Administration budget and action plans for 1997-2000, a rough outline was drawn up, indicating those strategic areas which lent themselves to assessment, and the manner in which year-to-year divergences from usual policy had affected their environmental impact.

The budget and action plan was assessed alongside the Ministry of Transport and Communications objective programme for reducing the environmental hazards of transport. A table was drawn up on the basis of the objective programme, listing all key environmental targets related to road maintenance and transport.

The next step was to evaluate whether the NRA’s strategic decisions and projects fell in line with the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Goals and conclusions were drawn as to which measures facilitate and which inhibit the attainment of those goals, plus the extent to which extraneous trends ameliorate the desired impact.

The following impacts have been assessed:

·          Structural repercussions, impact on social policy

·          impact on the national economy

·          impact on regional structure

·          impact on urban structure

·          Direct environmental impact

·          diversity of the natural environment and cultural heritage

·          public amenity

·          protection of groundwater

·          energy consumption and resultant emissions

·          road safety and conveyance of hazardous substances.

In assessing the environmental impact of the Nordic Triangle, the working group considered four alternatives which differed in respect of their emphasis on either road or rail transport.

The working group involved in the environmental assessment of the Nordic Triangle first heard the opinions of various interest groups and authorities on transport policy. A public meeting was attended by various authorities and NGOs (combined turnout 72 people). The proposals put forward at the meeting and the reply of the working group were compiled and published as an annex to the environmental assessment report (Ministry of Transport and Communications 1996).

In order to shed further light on the views expressed by the press, an extensive selection of articles written about the Nordic Triangle (369 in all) were analysed in detail. The ensuing discussion was summarized and published as part of the environmental assessment report.

Outcome of the Study

Four press releases were issued on the working group’s progress. Opinion differed on the following points:

·          trends in background variables and means of regulating demand for transport;

·          the goals of the project and its precise repercussions;

·          the consequences and importance of investing in transport; and

·          the precise content of the various alternatives

Opinions on the assessment report were requested from 52 different groups. All agreed that environmental assessment was valuable, and the general hope was expressed that the assessment method would continue to be developed in future. The respondents were mostly satisfied with the arrangements concerning their participation, although many expressed concern as to how environmental assessment can be successfully integrated as a part of decision-making. The main perceived shortcoming was that the assessment was carried out separate from other planning for Nordic Triangle projects.

In 1997-1998, a SEA was made for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Transport System Plan. The assessment was conducted for the year 2020 and it examines the impacts of three different transport system alternatives on traffic and mobility, land use and environment as well as social impacts

 

Example 2

Assessment of the National Waste Plan

Description of the Study

It focuses on the community waste. The main objective is to assess the possible environmental impact over the plan.

Process of the Study

Different alternatives were identified by interviewing members of the Waste Commission (which acted as the steering committee) to establish their views on the targets, strategies and steering instruments proposed in the draft National Waste Plan. A set of scenarios was compiled, where Scenario 1 corresponded to the model proposed in the first draft version of the National Waste Plan, and the two others were alternatives put forward by members of the Waste Commission.

Because opinion differed widely, particularly on the point of steering instruments, it was not possible to assess all conceivable combinations of targets, strategies and steering instruments. Rather, the scenarios were intended purely to reflect key divergences in the proposed policy lines.

A brief summary of scenarios is given below (Saarikoski 1996):

Scenario 1 Prevention of any further increase in the volume of waste, the target being to ensure that the 2005 level does not exceed that of 1994. Recovery of energy through at-source sorting of waste. Steering instruments the same as those set forth in the National Waste Plan.

Scenario 2 The volume of waste rises 25%, energy recovery based on centralized sorting, fewer steering instruments than in Scenario 1.

Scenario 3 Twenty per cent reduction in waste, recovery based on reuse of material resources, more steering instruments than in Scenario 1.

Outcome of the Study

For the assessment of the National Waste Plan, a Waste Commission made up of various interest groups acted as the steering committee. As a result time constraints, however, the committee was unable to collaborate as closely as in the case of the regional waste management strategy. The Waste Commission was offered opportunities to comment on the assessment procedure and the draft reports, and its members were also interviewed at the start of the assessment to help the formulation of the alternatives and the definition of assessment criteria (Saarikoski 1996).

 

7.2.2.5  List of References

·         A Practical Guide to the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive, 2005, http://www.ehsni.gov.uk/bm_sea_practicalguide.pdf

·         Legislation on land use and building, http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?contentid=65699&lan=en

·         Finland’s National Land Use Guidelines, Finland Council of State, Ministry of the Environment Land Use Department, 2000, http://www.environment.fi/download.asp?contentid=18009&lan=en

·         The Environmental Assessment of Plans, Programmes and Policies in Finland, Ministry of the Environment, Finland, 1999, http://www.ymparisto.fi/download.asp?contentid=19877&lan=EN

·         Act on the Assessment of the Impacts of the Authorities’ Plans, Programmes and Policies on the Environment, 2005, Finland, 1999, http://www.ymparisto.fi/download.asp?contentid=44490&lan=en

·         Act on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure, Ministry of the Environment, Finland, 2006, http://www.ymparisto.fi/download.asp?contentid=84193&lan=en

 


7.2.3       France

7.2.3.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

Executive and decision-making competencies in France are shared out among the four institutional levels (State, regions, departments and municipalities); and municipalities are competent to town planning. The French urban planning processes are largely attached to the municipal level.

Urban Planning Agency is the main government agency responsible for planning.  It was established under the 1967 Land Use Planning Act and is now being set up in most large urban areas in France. Its major role is to provide municipal governments with technical support for planning and carrying out their urban project proposal. The Urban Planning Agency focused on producing planning studies, urban planning documents, encompass spatial planning, economic development, transportation issues, the environment and urban policies.  For the implementation of planning, it is carried out by the central government or by local governments.

The main national rules governing new development are called Les dispositions imperatives du règlement nationale d’urbanisme (RNU).  Whilst a small number of RNU have national authority and are applicable to all circumstances, where a local plan is in place, then the local rules take precedence. With the decentralisation laws of 1983 (which shared competences and decision power among states, regions, departments and municipalities), local authorities become major actors in development and spatial planning. For example, municipalities became solely responsible for their planning and land use documents. As a general rule, in the absence of local plan, the RNU forbids new building outside built-up areas, except those relating to changes to existing buildings or agricultural nature.

Yet, State involvement remains; either it is a partner or it plays a central role during a urban development process through two designated organisations the Délégation à l’aménagement du Territoire et à l’action régionale (DATAR) and the Comité Interministériel à l’Aménagement et au Développement du Territoire (CIADT).

The DATAR, created in 1963, plays a central role in state spatial development decisions. Concerned with the cohesion and the balanced and sustainable development of the national territory, the DATAR is responsible for coordinating sectoral decisions which affect spatial/territorial development and planning. The CIADT makes the decisions on the Ministries Council in the field of spatial planning. This committee regroups experts in their fields coming from the different ministries: Planning and building (Ministère de l’Equipement) and Environment.

Another set of national regulations are called Les directives paysages or Directives de protection et de mise en valeur des paysages. The regulations concern mainly on the volume and height of buildings and external aspects of the development. These two regulations can affect the determination of a planning application.

Regional Spatial Planning and Development Blueprints (Schemas regionaux d’amenagement et de developpement du territoire - SRADT) were conducted under the terms of the 1995 Spatial Planning and Development Act. These blueprints set the basic guidelines for sustainable regional development in the medium term. The blueprints aim at shaping the content of contracts between the central government and the regional governments. SRADT is elaborated and approved by the Regional Council after consulting the different “departments” forming the Region and the Regional Economic and Social Commission (Conseil Economique et Social Régionale, CESR). 

The SRADT defines the fundamental orientations of the region’s sustainable development and the targets in terms of:

·         the locations of the major facilities, infrastructures and services of general interest,

·         the development of economic projects,

·         harmonious development of urban, suburban and rural areas,

·         protection and conservation of the environment, sites, landscapes and natural heritage,

·         rehabilitation of derelict areas, and

·         incorporation of the interregional or cross-border dimension of planning

Under the SRADT, 3 documents are produced:

·         A prospective plan at 20 years, based an exhaustive diagnosis of the region’s situation

·         A regional Charter that defines the development strategy for the coming 10 years

·         A serial of maps “specialising” the different projects

The Territorial Cohesion Blueprints were instituted by the Urban Solidarity and Renewal Act of 13 December 2000 (as amended by the Urban Planning and Housing Act of 2 July 2003). The Territorial Cohesion Blueprints set out the general guidelines for spatial planning, and, more specifically, for maintaining a balance between areas to be built up and natural, farming or forested areas. It also sets out the objectives for balancing housing, the social mix, public transport, as well as commercial and business facilities.

Before drawing up the Blueprint, a development strategy needs to be set out in a Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development Proposal by Public Corporations for Cooperation between the Communes for the area concerned. The Territorial Cohesion Blueprints are subject to public inquiries before being approved. The Blueprints are then reviewed at least every ten years.

Spatial Planning Directives 1995 are the other local planning documents drafted by the central government with an aim of striking a balance between development and conservation which is applicable to certain areas:

·         where there are problems choosing suitable locations for major urban areas or transportation corridors that are subject to geographical constraints

·         where there are strong population pressures, shortages of land or ecological risks

In local land use plans, the state takes part in their elaboration, having a special attention on ensuring that local plans meet sectoral policies or spatial strategies at the upper level.

Spatial Planning Directives summarises the central government’s spatial planning objectives and guidelines for the area concerned, with the aim of striking a balance between development and conservation. The Directives are drafted by central government staff and coordinated by the Prefectures in consultation with local partners.

The guidelines set out in the Spatial Planning Directive also apply to Territorial Cohesion Blueprints (SCOT) and Local Urban Planning Maps.

At a regional and county level the most significant planning regime is the Schémas de cohérence territoriale (SCOT). The purpose of the SCOT is to delineate the major spatial development policies relating to urban planning, housing, transportation and commercial facilities for the area under examination over the medium to long-term period.  They may be best approximated to a county level 'Structure Plan'. The whole process is carried out in a collaborative basis involving the various level of government in the region or the département (county). The plan is subject to a public enquiry but, once approved, is valid for a period of ten years.

The level of preparation of SCOTs is variable across the country as they were only introduced through a law in 2000. If a SCOT is not in place in an area, then the applicable regional/county plan will be the Schéma directeur d'aménagement et d'urbanisme (SDAU), the predecessor of the SCOT.

On the municipality level, the main local land use plan including the rules is the Local Urban Planning Maps. Placing sustainable development as the priority, the Local Urban Planning Maps defines the development strategy of a municipality with the consideration of all the issues including environmental ones and elaborate the local land use rules in coherence with this strategy.

The Local Urban Planning Maps must be compatible with the Territorial Cohesion Blueprints. They are more comprehensive than the previous zoning maps, which was replaced in 2000. They set the zoning rules for building and land use for a Commune or a group of Communes, defining urban zones, facilities zones, agricultural zones, etc. Same as the Territorial Cohesion Blueprints, the Local Urban Planning Maps are based on a Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development Proposal.

The purpose of the Local Urban Planning Maps is to determine a development plan for the commune (or the various communes that are party to the plan) and the general planning rules that will apply to the locality and to specific sites. The preparation of a Local Urban Planning Maps takes place in consultation with all the relevant statutory bodies and must be subject to a local public enquiry before it can be adopted. Once adopted, it has a legal and binding force.

Where a Local Urban Planning Map is in place, planning permission can be granted by the mairie (or inter-communal body), otherwise all planning applications would need to be determined by the county planning and highways department, called the Direction départementale d’equipement (DDE), in consultation with the mairie.  Notwithstanding this power, some smaller local councils are not able to offer a planning service so continue to rely on the DDE to determine applications.

The Local Urban Planning Maps establish planning zones for the area, the planning rules that will apply to new development, and information on major development constraints. This part of the plan will set out the general planning rules that will apply within each development area. In particular, it will set out rules on change of use, permitted height of buildings, building arrangement, any architectural requirements, and public utility services and requirements. It will also set out the maximum permitted density of development on a site for new and existing buildings. These rules are called the coefficient d’occupation des sols (COS).

B.     Overview of evaluation approach
Statutory approach

Since the French planning system is directed by the local authority, the national level planning would have less influence over the local plan. The following is the local plan formulation.

The DDE, based in a prefecture level, consists a network of local offices throughout each county.

To begin the process, the DDE are obliged to confirm in writing receipt of application, which they will do with a formal receipt and registration number. The mairie are also obliged to place a notice of the planning application outside of the town hall.

If the application has been incorrectly submitted then they must write to the applicants, requesting new or correct information. The applicants then have to submit the additional information.

Once the planning authority has received a correctly completed application, they must make a decision within a specific timescale, which depends on the type or location of the project.

In the case of historic buildings or protected areas, the planning authority is obliged to consult with the Architectes des Bâtiments de France (ABF) who is located in each préfecture. The mairie is also entitled to consult with the ABF in other circumstances, if they deem it desirable to do so.

The ABF are entitled to be very prescriptive about any consent that may be granted. An unfavourable opinion by them will almost certainly result in refusal of the application, although the mairie can contest their view if they do not agree with it.

If a decision is not received within the allotted timescale, then the law states that consent is said to have been granted tacitly, although tacit consent does not operate in relation to protected sites or buildings.

If the application is refused, or conditions are imposed which the applicants find unacceptable, then the applicants have a right of appeal back to the planning authority, the préfet or the Tribunal Administratif.

Administrative / non-statutory approach

In the absence of a local plan, there is a presumption that only new development within or adjacent to existing development areas, and with access to water and electricity services, will be granted with planning permission for new buildings.  As a general rule, it would nevertheless be possible to obtain planning permission for enlargement, modification or change of use of existing buildings through the administrative / non-statutory plan, carte communale. The plan may not necessarily cover the whole area, but merely that to which priority is being given, or which may be particularly sensitive.  In the absence of detailed planning rules set out in a Local Urban Planning Map then the Règlement National d’Urbanisme (RNU) apply.

Whilst there are no particular procedural formalities for the preparation of a carte communale, the plan is prepared in consultation with departmental and regional officials, and is subject to a local public enquiry. The plan remains valid and in force until otherwise altered by the local council.

7.2.3.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

The Ministry of Environment is responsible for environmental quality, the protection of nature and the prevention, reduction or elimination of any pollutants, nuisances and risks. The Roads and Motorways Engineering Department, and the Public Works Regional Engineering Centre, both of which come under the aegis of the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing, have developed a SEA methodology.

Statutory mechanism

In France, environmental policy has been established since the 1970s. Until now, the environment is mostly taken into account through land-use plans and the environmental appraisal of programmes. There are several laws require the inclusion of environmental concerns.

Strategic Impact Assessment (SIA) is a legal requirement at policy level for proposed laws and at regional levels for Master and Zoning plans. SIAs were introduced in the 1990s and were applied to public participation for major transportation projects.

The French adopted an Environmental Code in 2000 to harmonize previous laws and requested that environmental assessments be undertaken for projects, programmes and plans, and particularly for planning documents. Ordinance No 2004-489 was issued in 2004 introducing the European SEA Directive in the Environmental Code, the French Environmental Law, which provides statutory requirement for SEA of plans and programmes.

SEA in France at policy level is governed by Strategic Impact Assessment which is a statutory requirement. For the Environmental Code, it provides statutory requirement for SEA of plans and programmes.

The new French law on land use plans (Solidarité et Renouvellement Urbain, December 13 2000) has also led to some progress toward SEA. Specifically:

·         Local urbanization plans must now have a forward-looking focus which integrates sustainable development concerns and spatial planning, consistent with territorial coherence schemes (master plans)

·         Diagnosis and strategic planning must take account of the interactions between sectoral decisions

The requirements of the EU SEA Directive are mentioned in the formal advice of Conseil Général des Ponts et Chaussées (Highways) on the so called "Rapport Chassande” (20 June 2000)

Administrative / non-statutory mechanism

There is no administrative / non-statutory mechanism in the French system.

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

In France, monitoring and follow-up are not required in the SEA process.

A multi-modal approach to SEA is used for assessing different policies, plans and programmes.

Three types of environmental assessment are provided for in the context of State–Regions Planning Contracts (Contrats de plan État –Régions or CPER):

·         An ex-ante assessment- a prior environmental assessment, to prepare for a decision, based on the precautionary principle;

·         An accompanying assessment allowing for periodic review of the environmental effects of decisions following implementation;

·         An ex-post assessment, offering the opportunity to take stock of the environmental consequences of implementing a plan or programme, and serving as a guide for future projects

For ex-post evaluation, the Ministry of Regional Development and the Environment has proposed a six-step outline procedure capturing the main principles.

The principal steps of the overall process:

·         Environmental diagnosis (an environmental profile describing the state of the environment and listing political objectives at different scales – international conventions and protocols, European policies, national objectives, regional objectives, etc.)

·         Compatibility analysis (by means of matrix) between the strategic action and the main reference objectives

·         Assessment of the importance of the potential environmental impacts of the whole plan

·         Evaluation of interactions between measures

·         Public consultation - After being set up most of the territorial plans and all urban plans are subject to a public inquiry. The proceedings of this public inquiry are very precise: the plan has to be consulted for one month; an independent investigating commissioner collects and synthesizes the opinions about the plan, gives a positive or negative recommendation, which can be followed or not by the responsible authority.

Administrative / non-statutory mechanism

There is no administrative / non-statutory mechanism in the French system.

C.     Process Flow Chart

Figure 7.2.3.1.        Stages in the environmental assessment

 

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.2.3.1.                Summary Table for France

 

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

Municipal Zoning Plans

Plan local d'urbanisme (PLU)

Consists of the PADD, which determines development targets for a sustainable development of the planning area, and the zoning (Zonage)

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

1995 Spatial Planning and Development Act, Urban Solidarity and Renewal Act, Territorial Cohesion Blueprints (SCOT), Local Urban Planning Maps

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

N/A

Strategic Impact Assessment

Requirement Mechanism

N/A

Statutory

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

N/A

Strategic Impact Assessment for policy level,

Environmental Code for plans and programmes

Applications

N/A

Strategic Impact Assessment (SIA) for Policies level

SEA for plans and programmes level

 

 

7.2.3.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

France has adopted a hierarchical planning system with a clear hierarchy. The municipal level governments take the lead in urban planning while with national planning guideline as a supplement for the planning policy.

The municipal government is responsible for the implementation of the projects. The clear cut between the national and municipal government with distinctive role in the administration and setting guidelines would prevent the overlapping of governing the same regions.

The French planning-system is vertically structured; there is a compatibility link between the different plans on the differents scales.

The SRADT has no prescriptive value for local planning documents, but stress on the public consultation process., It is a prospective document that local planning documents should take into account. Furthermore, the European economic and social cohesion policy is coordinated with the orientations of the SRADT in relation to the structural funds.

 

Environmental evaluation / SEA

France began to transpose the fundamental elements of the SEA into national law in the area of spatial planning as early as 2000 (local land use planning, however, became a subject of SEA only in 2004 by the amendment of the Code de l'urbanisme).

 

7.2.3.4  Project Examples

Example 1

Northern Corridor

Description of the Study

Identification of route options for each mode

Comparison of new infrastructure scenarios

Process of the Study

Criteria:

Surface water – Hydrographic network and surface water

Underground water – Potable water supply catchment and productivity

Natural environment – Biotope conservation order, nature reserve, special protection zone, bird community interest zone, protected natural site, marsh, and heath, brush

Vegetation – forested massif

Noise – quiet zone

Agriculture – specialized crops, fragile soil, field crops, mixed farming and pasture

Heritage – areas of protected urban and industrial heritage and notable buildings, protection area and conservation area

Human and industrial activities – existing urbanization, industrial and commercial zone, hazardous and industrial installation, contaminated site, airport, military land, main electricity line and landfill

Landscape – notable and exceptional landscape

The study encountered the following methodological issues:

·          Accounting for the effects of more than one transport mode in a corridor

·          Variability in the number of transportation elements to each scenario

·          Cumulative effects assessment

·          Variable levels of data and project alignment detail

·          Diversity of types of transportation elements

·          The twinning of certain infrastructure elements

·          Implementation schedule such that new infrastructure is not delivered simultaneously

Outcome of the Study

Display certain weaknesses that reflect the availability of different assessment techniques.

The GIS approach is well suited to handling environmental issues that are capable of being mapped. However, relationships with matters of policy and social/community or health dimensions are not considered. 

 

Example 2

The Franco-Spanish Highway project (The Somport Tunnel)

Description of the Study

The Franco-Spanish Highway project through the Pyrenees mountains and the cross border tunnel link on the ground -The Tunnel of Somport

Process of the Study

Since 1986, the idea of a Franco-Spanish tunnel link has been debated to permit to describe the French National Road (RN 134) as the European Main Road (E7).

In 1989, the departmental Direction of Equipment of Pau published a booklet on the "modernization of the trunk road Pau-Zaragoza".

The two towns are linked up by the National Road RN 134 in France and the N 330 in Spain which cross the Aspe valley, the Somport pass and the Canfranc valley.

Parallel to this road and crossing the pass by a rail tunnel, there is a line, closed since 1972 between Oloron and Canfranc.

The road project proposed to create a highway between Pau and Oloron, to widen and straighten the RN 134 in the Aspe valley, to bore the tunnel under the Somport pass and to straighten the Spanish road in two ways to Zaragoza.

This project would increase the road traffic by three for the cars and and by ten for the lorries.

This case relates the project's cross border tunnel link highway between France and Spain through the Pyrennees Mountains. The proposed 8.6 Kilometer (5.4 mile) tunnel through the Aspe Valley was presented as a vital element in the completion of the new highway, which is intended to link the southwestern French town of Pau with the northern Spanish city of Zaragoza. The project was subject to approval by a treaty between the French and Spanish governments which was later ratified by their respective national parliaments. This project has been first cancelled by the administrative court of Pau (December 1992) which declared that officials failed to examine both the direct and indirect impact of the tunnel on the surrounding region as required by EEC Directive of 1985.

Outcome of the Study

The project was also subject to approval by a treaty between the French and Spanish governments (25/04/1991) which was later ratified by their respective National Parliaments (for France, it is the Act of 21 December 1991).

However may be, the tunnel of Somport is under construction but lots of problems and questions still exist:

In 1999, when the tunnel will be operational, only 22.6 kilometer (49%) will be realized on the French side, 6.5 kilometer (14%) still under construction and 16.8 kilometer (37%) will not be realized or programmed...

Due to time extension, the whole works will not be ended before 2012 or 2014.

The last financial cost estimate (in 1997) increase the bill to 950 Million Francs (the initial cost was 450 Million francs)

 

7.2.3.5  List of References

·         French Planning System,http://www.french-property.com/guides/france/building/planning/

·         Environmental Code can be obtained from http://195.83.177.9/upl/pdf/code_40.pdf

·         Strategic Environmental Assessment: A sourcebook and reference guide to international experience, Barry Dalal-Clayton and Barry Sadler, 2004, http://www.iied.org/Gov/spa/documents/SEAbook/Chapter3_Oct04.pdf,page70

·         European Environment Agency, Implementation of strategic environmental assessment in the transport sector - Indicator assessment. ERM, 2000: Draft results of a survey on behalf of DG Environment, of the Member States’ use of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in relation to the transport sector. Environmental Resources Management (ERM), London, United Kingdom, 2000, unpublished. Study on behalf of the DG ENV. http://themes.eea.europa.eu/Sectors_and_activities/transport/indicators/integration/TERM38%2C2001/Implementation_of_SEA_TERM_2001.doc.pdf

·         Barry Dalal-Clayton and Barry Sadler, 2004, http://www.iied.org/Gov/spa/documents/SEAbook/Chapter3_Oct04.pdf,page70

·         Environmental Code can be obtained from http://195.83.177.9/upl/pdf/code_40.pdf

·         Contrats de plans are general agreements between the Central Government and each Regional Government on co funding certain facilities.

·         Macrory. R., PENELOPE, Somport Tunnel, http://www-penelope.drec.unilim.fr/penelope/cases/france/FRAcase.htm

·         SEA applied to Multimodal Corridors. Methodology developed by France: The Case of the North Corridor, P.Scriabine (1999), SETRA, France, presented at OECD/ECMT Conference on SEA for Transport, Warsaw, October 1999, available on website: http://esteast.unep.ch/includes/community_file.asp?community=est-east&file=C8D2FDE1-35A3-416B-B711-EA5F765B58EC

 


7.2.4       The Netherlands

7.2.4.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

The limited land resource in the Netherlands forces the country to put much effort in conserving the environment. This has manifested itself in a strong land use planning system and in a very high and long-standing level of public interest in environmental protection.

Before 1965, there was a tradition of local regulation of the rapid urban expansion taking place between the end of the 19th century and World War II. The old regulations focused on building activities at the municipal level: housing, the provision of sanitary and transport infrastructure, and played an active land supply role. It encouraged rapid urban expansion. The expansion of the urban area leads to the reform in land use planning resulted in the Spatial Planning Act 1965. The planning system in the Netherlands is based on the Spatial Planning Act 1965 and the accompanying Decree of the Minister of Spatial Planning, Housing and Environmental Protection. The Spatial Planning Act constitutes of the basic framework for Dutch land use planning practice.

The Spatial Planning Act builds upon the concept of vertical coordination between the three major layers of government: the national (state), the provincial and the municipal levels. Basically, the spatial plan prepared at a higher administrative level for a larger-scale area sets the framework for detailed decisions regarding local areas.

At the national level, the Spatial Planning Act requires a statement of national planning policy to be prepared by the central government about every ten years since 1960. The statements are subjected to public consultation and approval by the parliament.  At the provincial level, the Spatial Planning Act requires the preparation of a regional plan covering the whole, or major parts, of a provincial area. These plans, which should be updated about ten years, are subject to public consultation and approved by the provincial representatives. The physical, economic and environmental proposals of different sectoral bodies are integrated into policy strategies and transformed into land use development proposals in the regional plans. These regional plans provide the framework for the approval of municipal plans and are indicative but not legally binding. Provincial authorities can either accept or reject municipal plans, while they can only give detailed directions to municipalities in extreme situations. Furthermore, the provincial plan serves as a framework for regional sectoral policy plans, like the plans for water, transport or landscape protection.

At the municipal level, the Spatial Planning Act requires two kinds of plans, namely the municipal structure plan and the detailed land use plan. The structure plan is non-obligatory which provides a long-term vision of the development of the municipal territory and serves as a means of communication with the local people. The detailed land use plan is the most important part in the planning system. It is the only plan that legally binds citizens, organizations and public bodies, thereby creating legal certainty for individuals concerning their interests, particularly their property rights. Also, the detailed land use plan is the basis of a system of permits for changing land uses, building activities, the avoidance of environmental nuisance and the protection of historic sites.

Based on the Spatial Planning Act, policy reports about the national and regional development are published regularly. These policy reports are prepared under the responsibility of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment (VROM) and adopted and undersigned by the whole Cabinet. They set guidelines and principles for the regional development. The Ministry of VROM is also responsible for general environmental policy, setting standards for water quality and emission. The Ministry has to pass laws concerning air, soil and groundwater protection and to give advice to drinking water companies and sewage treatment organisations.

B.     Overview of evaluation approach

For planning, the central government takes the responsibility in deciding and planning large and medium scale infrastructures including transport projects. Regional authorities have the major role for coordinating and supervising the local municipalities and preparing regional zoning plans for future development decisions.

At the lowest level, the municipal level, the municipal authorities are obliged to produce plans for urban area. Local municipalities are responsible to prepare and implement all the detailed land use and all construction plans within their territories. The procedure for requesting and granting building and development permits provides the basis for compensating others for possible loss of property value. Also, permit decisions are subject to an appeal procedure at various levels even up to the Council of State which is the highest national independent court.

At state level, there is a five step successive process in developing plans.

·         In the first step, at the national level, the ministers of relevant departments such as the public works and water management, set their general policy framework for every 10 years.

·         Second step is for listing the options of major infrastructures to be included in the policy framework whereas the list would be revised every year thereafter along with the budget prepared by the ministers.

·         Third step is the assessment step. A multi disciplinary traffic, economic, financial and environmental assessment is carried out to guide the final decision for accept or not.

·         The fourth is for the final decision which is given through the collaboration of relevant ministries.

·         Final step is the inclusion of the given decisions in the provincial and local programs.

The implementation of the strategic principles takes place at the provincial level and local level by making concrete plans and specifying the guidelines. The organization and tasks of the 12 Provinces are governed by the Province Act. Provinces integrate the policies of different sectors of government, such as water management, environment, nature conservation, housing, physical planning and transport within their regional plans, called the streekplan. Provinces are authorized by the Spatial Planning Act to execute the spatial development strategies and they can decide the extent of their policy or their streekplan. The definitions of spatial development strategies are drawn up in the provincial plan (i.e. streekplan), which is not obligatory. Even without the obligation of drawing up a streekplan, all the Provinces prepare the streekplan.

The co-ordination with environmental and water management plans is required by law (Art.4a Spatial Planning Act, Art.4.9 sect.5 Wet milieubeheer and Art.7 sect.4 Wet op de Waterhuishouding). This co-ordination aims to ensure an interdisciplinary integration between all levels.

At municipal level the structure plan considers the future development for the area of a municipality or for a part of it. The structure plan is not obligatory but the provincial government can order it to be set up for a certain area and that certain issues have to be considered. The most important planning instrument at the municipal level is the local land use plan which is legally binding. This plan designates the land use and regulates the development in the area. The local land use plan has to be approved by the provincial executive.

7.2.4.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

As a member of the European Union, the Netherlands also need to adopt the European Directive 2001/42/EC (‘the SEA Directive) (European Commission (EC), 2001). The Environmental Management Act (EMA) was therefore revised in July 2006 to incorporate the requirements of the SEA Directive.  Unlike other European countries, the Dutch has already implemented two SEA systems for a period of time prior to the SEA Directive being put in effective.  They are the Strategic EIA and Environmental Test (E-Test). The Dutch ‘Strategic EIA’ is mandatory for certain spatial and sectoral plans, such as spatial plans on locations for housing and industrial area and sectoral plans such as waste, water and energy plans. An E-test is mandatory for new legislation with significant environmental consequences. Both E-Test and Strategic EIA follow the same principles, but are implemented separately and independent of each other. The E-Test was introduced in 1994 and was designed to assess the environmental impacts of legislation and regulations. Based on an administrative order the E-test is jointly carried out by the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Environment. Both of them help to monitor and control the development projects in the Netherlands.

The development projects which may have a certain degree of spatial and environmental impacts, a Strategic EIA is often required under the legislation. The independent EIA Commission provides terms of reference for the Strategic EIA and publishes evaluations of the quality of the resulting report.

Strategic EIA and E-test are already implemented before the implementation of the SEA Directive in 2001. While in 2006, the EMA incorporated the SEA Directive with the two measures. The Environmental Management Act 1994 is the main Dutch law regarding environmental protection. Based on that law, the projects of a specific type and size under the current government regulations and that have been in effect since 1994 require Strategic EIAs. . The EIA Commission, which is an independent entity sponsored by the government, is responsible for approving the terms of reference of a Strategic EIA and evaluating the EIA report (namely Environmental Impact Statement-EIS). A committee of independent experts is assembled by the EIA Commission to perform these tasks, depending on the project type.

Every plan or project for which an Strategic EIA has been prepared in the Netherlands must be evaluated during or after implementation as stated in the Environmental Management Act (EMA) (s.7.39).

Administrative mechanism

Instead of just employing the statutory mechanism in the planning process, there is a mechanism which would help to monitor the planning process. The National Environmental Policy Plan (NEPP) 1989 is equivalent to a national strategy on sustainable development.

The NEPP is a national strategy for the environment, characterized by a management approach to manage environmental problems involving:

·         adoption of quantified (measurable) targets and time frames;

·         the integration of the environment into decision making by all sectors of society;

·         clear identification of responsibility for actions;

·         creativity in the design and use of policy instruments;

·         a commitment to long-term reshaping of social and economic structures;

·         recognition of the Netherlands' dependence on international cooperation and action.

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

The competent authority, like the Ministry of Transport, Water Management and Public Works, is responsible for the Strategic EIA process which undertakes or approves a proposed activity. It determines if the proposed activity is subject to Strategic EIA, establishes the scope of an EIS, conducts a review on the EIS, decides whether or not permission for the proposed activity should be granted and monitors the environmental impacts of the proposed activity.

The EIA Commission has to make recommendations to the Minister of Environmental and the Minister of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries with respect to applications for exemption from the obligation to draw up an EIS, and make recommendations to the competent authority with respect to environmental impact assessment.

According to the present EIA legislation, EIA Commission has a statutory role in the Dutch environmental assessment system. It advises the competent authority in the scoping stage (on guidelines for the environmental assessment) and in the review stage (on the quality and adequacy of the EIS).

The following steps are taken by the competent authority when undergoing Strategic EIA.

Screening

For each part of the country, regional spatial plans are already exist in the Netherlands. These are evaluated and revised on a regular basis. A usual cause for revision is that new residential, recreational or industrial developments must be allocated and new roads or water infrastructure must be built. If these future developments may exceed the threshold for EIA-projects or will be situated close to protected nature areas, a Strategic EIA must be carried out.

Scoping

The following criteria are applied:

1.           all elements of the plan leading to projects exceeding the Strategic EIA thresholds

2.           all elements leading to (individually or in combination with other developments) projects having significant effects for protected nature.

3.           all decisions in the plan that are sufficiently concrete to be able to describe environmental impacts

4.           all developments under the plan that are under jurisdiction of the government that decides on the plan

The Netherlands Strategic EIA process involves the competent authority publishing guidelines for the content of the assessment statement, after comments and advice from the public, environmental agencies and an independent expert committee.

EIS preparation

Environmental assessment is required for recording the assessment results but reporting on the preliminary review of the Strategic EIA is not required. Upon the receipt of the EIS, the competent authority is required to assess if the EIS meets the guidelines and legal requirements within 6 weeks from the submission.

The plan and the draft EIS have to be released to the public at the same time. Participants can submit their written responses on the plan and EIS to the competent authority, and voice their concerns at the hearing. Review by the independent NCEA is obliged in case the plan or programme is in or affects a nature area.

Consultation

The EIA Commission and the environmental government agencies will be consulted during the processes of scoping and review of the EIS. The consultation with them will be undertaken after the public consultation. The assessment by the EIA Commission will be mainly on the quality and completeness of the EIS.

Public participation will be taken in the phases of scoping and review of the EIS. During the period of the inspection of the environment report, anyone can provide comment on it and raise objections to the application of the proposed plans or programmes.

Post Consultation

In making the decision on the plans or programmes, the competent authority shall take into account the EIS and the comment provided by the public and the authorities. Written statement is required to explain how they have been considered.

Monitoring

A monitoring management plan is required to be part of the plan and programmes. With the cooperation of the project proponent, the competent authority is mandated to conduct post decision evaluation and the results shall be published.

Appeal system

There is no right to appeal against EIA Commission’s review findings. They are widely regarded as authoritative but they are sometimes challenged by proponents, by the competent authority or by the environmental groups, while the public still has the right to appeal to the court for the final EIS. The court then has the power to judge whether or not to accept the EIS approval.

Figure 7.2.4.1.        The EIA Procedure in the Netherlands

Source: VROM, 1994, http://www.vrom.nl/pagina.html?id=25089

 

E-test, which is treated as environmental protection scrutiny, is required for drafting laws and regulations. It is a qualitative appraisal, based on minimum steps and incorporates limited checks and balances. It is carried out using a short questionnaire and guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM), which is then regarded as an ‘Environmental Protection Scrutiny (EPS)' process – with definition to any brief explanatory note on environmental assessment

The development projects in the urban area are also subject to the E-Test if it meets the criteria of the E-Test. E-Test was part of the wider Cabinet project to improve the quality of legislation and regulation and reduce their administrative and financial burden. Specific aim of the E-Test is to integrate environmental considerations in introduction of bills, general administrative orders, ministerial decrees and orders. The E-Test is a qualitative appraisal and only applies to ‘draft regulations that have substantial consequences for the environment’.

The minimum procedure of E-test follow 3 stages, they are screening and scoping, impact analysis and documentation and review and submission.

Phase 1 is the quick scan of proposed legislation which is used by the responsible ministry to substantiate the need for draft legislation, to identify potential significant effects and propose the tests to be carried out.

Phase 2 is the Impact analysis which is carried out in accordance with a written agreement on the information to be included in the explanatory memorandum.

Phase 3 is the review stage. The Proposed lLgislation Desk and Ministry of Justice and directed for comment to the Ministry of Environment.

Results of the E-Test by the responsible ministry (Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Environment) for a development project are documented in the Explanatory Note to the draft outcome of assessment. For the Strategic EIA, mandatory publication of a separate report on the assessment results with executive summary is required.

Non-statutory mechanism

The proponent can conduct a supplementary EIS during the reviewing stage for more information for the public.

C.     Process Flow Chart

Figure 7.2.4.2.        Main steps in Strategic EIA

 

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.2.4.1.                Summary Table for Netherland

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

N/A

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Spatial Planning Act 1965

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

Environmental Evaluation

Environmental Test (E-test), Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment

Requirement Mechanism

Administrative system

Statutory system

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

National Environmental Policy Plan

European Directive 2001/42/EC

Official Gazette 1995, No.15

Environmental Management Act (1993, 1994, 2006)

Applications

Policies, plans and programme

Policy for E-test, plan and programme for Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment

 

7.2.4.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

One of the points under local discussion is the adequacy of the power of provincial authorities to treat the municipalities, the level of cooperation between provincial and municipal authorities is significant for urban planning, especially transport, owing to the increasing importance of network society and economy with high mobility far beyond the city boundaries. The Netherlands has well experienced that the success of national policies depend on the collaboration of local authorities for implementation.

 

Environmental evaluation / SEA

The SEA follow-up procedures are well-developed and are recommendable for Hong Kong context. In current Hong Kong system, after the approval of the EIA, if it is the public works, it still needs to go through the Public Works Committee and the Finance Committee in the LegCo. While other projects which are not public run, they can start construction and there would have no follow-up procedure to monitor and evaluate the ongoing impacts on the neighbourhood.

The Strategic EIA procedure is project based. It has profound impact on decision making. The rather formalized Strategic EIA procedures with the provision of public consultation are established in the Netherlands. EIS appear to play a significant role in appeal procedures up to the level of the Council of State. While there is no tradition of Strategic EIA of the plans prepared under the Spatial Planning Act.

In the Netherlands, plans and programmes for which an assessment is mandatory, are listed. There is a well-developed decision hierarchy and tiering has tended to work well in the Netherlands, with Strategic EIA being able to reduce the number of project EIAs.

Strategic EIA and E-test are very different in concept. Strategic EIA sets out a comprehensive set of requirements to be integrated into plan preparation, while the E-test aims at introducing a minimum set. Strategic EIA ensures that the early stage of plan preparation is made public. The public is involved in both scoping and review of the EIS. An independent expert committee is asked for an advice on both the scope and the quality of the EIS. The Strategic EIA for specified plans and programmes follows a mandatory process, including examination of alternatives, public involvement in the scoping and review phases and review of the quality of the information by the independent Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA). The E-test ensures that an EIS is made. The report is reviewed by the Ministry of Environment and Justice jointly and the report is attached to the cabinet proposal.

There are the SEA elements that currently are required in Dutch strategic EIA, while they are not required under the SEA Directive. They are:

·         publication of a starting note, so that everybody knows early in plan preparation that something is going on and can start preparing itself to get involved

·         a round of public participation on the required content of the EIS

·         mandatory independent expert advice on both scope and on the quality of the report in a later stage, and

·         the obligation to always explain what the best plan would be from an environmental perspective.

In compared with the SEA Directive, the Dutch stress more on public engagement at the early stage of planning.


The EIA-based SEA system is based on legal requirements and clear guidance, with competences and responsibilities of various bodies involved in the process being well defined. It is an efficient system which leads to a better consideration of the environment in urban planning.

7.2.4.4  Project Examples

Example 1

Canal Link: New Opportunities for Inland Waterways across the North Sea

http://www.canal-link.com/documents/canallinkfinalreport.pdf

Description of the Study

It aims to investigate how the region’s network of navigable waterways can be further developed, based on the cultural and environmental heritage of the waterways themselves. In particular the project focuses on the creation of:-

·          linear linkages between waterways, including extensions to the network and the use of the North Sea as a connection; and

·          horizontal linkages between waterways and local communities for the development of economic activity.

Process of the Study

The North Sea region has a large network of inland waterways connecting the sea with the hinterland. There is potential incompatibility and conflict between these various functions that need to be managed. For example boating on inland waters can have adverse environmental impacts. Steps need to be taken to minimise these effects, particularly in the light of new environmental legislation under the Water Framework Directive.

In 2002 a number of local authorities and navigation authorities in the North Sea Region came together to look at how their waterways could be better developed for tourism and recreation based on cultural and environmental heritage. The project Canal Link was developed under the EU Interreg IIIB North Sea Region programme Canal Link followed on from an earlier project developed under the Interreg IIC programme called “Spatial Integration through Linking Waterways”, led by Province Drenthe in the Netherlands. Completion of this project leads to the implementation of a number of on-going waterway schemes.

Local participation:

·          A distinctive feature of Canal Link is the large number of sub-partner organisations involved in the project. Some 55 organisations in the 6 partner countries participate in this way. This has been an important vehicle for involving a wide range of stakeholders in the project.

Appraisal methods:

·          Economic impact assessment

·          Economic efficiency assessment

Social impact assessment is carried out by a number of indicators.

·          Environmental assessment is mainly focus on waterway improvement. A study was undertaken to gain insight into the problems associated with the collection of waste water from pleasure boats in the North Sea Region member states and to invertigate solutions.

Outcome of the Study

The development of waterway links between the northern Netherlands and adjacent parts of Germany (the “Land of Peat and Honey” scheme) are now being implemented, following the feasibility studies undertaken through the Interreg IIC project. Similarly a pilot action on the Union Canal in Scotland to develop waterbased activities for children during the school holidays has evolved into much larger on-going scheme throughout the Lowlands canals in Scotland.

 

Example 2

SEA for the 2002 Dutch Waste Management Plan

Description of the Study

The National Waste Management Plan sets out the policy for waste management in the Netherlands. The National Waste Management Plan 2002-2012 came into force on 3 March 2003. The plan covers the period to 2006, with a look ahead to the period up to 2012.

Process of the Study

Waste Management Department is responsible for the preparation of the SEA.

Purpose of SEA

·          To establish minimum standards for waste management processes (Standard = minimum environmental performance for processing techniques)

·          To compare environmental performance of different waste processing alternatives

·          Considered 26 different types of waste

·          Attracted great interest in the civil society

Alternatives

Alternatives for each type of waste treatment, example: oil waste

·          Waste Incinerator

·          Cement oven

·          Electric power plant

·          Destilation

SEA Methodologies used: lifecycle analysis on the following environmental issues

·          Climate change

·          Acidification

·          Eutrofication

·          Toxicity

·          Use of resources

·          Use of space

·          Biodiversity

Public participation

·          All larger national NGOs : Round tables on alternatives and impacts

·          National selected NGOs: Continuous consultation committee

·          Local NGO and local governments:Encouraged to send comments

·          In both comments: scope and review

·          Individual citizens: Written comments during scope and review

Informative meetings

Newsletters

Results on public participation:

High response from national NGOs: Increased scope on new alternatives:

High response from local groups: local themes

Low response from individual citizens

Outcome of the Study

Results

·          Best technology was selectedVery important positive effects of reuse of waste

Also important:

·          Use of resources

·          Winter effect

·          Soil toxicity

Decision-making based on:

·          Environmental effects

·          Costs

·          Health

·          Trust

·          Import/Export

Lessons learned:

·          LCA is useful but not always true

·          Extensive public participation:

·          Enabled a large acceptance by the public

·          Increased the holistic focus on NGOs

·          SEA enabled EIA to be easier:

·          Developing methodologies

·         Comparing alternatives

 

7.2.4.5  List of References

·         VRON, Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and Environment (1994) Handleiding milieu-effectrapportage (Guidance on EIA), drafted by Van Haeren, J J F M and Gravendeel, J W (DHV) and Samkalden, D and Van Tilburg, R (Twijinstra Gudde), Lelystad, Koninklijke Vermande http://www.canal-link.com/documents/canallinkfinalreport.pdf

·         United Nations, 2006, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA): A Tool for Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability into Development Planning , http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd14/lc/presentation/partidario.pdf

·         Green Plan, the Resource Renewal Institute, 2003, http://greenplans.rri.org/resources/greenplanningarchives/netherlands/netherlands_1993_nepp_summ.html

·         Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the Netherlands, 2004, Environmental Management Act, http://www.eel.nl/documents/EnvironmentalManagementActMay2004.pdf

·         VROM, 1994, http://www.vrom.nl/pagina.html?id=25089

 


7.2.5       United Kingdom

7.2.5.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

In 2004, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister promoted the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act, which substantially reforms the town planning framework in UK.  The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act covers many aspects in town planning, including regional function, local development, development plan, development control, Wales Spatial Plan, compulsory purchase and crown application of planning act.

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act abolished Structure Plans (1968) which has long been criticized for its inefficiency and imposed an unnecessary level of policy above the level of local district council. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act also replaced the Regional Planning Guidance with Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) that is now the strategic level plan charged with informing Local Development Frameworks (LDFs). RSS is a statutory and legal document which provides a regional level planning framework for the regions of England, outside London where spatial planning is the responsibility of the Mayor. The Spatial Plan is not prepared for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Rather, Wales has a Wales Spatial Plan which is an equivalent to the Spatial Plan in some respects.

Under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, Sustainability Appraisal (SA) is mandatory for RSSs, development plan documents (DPDs) and supplementary planning documents (SPDs). Final guidance (SA Guidance) sets out the nature of SA and is designed to satisfy the requirements of both SA and SEA Directives through a single process. 

The SA guidance stresses that SA is an integral part of a good plan making and should not be seen as an individual activity. SA is also seen as taking a long-term view on the development of an area as stipulated in a plan, and takes social, economic and environmental considerations into the proposed plan. SA examines the condition or baseline of a place as it is today together with how it may change in the future. It also involves with the identification of key issues that could affect the sustainability of a place.

The primary legislation for planning in the UK is the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. These acts are enforced through the secondary legislation and guidance from the central government. As required by these acts, planning permission must be sought from the relevant authority (usually the Local Planning Authority (LPA)) before the development of any land. The authority will grant the permission, taking account of the development plan for the area concerned. If the development plan is not prescriptive, the LPA must take other material considerations, such as government policy, upon the approval on a development.

At local level, LPAs will prepare the local development frameworks which are made up of

·         Local development plan documents, consisting of core strategy, proposal maps, area action plans and site-specific allocations of land;

·         Supplementary planning documents; and

·         Statement of community involvement.

Based on the above statutory documents, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is responsible for coordinating the general planning procedures for the UK, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

B.     Overview of evaluation approach

In the UK, the principal body responsible for statutory planning is the Department for Communities and Local Government. It determines national policies on different aspects of planning, and the rules that govern the operation of the system on Local Government, housing, urban regeneration, planning and fire and rescue.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is responsible for the general steering and monitoring of the legislation. It has the power to request the responsible authority for the information and statement of decision in relation to the likelihood of the significant environmental impacts of a plan and programme.

In the UK, each country has its own distinct planning system with responsibility for town and country planning devolved to the Welsh Assembly, the Northern Ireland administration and the Scottish Parliament. The general planning procedure is initiated by a Plan or Programme Proponent (PP). The PP is responsible for the preparation and adoption of the plans or programmes. The PP is also responsible for deciding to conduct an environmental assessment if the plan is likely to create significant environmental effects (the scope of EIA and SEA will be discussed in the later part).

Planning Application Procedure

·         The departments or agencies will submit a planning application to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

·         The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government would send out a series of consultation letters to a range of Statutory Consultees, such as Department of Health, Department of Transport, and English Heritage Department, depending upon the individual proposal.

·         After these Consultees received the consultant letters, these Consultees are required to respond within 21 days with their comments on the applications.

·         The local council will be notified for the application and will consider the application at one of their regular meeting. They will formally provide their comments and stating whether they approve or not.

·         Some local councils require the PP to post a public notice on the actual project site for a period of 21 days, or place an advert in the local paper. Other councils notify every listed inhabitants near the application site by letter based on their public address database.

·         Planning applications are often determined by the Local Planning Authority (LPA).

Planning Appeal

If the planning application is rejected, the PP has the right to appeal through a planning inspector who will hear the appeal in the name of the Secretary of State. The appeal may involve a public inquiry, a more informal meeting or written representations. Nevertheless, the appeal is mainly a matter between the LPA and the PP. The LPA has an incentive to justify its decision to reject the original application. Only the person who made the application for planning permission can appeal. Appeals are considered by a planning inspector, and appointed by the Secretary of State.

Final decision

The Local Council can grant a planning permission without conditions, planning permission with conditions or refuse a planning permission.

7.2.5.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

The UK has a statutory system to carry out Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for certain land use plans and major proposals. The principle governing directive is the European Directive 2001/42/EC (the SEA Directive), which was transposed into the UK law by:

·         The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 – these regulations apply to any plan or programme which relates either solely to the whole or any part of England or to England and other parts of the UK.

·         The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Scotland) Regulations 2004 – these regulations apply to plans or programmes which relate solely to the whole or any part of Scotland.

·         The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Wales) Regulations 2004 - these regulations apply to plans or programmes which relate solely to the whole or any part of Wales.

·         The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 – these regulations apply to plans or programmes which relate solely to the whole or any part of Northern Ireland.

These regulations closely follow the requirements of the SEA Directive, but they specify the different environmental authorities which must be consulted in each administration, and make provisions on the minimum times for consultation. In Scotland, the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 widens the range of strategic actions to which SEA applies beyond those in the Directive.

A formal environmental assessment of certain plans and programmes which are likely to have significant effects on the environment is required under the SEA Directive. Authorities which prepare and/or adopt such a plan or programme must prepare a report on its likely significant environmental effects, consult environmental authorities and the public, and take the report and the results of the consultation into account during the preparation process and before the plan or programme is adopted. They must also make information available on the plan or programme as adopted and how the environmental assessment was taken into account. 

Policy Planning Guidance Note 12:2, Development Plans and Regional Planning Guidance (DoE, 1992) states the role of SEA in the preparation of development plans. It stated that plans and programs are subject to preparation or adoption by an authority at national, regional or local level. The Guidance required planning authorities (local level) to consider the environmental implications of their development plans. A number of local authorities began to carry out SAs of their development plans and the Department of Environment prepared Environmental Appraisal of Development Plans: A Good Practice Guide (DoE, 1993). It includes the plans and programmes in the local districts with the scope of economic, social and environmental aspects.

In addition, as mentioned before under the Act, a SA is required for a RSS revision, for a new or revised Development Plan Document (DPD), or Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). It is not required for other documents, including the Statement of Public Participation, the Project Plan and the Annual Monitoring Report. It is not needed for other documents in the Local Development Framework, including the Statement of Community Involvement, the Local Development Scheme, Annual Monitoring Reports and Local Development Orders.

The SA focuses on the significant sustainability effects of the RSS revision, DPD or SPD, and considers alternatives that take into account the objectives and the geographical scope of the document. The Regional Planning Body (RPB) and Local Planning Authority (LPA) are responsible to make sure a SA report has been carried out in accordance with the SEA Directive, the Act and the Regulations.

Administrative mechanism

The environmental appraisal of government policies, including urban development, is carried out under administrative guidelines and were adopted in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These processes operate in an independent way and are not affected by the regulations that give effect to the SEA Directive.

This process is part of a larger framework for policy appraisal, which is centered on economic benefit-cost analysis. It is an appraisal of the effects on the environment resulting from a policy or programme. Environmental appraisal is neither a formal nor rigid system. Rather, it is a common sense approach to policy making and programmes establishment which involves urban development to ensure that significant direct and indirect impacts on the environment are properly considered.

Environmental appraisal at the policy level within the central government has been merged into the two larger framework including:

·         Integrated Policy Appraisal which is a methodology established as part of White Paper on Modernizing Government; and

·         Regulatory Impact Assessment which is a more formalised procedure which applied to major proposals as well as legislation. 

The national policies appraisal is carried out in national planning. It includes not only the environmental elements, but also the general economic and other elements. This appraisal is intended to:

·         allow comparison of national policy scenarios and regional packages of capacity enhancements using a consistent set of criteria. These packages cover the developments which would be required to meet forecast levels of demand and likely route networks; and

·         provide decision-makers and interested parties with information on the nature and scale of the impact of the developments implied by different policy scenarios.

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

Figure 7.2.5.1.        Tiering of environmental assessment in the UK

 

Before submitting planning application

The department or agency, before making a planning application, can ask Local Planning Authority (LPA) for its formal opinion on the information to be included in an environmental statement. The department or agency can also request for scoping opinion after the screening process. The LPA shall provide an opinion to the department or agency within 5 weeks. If the LPA fails to provide the scoping opinion, the department or agency can ask for direction from the Secretary of State.

Assessment stage (Scoping and screening)

Responsible authority must carry out a screening process to determine whether the proposed plans or programmes are likely to have significant environmental effects, and hence whether SEA is required. The responsible authority must make its conclusions on a determination available to the public, including reasons for not requiring a SEA. The SEA regulations also detail publicity requirements for determinations, and make provision for a direction by the Secretary of State or devolved Ministers. When forming a view on whether SEA is needed in these cases, Responsible Authorities must seek advises from the Statutory Consultees (such as Department of Transport, Department of Health).

In the assessment stage, the department or agency can consult the consultation bodies (such as Department of Health, Department of Transport) and the LPA to obtain local and specific information and the department or agency can consider consulting non-statutory bodies and public if it is necessary.

The SEA regulations stipulate that an environmental assessment is required for a plan or programme which:

·         is prepared for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, industry, transport, waste management, water management, telecommunications, tourism, town and country planning or land use, and

·         sets the framework for future development consent of projects and certain public and private projects on the environment

·         is likely to have significant environmental effects

Submission of Environmental Report

Environmental report is required for recording the assessment results. The environmental report can be submitted with the planning application to the LPA or after an application for a planning permission.

The SEA regulations require prediction and evaluation of impacts. The environmental report must identify, describe and evaluate the likely significant effects on the environment of implementing the plan. (Regulation 12(2))  Also, the potential effects of the preferred options should be quantified where possible, or a subjective judgement made where this is not possible, with reference to the baseline situation. (ODPM, 2004, P.59) The mitigation measures envisaged to prevent, reduce and as fully as possible, offset any significant adverse effects on the environment of implementing the plan must be specified in environmental reports. The measures envisaged concerning monitoring should also be described. Once the changes to the sustainability baseline have been identified, they should be described in terms of their magnitude, their geographical scale, the time period over which they will occur and so on.

Public Consultation

Environmental reports are made available for review. The consultation bodies and the public consultees (affected parties) must be notified about the availability of the draft plan and its accompanying environmental report, and be given sufficient time to express their views (Regulations 13 (2), (3)). If significance changes are made to the preferred options in the light of public participation, these changes must be assessed and the environmental reports modified (ODPM, 2004, P.61)

The LPA must prepare a final statement which includes an explanation of how the environmental report has been taken into account, how the opinions of the consultation bodies, of the public consultees, of the pubic generally, and of any transboundary consultations have been taken into account. (Regulation 16(4))

The LPA must include the measures that are to be taken to monitor the significant environmental effect of the implementation of the plan in its final statement (Regulation 16(4) (f)).

The significance environmental effects of the implementation of land use plans must be monitored by the responsible authority to identify unforeseen adverse effects and take appropriate action (Regulation17). 

The environmental report must describe the measures envisaged concerning monitoring (Schedule 2).

Sustainability Appraisal

Sustainability Appraisal (SA) in the planning system of UK has a broader coverage. Social, economic and environmental impacts are assessed. The coverage of the UK SEA system in the environmental assessment regulations includes local plans, unitary development plans, structure plans, mineral and waste local plans, regional planning guidance, the Spatial Development Strategy for London, local development documents, and regional spatial strategies.

Five stages in conducting SA:

1. Setting the context and objectives, establishing the baseline and deciding on the scope

2. Developing and refining options and assessing effects

3. Preparing the Sustainability Appraisal Report

4. Consulting on the draft RSS revision and the Sustainability Appraisal Report

5. Monitoring the significant effects of implementing the RSS revision

The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations, except the Scotland’s assessment, apply to only plans and programmes but not policies. For policy, there is an administrative policy appraisal.

Scotland’s Assessment

Scotland’s assessment is different from that of England, North Ireland and Wales. The overall process of Scotland’s assessment is:

·         Screening –responsible authority prepares a summary to determine whether the proposed plan/programme is likely to have significant environmental effects and whether an SEA is required

·         Scoping – this enables the coverage and level of detail of the Environmental Report to be determined in conjunction with the statutory consultees: the Scottish Environment Protection Agency Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Ministers (Historic Scotland)

·         Environmental Report – it details the anticipated environmental impacts of the plan/programme and any proposed amendments to the plan/programme; and the proposals for monitoring the environmental impacts of the plan/programme

·         Monitoring – a stage being undertaken during implementation of the plan/programme and serves to identify the level of monitoring required and, should adverse impacts be identified, any remediation proposals.

Also, Scotland application in SEA is strategy, plan and program, in comparing with other three regions (England, North Ireland and Wales) which have plan and program only. In 2006, Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Scotland) Regulations 2004 has been replaced by the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005, which is a legislation relevant for those strategies, plans or programmes, to fully integrate SEA in Scottish legislations. The Act requires strategy, plan or program to conduct an environmental assessment if it is related solely to the whole or any part of Scotland.

The following table shows the differences among the England, Wales, Scotland and North Ireland SEA systems in policy, programme and plan level.

Table 7.2.5.1                 Summary Table for England, Wales, Scotland and North Ireland

Regions

Policy

Programme

Plan

Administrative

 

Statutory

 

Administrative

 

Statutory

 

Administrative

 

Statutory

 

England

ü

 

ü

ü

 

ü

Wales

ü

 

ü

ü

 

ü

Scotland

ü

 

ü

ü

 

ü

North Ireland

ü

 

ü

ü

 

ü

 

Administrative / non-statutory mechanism

The Integrated Policy Appraisal process involved the following basic steps : (DoE (1991) Policy Appraisal and the Environment. The Stationary Office, .London)

·         list the objectives of the proposal and summarize the policy issue, identifying possible trade-offs and constraints;

·         specify the range of options for achieving the objectives, including the ‘do nothing’ option;

·         identify and list all impacts on the environment and consider mitigation measures to offset them;

·         assess the significance of the impacts in relation to other costs and benefits;

·         use an appropriate method to value costs and benefits, including those based on monetary values, ranking or physical quantities;

·         state the preferred option with reasons for doing so; and

·         monitor and evaluate the results, making appropriate arrangements for doing so as early as possible

 

C.     Process Flow Chart

The statutory SEA process flow chart for a designated project is presented in Figure 7.2.5.3.

 

Figure 7.2.5.2.        Application of the SEA Directive to plans and programmes

Source: A Practical Guide to the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive, 2005 - http://www.ehsni.gov.uk/bm_sea_practicalguide.pdf

 


Figure 7.2.5.3.        Stages in the SEA Process

 

Source: A Practical Guide to the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive, 2005 - http://www.ehsni.gov.uk/bm_sea_practicalguide.pdf

 


Figure 7.2.5.4.        Approval of SA report

Source: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2004) Sustainability Appraisal of Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Development Frameworks, Consultation Paper, ODPM, London, p.20  - http://www.unece.org/env/eia/documents/SEAguides/UK%20Sustainability%20Appraisal%20for%20Regional%20Strategies%20consultation%20paper.pdf

 


Figure 7.2.5.5.        Relationship between SEA tasks

Source: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2004) Sustainability Appraisal of Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Development Frameworks, Consultation Paper, ODPM, London - http://www.unece.org/env/eia/documents/SEAguides/UK%20Sustainability%20Appraisal%20for%20Regional%20Strategies%20consultation%20paper.pdf

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.2.5.2.                Summary Table for England, North Ireland and Wales

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

Regional Spatial Strategies, Spatial Plan (for England only), Wales Spatial Plan

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act , SEA Directive, Draft Planning Policy Statement 11 (Sustainability Appraisal) and Planning and Policy Guidance 12 (Policy Appraisal), Development Plans and Regional Planning Guidance

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Requirement Mechanism

Administrative system

Statutory system

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Environmental Appraisal of Development Plans: A Good Practice Guide (DoE, 1993)

European Directive 2001/42/EC, Environmental Assessment for Plans and Programmes Regulations (2004), Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005, Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Scotland) Regulations 2004, Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Wales) Regulations 2004, Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004, Policy Planning Guidance Note 12:2,  Development Plans and Regional Planning Guidance (DoE, 1992)

Applications

Policies and programmes

Plans and programmes

 

Table 7.2.5.3.                Summary Table for Scotland

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

N/A

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act, SEA Directive, Draft Planning Policy Statement 11 (Sustainability Appraisal) and Planning and Policy Guidance 12 (Policy Appraisal), Development Plans and Regional Planning Guidance

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

N/A

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Requirement Mechanism

N/A

Statutory system

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

N/A

European Directive 2001/42/EC , Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005, Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Scotland) Regulations 2004, Policy Planning Guidance Note 12:2

Applications

N/A

Strategy. plans and programmes

 

7.2.5.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act substantially reforms the town planning framework in UK.  Institutional reform like the introduction of regional assemblies and the production of statutory regional spatial strategies in England, can provide vehicles for the pursuit of a more holistic approach with more integration of the environmental, social and economic dimensions of development.

The voluntary approach for conducting the Environmental Appraisal by the department and agency can ensure more flexible planning procedures for different projects. 

 

Environmental evaluation / SEA

The UK planning system provides an opportunity for SEA to be further developed. It shows a widening both in activity scope from project focus of EIA to strategic plan and programme, higher-tier focus of SEA/SA, and in content scope from the primarily bio-physical focus of early EIA activity to more holistic approaches – for EIA, to some extent for SEA, and for SA. From another perspective, SEA/SA can provide a more proactive strategic approach. Practice is much more limited than for EIA, but the SEA Directive and the introduction of UK SEA and SA guidance should accelerate good practice.

In the existing regulation, it only covers decisions made under Town and Country Planning Legislation. However, the SEA Directive requires that all types of developments having significant impacts on the environment should go through the EIA process. Therefore there are separate pieces of legislation (and some non-legislative processes) covering EIA for other types of developments including power stations, highways, water resources, land drainage, forestry, pipelines, harbour works and many others.

There has been a tendency of shifting towards SA, as a comprehensive method of capturing and assessing not only the environmental, but also the economic and social implications of plans. This has raised questions about whether environmental issues are being marginalized. The SEA’s objectives in environmental protection maybe distorted.

For some time, non-mandatory policy appraisal procedures have been used in central government policy formation in the UK. No single or integrated appraisal procedure exists. Instead, there is a variety of appraisal procedures that are used depending just on the specific context. There is an attempt made to devise and then test an Integrated Policy Appraisal procedure for eventual adoption by government departments.

 

 

7.2.5.4  Project Examples

Example 1

The RSS for the South East of England (the South East Plan)

Description of the Study

The East of England Plan or 'RSS', which was published in May 2008, sets out the regional strategy for planning and development in the East of England up to the year 2021. It covers economic development, housing, the environment, transport, waste management, culture, sport and recreation, mineral extraction and more.

Process of the Study

The Plan is prepared for a region which is under a persistent high rate of population growth to identify the benefits and problems arise from the policies implementation.

The SA of the Plan started in 2002, and a SA report was completed in late 2004. The long process has produced a long report with 138 sustainability indicators and 124 policies assessed.

The SA for the South East region adopted an integrated approach which not only brought together SA and SEA, but also included health impact assessment (HIA) - to consider the potential impacts of the policies on people’s health and well-being and on health inequalities. It aims at providing an efficient and clear process, with a factual base that covered a wide number of areas and ensured equal attention for the different aspects of sustainability.

The SA considered a range of policy options derived from three different annual rates of housing growth and two spatial options – continuation of existing policies, and a sharper focus on sub-regions with particular economic potential and/or regeneration needs. The assessment framework considered the options against a list of 25 regional sustainability objectives which were derived from the regional sustainable development framework and the integrated regional framework.

In general, the SA identified some of the major impacts of the Plan and the vital importance of appropriate infrastructure investment, particularly in the need of public transportation.

Outcome of the Study

Eventually, the Plan is approved in 2008. It is a comprehensive plan which successfully incorporates many sustainability factors.

The plan improves efficiency in land use through the reuse of previously developed land and existing buildings, including reuse of materials from buildings, and encourage urban renaissance. It also ensures high and stable levels of employment so everyone can benefit from the economic growth of the region.

Although the Plan recognizes the importance of reducing poverty and social exclusion and close the gap between the most deprived areas in the South East and the rest of the region, there is little emphasis on these issues in the economic development policies, and none of the spatial options seek to focus development in such a way that deprived communities within the region would particularly benefit. In broader terms, the Plan appears to be based on an assumption that, by supporting economic growth across the South East as a whole, deprived communities within the region will naturally also be benefited. This assumption is not necessarily true and, moreover, a continuation of current economic growth patterns within the region will exacerbate, rather than reduce the inequalities in health (of the general public (SEERA 2004).

 

Example 2

SEA of Torbay Local Transport Plan (LTP) 2006 – 2011

Description of the Study

LTP is a long-term strategy for transport in Torbay over the period 2006 to 2011. It aims at improving the regional air quality, traffic congestion, road safety and accessibility. In addition, it contains objectives to improve the quality of life in Torbay.

Process of the Study

There is a poor external accessibility to Torbay, restricted opportunities for locating new development in the existing urban areas, constrained highway network and limited accessibility to alternative transport modes, poor access opportunities  for those without private vehicles, and population with retired people at above-averaged adds significantly to local transport needs and influences the traffic capacity of the area.

The poor external accessibility to Torbay sets out the transportation policies and strategies for the programming and delivery of a sustainable transportation network for Torbay.  Key aspects of these policies and strategies are to encourage more sustainable methods of travel by encouraging walking, cycling and use of public transport while maintaining and improving the quality of the highway network.  Sustainable transport concept is also promoted.

There are two Torbay Local Traffic Plans and only the Second Plan has undergone SEA. The Government’s assessment was made considering 6 basic criteria:

·          Context;

·          Analysis;

·          Maximising Value from Resources;

·          Involvement;

·          Performance Management; and

·          Priorities.

Main Concerns in the Evaluation

Two alternatives, the “LTP Strategy” and the “Do Nothing” option in the Second Plan were evaluated against SEA objectives including:

·          Biodiversity (Conserve nature)

·          Population (Improve accessibility; reduce crime)

·          Human health (reduce effect of noise; ensure healthy community and reduce health inequalities)

·          Soil (Protect from soil erosion and contamination)

·          Water (Improve water quality and quantity)

·          Air and climatic factors (reduce transport emission and risk of flooding)

·          Economic (encourage regeneration and economic prosperity)

·          Cultural heritage (protect conservation areas and historic environment)

·          Landscape (protect landscape)

The SEA Directive requires authorities to identify the public affected by or likely to be affected by, or have an interest in, a plan including relevant non-governmental organisations. After consultation with the public, the authorities revised the plan and scope of study and conducted the final SEA.

Outcome of the Study

It was considered that although all of these areas had been addressed, presentation, clarity of information and context were the main areas that required attention. The final Second LTP submission was made in late March 2006 following the full approval of Torbay Council earlier in April 2006.  (http://www.torbay.gov.uk/index/transport-streets/transport/transportpolicy/transportplan.htm)

The LTP Strategy offers a substantially better option than the Do Nothing option, in terms of meeting the SEA objectives. The LTP Strategy performs well against many of the SEA objectives, unlike the Do Nothing option, in particular:

·          improving air quality, and

·          supporting conservation of heritage resources

 

7.2.5.5  List of References

·         Scottish Executive (2003a) Environmental Assessment of Development Plans: Interim Planning Advice, Scottish Executive, Edinburgh, http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2003/08/18048/25563

·         Community and Local Government, UK, 2007, SEA, http://www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/planning/sustainabilityenvironmental/strategicenvironmentalassessment/

·         Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2004, Sustainability Appraisal of Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Development Frameworks, Consultation Paper, ODPM, London, http://www.unece.org/env/eia/documents/SEAguides/UK%20Sustainability%20Appraisal%20for%20Regional%20Strategies%20consultation%20paper.pdf

·         Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2005, Sustainability Appraisal of Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Development Document, http://www.caerphilly.gov.uk/pdf/Environment_Planning/LDP-Examination-Documents/UK22.pdf

·         SEERA 2004, Sustainability appraisal of the consultation draft South East Plan March 2006: non-technical summary. Guildford: South East England Regional Assembly , http://www.southeast-ra.gov.uk/southeastplan/plan/view_plan.html

·         UK Crown government, 2004, The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004, http://www.opsi.gov.uk/SI/si2004/20041633.htm

·         Department of Business, Enterprise, and Regulatory Reform, UK,2007,  http://www.offshore-sea.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=5&pageNumber=2

·         A Practical Guide to the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive, 2005, http://www.ehsni.gov.uk/bm_sea_practicalguide.pdf

·         Torbay Council, 2006, Local Transport Plan, 2006-2011, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Environmental Statement, http://www.torbay.gov.uk/ltp_environmental_statementapril2006.pdf

·         Torbay Council, 2006, Local Transport Plan, 2006-2011, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Environmental Statement , SEA Report, pg 37, 77, http://www.torbay.gov.uk/ltp-sea-env-report.pdf

·         UK Government, Planning Portal, http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/england/genpub/en/1115314175501.html


7.2.6       Austria

7.2.6.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

A.      Regulatory mechanisms

Austria is a federal state. There are four main levels of decision-making in Austrian spatial/land use planning, including national, state/Lander (which has the main responsibility for spatial planning), district/regional and municipal levels at which spatial/land use plans are prepared in correspondence to democratically elected bodies.  A hierarchical land use planning principle is in place, that is, land use planning works in a top-down manner of decision-making.

In Austria, the competence for state urban planning lies with the local authorities and provinces. The legislative and executive competences are split between the federal and the provincial level. Mining matters and water management are the responsibilities of the federal government whereas spatial planning and nature conservation are the responsibilities of the provinces.

In federal level, the federal government does not have any power to control the urban planning while the political responsibility for urban planning at the local level rests with either the city / town councillor or in smaller municipalities with the mayor.

Table 7.2.6.1. shows at different planning levels there would have different spatial or land use planning instruments.

Table 7.2.6.1.                Spatial/Land use Planning Instrument at Different Planning Level

Planning level

Spatial/land use planning instrument

National

State

District (region)

Municipal (local)

National spatial planning concept

State spatial planning programme

Regional spatial planning programme

·          Local development concept

·          Land use/zoning plan

·         Building (regulation) plan

B.     Overview of evaluation approach

In general, the Austrian planning system is of different types in different states.

The general planning procedures in Austria can be summarized as:

·         Planning permission. The requirements vary as every Austrian province has its buildings and landscape protection law. In some provinces, a simple notification of the planning authority suffices, while in some provinces a formal building permit has to be obtained with requirement of submitting some documentations with possible impact to the environment.

·         Approval period. It also depends on different applicable laws. Overall the acquisition time is around 16 months, including the time to obtain the permission.

·         Planning appeal. Once an approval decision is issued by the administrative body, every adjoining owner has the right to appeal against this decision. The project proponent has the same right to appeal in case of a decision to refuse permission. As a general rule, every administrative authority in Austria has to decide within 6 months. If there is no decision made within that period of time, the applicant can appeal against such delay to the superior administrative body (which also needs to decide within 6 months).

·         Public consultation. The affected people have the right to object to a site only when building permissions have to be obtained, except in the case of health or telecommunication objections. The project proponents need to exhibit the plan to the affected people

 

7.2.6.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.      Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

 As an EU member, Austria is obliged to adopt the requirement of the EU Directive 2001/42/EC (SEA Directive) by bringing into force of laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive.

Since 2004, Austria has started to transpose the requirements of the SEA Directive into its legal system. The requirements have also been implemented within the framework of various material laws at federal and provincial levels. Until mid 2006, Austria has transposed partly, with national legislation in place for certain sectors at federal level and with all the nine Austrian provinces, except Burgenland, having transposed the SEA Directive.

At the federal level, legal documents including:

·         Federal Act on Waste Management (waste management regarding federal competencies);

·         Federal Act on Strategic Assessment into the Transport Sector (transport regarding federal competencies);

·         Federal Act on Environmental Noise (noise issues regarding federal competencies);

·         Federal Act on Water Management (water management issues regarding federal competencies).

There was also guidance on how to conduct SEA within local land use planning published by certain provincial governments. These include Lower Austria and Styria.

In mid 2006, legal documents and also the land use planning guidance mentioned above were transposing the SEA Directive into Austria included both Federal level and Lander level.

As mentioned above, the legislative and executive competences are split between the federal and the provincial level, implementation of the SEA Directive involves execute agencies both at federal and provincial level. They are:

·         Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Management

·         Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology

·         Relevant departments of the nine administrations of the provincial governments

Administrative mechanism

In order to support provincial governments implementing the SEA application for land use plans in a more homogeneous way, two guidance documents have been published. One is dealing with process and implementation issues, Proposals of the Provincial experts for implementing the SEA Directive (Vorschläge 2003), the other focuses on methodological issues, Paper on Methodology for implementing the SEA Directive into Austria’s spatial planning practice (Methodenpapier 2004). Both of them are not legal binding, but a good source of advice for the provincial government to follow.

Plans and programmes which might be concerned by the SEA Directive have been identified by means of the study “Possibilities of integrating Strategic Environmental Assessment” in nominal and functional spatial planning, commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management. For this purpose pilot projects were initiated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, e.g. SEA for the regional programme Tennengau in order to gain first practical experience. Proposals for the implementation were discussed and information on SEA was passed on within the framework of various working groups and workshops.

B.     Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

Screening

Screening is usually done by the project proponent, resulting in a formal screening report. The feasibility and accuracy of supporting project documentation is reviewed by the project consultants. Correction of any uncertainties and/or technical deficiencies is undertaken through negotiation with the project proponent.

Scoping

Scoping analysis and report preparation is in most cases conducted by the principle consultant in collaboration with the project proponent. As part of scoping, training activities (supported by the Ministry) are typically undertaken to improve the analytical capacity and scoping process. Following the process of Scoping, the responsible country desk officer in the environmental ministry determines which future investigations are necessary.

Round-table approach

To facilitate public participation process, the SEA team is formed. The SEA team included representatives of local/national planning, environmental and other authorities, external waste management experts and interested environmental NGOs. In this approach, team members act as equal partners throughout the process, from defining objectives of the SEA report to preparing the SEA report, and share responsibility for the results. The team tries to reach consensus on a plan/programme which integrates the environmental aspects, combining elements of SEA and mediation. Consensus may be reached on different plans.

Several public forums on SEA are organised and continuous media information was provided. The SEA round table approach goes beyond the requirements of the EU SEA Directive. It means more proactive participation than mere consultation and provision of information, and provides possibilities to contribute to the whole SEA process and to influence its results. The experience to date have been promising, providing opportunities to reconcile the interests concerned and to strengthen the implementation of a final plan when supported by all interest groups concerned.

In Austria, there is currently no defined SEA procedure for assessing environmental impacts of certain plans, policies and programmes. Several pilot studies were imitated to facilitate the implementation.

 

Austria is on its way to fully transpose the requirements of the SEA Directive.

Public participation is the key element in SEA process in urban planning. An important aim of SEA was to optimize the involvement of stakeholders, including the following:

·         The competent authority that prepares and/or adopts a plan or programme

·         Environmental departments of different administrative levels

·         Other sectoral departments of different administrative levels

·         The qualified public and the general public.

Experts were involved in moderating and steering the public participation process.

The SEA training workshops and meetings have been organised, and SEA working groups meet regularly (e.g. a federal group on SEA and transport, and a provincial group on SEA implementation). A handbook has been prepared illustrating different aspects of the diverse Austrian SEA activities. Finally, the Ministry of Environment has commissioned a study to explore the potential of sustainability impact assessment at the level of policies and legislation.

Monitoring

A monitoring group was established with responsibility for continuous monitoring. This monitoring group consists of representatives of the planning authority, the environmental authority, the environmental ombudsman (speaking on behalf of the environment) and one environmental NGO. Within a period of time they prepare a monitoring report, following a monitoring checklist prepared by the SEA team during the last meeting. The monitoring report is forwarded to the SEA team.

 

 

Administrative mechanism

As mentioned above, the Vorschläge 2003 and the Methodenpapier 2004 are the two documents which help the provincial government implement the SEA application for land use plans in a more homogeneous way. The real practice is depends on the individual province.

C.     Process Flow Chart

1) Screening

2) Scoping

3) Preparing the environmental report

4) Public participation (SEA round table)

5) Consultation with environmental and health authorities

6) Decision making

7) Monitoring

 

Figure 7.2.6.1.        Process flow chart for SEA for plans

 

D.     Summary Table

Table 7.2.6.2.                Summary Table for Austria

Urban Development Policy and Actions

Policy and Actions

The national spatial planning concept

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document  *

No general planning law over the country, different provinces have different planning law, like Spatial Planning Act in Vienna

Environmental Evaluations / SEA Status in Urban Development Policy and Actions

 

Administrative

Statutory

Type of Assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Requirement Mechanism

Statutory for federal level and Administrative for Lander level

Statutory for federal level and Administrative for Lander level

Legislations / Guidance and Relevant Document *

Federal Act on strategic assessment

Federal Act on strategic assessment

Applications

Policy, plan and programme

Policy, plan and programme

 

 

7.2.6.3  Analysis and Conclusion

Urban Planning Policies

In Austria, as it follows the federal system, the competence in urban planning rest with the provincial governments which adopt different urban planning system in their respective states. This kind of system can ensure autonomous planning in different places. The national spatial planning concept provides guidance for relevant spatial planning measures carried out at federal, state and local levels. The national spatial planning concept is based on unanimity agreement and is of a non-binding nature.

 

Spatial planning at provincial level, and planning and zoning at municipal level need to incorporate with nature conservation objectives in a systematically way.

 

 

Environmental evaluation / SEA

As an EU member, Austria has to transpose the requirements of the EU Directive 2001/42/EC by bringing into force of laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive.

A round table process was used to facilitate effective stakeholder involvement.

In Austria, there is currently no defined SEA procedure for assessing environmental impacts of certain plans, policies and programmes. Several pilot studies were imitated to facilitate the implementation.

In the legislative level, the Austrian Government amended the Water management Act and the province of Salzburg amended its Spatial Planning Act are the only two pieces of the Austrian legislation reached the deadline of the SEA Directive and came into force before July 2004.

Policies, plans and programmes are not systematically subject to an explicit environmental evaluation, but there are a number of planning instruments that allow environmental considerations to be taken into account in various sectors like energy, transport, tourism, water resources, waste management, land use planning and forestry.

Open and transparent dialogue between all concerned parties involved in the SEA process helps to avoid misunderstandings, raising acceptance of the outcomes of the SEA. Consequently, environmental implications of plans and programmes can be more easily understood. The SEA round table approach proved to be a successful concept for involving authorities and stakeholders. The SEA round tables in the studies gave plenty of opportunities for engaging with the SEA process.

The two supporting documents, the Vorschläge 2003 and the Methodenpapier 2004, help the provincial government implement the SEA application for land use plans in a more homogeneous way. The real practice is still depends on the individual province.

7.2.6.4  Project Examples

Example 1

Land use plan revision in the municipality of Weiz

Description of the Study

The existing urban plan of Weiz was to be revised and 27 areas with present and potential claims for new developments were identified.

Process of the Study

In order to support effective and efficient decisions on their best use, a decision was made to revise the land use plan and to conduct a voluntary SEA. The municipality of Weiz was responsible for the preparation of both urban plan revision and SEA, with the latter being sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Youth and Family. The time horizon of the plan was five years (2000-2005).

The SEA process was conducted by the city council of the municipality of Weiz. The Styrian Environment Ministry was included in the SEA scoping exercise. Public participation was involved in both plan making and SEA. An interdisciplinary team, consisting of air, noise, climate, nature protection and spatial planning experts was present at a total of three SEA scoping meetings.

The main conventional SEA stages were covered, including screening, scoping, report preparation, review, consultations and public participation. Only monitoring was not considered in this pilot SEA.

Public participation for the plan and the SEA were integrated and conducted according to the requirements of the Austrian Spatial Planning Act in provincial level. Information on plan revision and SEA was mainly given to the public through the City Gazette distributed to every household free of charge. A non-technical summary of the SEA was distributed to the general public in this way.

Evaluation was conducted using a scoring system.

Outcome of the Study

The environmental report consists of eight chapters including aims, methodology and approach taken.

Overall, the SEA can be considered a successful case. The process was perceived positively and had a positive impact on a more environmentally sustainable revised urban plan.

The state government (Styrian) approved both the urban plan and SEA.

 

 

Example 2

Pilot SEA for Vienna’s waste management plan

Description of the Study

Vienna waste management plan in 1999 is a plan to set the direction of future waste management policy.

Process of the Study

In the past decade, Vienna has experienced growing volumes of waste, higher standards for waste disposal in landfill legislation, and bottlenecks in the city’s waste treatment facilities.

Facing these problems, the Environmental Commission of Vienna (a kind of environmental ombudsman) called for an SEA to help in preparing a waste management plan that would resolve these problems by 2010. The waste management authority decided to engage a wide range of stakeholders in the SEA process.

The Commission required that ecological, economic and social aspects be taken into account from the outset.

They have set the following questions:

·          Which waste minimization and waste recycling and treatment measures will solve the root problem?

·          Does Vienna need additional waste treatment facilities to cope with the waste generated until 2010?

·          Which treatment technologies are best suited to the specific local circumstances?

·          How can the capacity of the existing facilities be optimized?

·          What treatment capacities should newly built facilities comprise?

The indicators for impact prediction are:

·          Percentage of reuse or recycling

·          Volume and method of dumping

·          Net energy production

·          Costs

·          Space occupation

·          Acceptance of measures by the public

The stakeholders have been invited in participating the round-table meeting.  They formed an SEA ream. The team worked together from the very beginning and was responsible for the planning and the SEA results. They came to a consensus in nearly all aspects on the best solution for the Viennese Waste Management Plan.

Outcome of the Study

The SEA commenced in 1999 and adopted a participatory “round table” stakeholder’s team approach. A political decision on the plan was taken by City Council in December 2001, following the recommendations of the “round-table” team. By 2003, some of the proposed measures had already been implemented: establishment of a strategy group for waste avoidance; selection of sites for the recommended new incineration plant and the new fermentation plant; and initiation of project EIAs for these two new installations.

 

7.2.6.5  List of References

·         Andreas Sommer, 2005, Strategic Environmental Assessment: from scoping to monitoring, http://www.sea-info.net/files/general/From_scoping_to_monitoring.pdf

·         European Environmental Bureau, 2003, Strategic Environmental Assessment Making a Difference, http://www.eeb.org/activities/SEA/SEA-report.pdf

·         Canadian International Development Agency, 2004, Summary of Environmental Assessment: Policies and Procedures for Development – Assistance Activities, Austria, http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/INET/IMAGES.NSF/vLUImages/ea%20summaries/$file/Aust.pdf

 

 


7.2.7       Germany

7.2.7.1  Urban Development Policies and Actions

Germany is a federal state with strong self local government.  The mode of governance is hierarchy. Strategic and development planning are absent from national policy. There are some approaches to urban development on the local level.

A.                 Regulatory mechanisms

In Germany, the statutory Building Code deals with two kinds of plans at the local level, both these plans fall under the categories “town and country planning” and “land use” mentioned in Art. 3 para 2 of the SEA Directive for environmental evaluation:

·         The zoning plan (Flächennutzungsplan) which covers the whole area of the town or city, gives an outline of the future land use, and binds public authorities, and

·         The building scheme (Bebauungsplan) which is prepared in most cases for a particular area of the municipality, sets out the land use in details, and is legally binding for everyone.

There are four main levels of public decision making in land use planning. These match the levels of the democratically elected bodies in the Federal Republic of Germany, that is, the federal, state (Land), county (Kreis), and local levels. Also, regions are formed by cooperating counties and unitary cities. The local council is responsible for the decision making There is neither a top-down nor bottom-up approach to land use decision making. Land use decisions at all administrative levels need to take the policies, plans and programmes prepared at other levels into account.

Spatial planning in Germany consists of 3 main levels:

·         spatial structure of the federal territory

·         country planning of the federal states

·         planning of municipalities

The standards of the spatial structure and of the country planning are set up on each other while municipalities have to consider the basic principles and take care of the binding goals of the spatial structure programme and the country planning.

 

Table 7.2.7.1.                The competency regarding spatial planning of various levels of government

Level

Decision making

Bund (Federation)

Legislation for federal spatial planning (Raumordnung), including material principles

Legislation for local planning

Bundesland ( Federal State )

Legislation for state spatial planning (Landesplanung), including sub-regional planning (Regionalplanung)

Establishment of State Development Programme (Landesentwicklungsprogramm)

Legislation on State Building Code (Landesbauordnung)

Region (Sub-Region)

Establishment of sub-regional State Development Programme (Regional plan), coordinating state and local development goals

Municipal council

Establishment of land use plan (Flächennutzungsplan) indicating the intended spatial development for the community

Fixes in statute (Satzung) as legally binding local plans (Bebauungspläne) for limited areas to be evolved from land-use plan

 

 

 

Table 7.2.7.2.                The competency and planning instruments regarding urban planning of various levels of government, International Society of City and Regional Planners

 

Level

Responsible body

Planning instruments

Description

1

Federation

Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs

Legislation:

Federal Building Code

Spatial Organisation Act

Federal Town Planning Act

Land Use Ordinances

Map sign Ordinances

Special Provisions for development and urban renewal

Basic goals of principles of countries spatial organisation taking account of European Union spatial policy and setting a framework for the states

Legal regulations affecting local plan: types of plans, range of potential contents, procedures and

Citizen participation

2

Federal States

Ministries of State Parliament

State Planning Act

State Development Programme

Design Guide Ordinance

State Building Code Approval of Local Planning

Administrative building law

Laws for regional and sub-regional planning

General guidelines for sub-regional and local planning

3

Community

Local Authorities

Council Development control office

General Land Use Plan

Detailed Development Plan

Preparatory plan made for the entire area of the community, fixing the main lines in future urban development

Obligations only for the public authorities involved in its preparation

Legal Statute. Local statute to which all building and development have to conform. Regulations: intensity and kind of land use, public and private spaces, building masses, etc.

 

Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs

Spatial Structure for Federal Territory

Federal Republic of Germany

Highest State Planning Department

Regional/country development plan

Federal States

Regional Planning Alliance

Regional plan

Region

Building/Planning Department

Urban Development Programme

Local Land Use Plan

Municipality

Building Owner, Architect, Planner

Floor plan, construction plan

Object, building

Source: Description of the German Spatial Planning System, http://ewa.bafg.de/servlet/is/13222/?lang=en

Urban planning considers all building and development issues of municipalities (communities, towns, cities). It includes plans and designs with different legal liabilities of different planning levels at different scales of urban development of the whole city to the single building.

For planning law, there are two binding bodies of law: administrative building law and planning law. The administrative building law is a matter of the federal states of Germany and is called Landesbauordnung (e.g. state planning law of Baden-Württemberg). It is regulating everything concerning the building action. The planning law is a matter of the Federal German Republic and deals with all issues of how to implement the building action into the surrounding. It is named German Building Code.

Building law in Germany distinguishes between two different bodies of law, urban planning and planning permission for the concrete individual building project. Urban planning law is based on the Building Code. The core element of urban planning law is the local authority's obligation, set out in the Federal Building Code, to draw up urban development plans on their own responsibility. While the land-use plan as the preparatory plan for the entire local authority area only has binding force for the authorities themselves. The local authorities lay down concrete binding determinations for the land use of specific areas in their local plans. A particular feature of German urban planning law is that the determinations laid down in local plans give the citizen constitutionally enforceable rights with regard to the permissibility of land use The procedure which the local authorities have to follow in drawing up their plans, i.e. the planning process, and the permissible material planning content are also laid down in the Federal Building Code for the country as a whole.

At state level, the detailed regulations governing the granting of planning permission for specific building projects are adopted by the federal states (Länder) in their respective state building codes. This applies in particular to the procedure for granting planning permission. In addition, there are also material requirements to be met when carrying out specific projects with a view to avoiding building-related hazards.

At local level, to ensure the compliance of local plans, state administration and dependent regional authorities have the prerogative to approve land use plans drawn up by local authorities. The states also engage in the coordination and approval of public and private infrastructure of some spatial relevance.

At municipal level, central planning competences in Germany lie with over 16000 municipalities. On the local level several kinds and tiers of planning exist. Although there is no legal obligation, most municipalities engage in strategic planning concerning the spatial and functional development of the town.

B.                 Overview of evaluation approach

The following points are the main requirements in all planning levels:

·         Requirement 1: The procedure normally begins when the licensing authority and the developer discuss the probable scope of examination; other authorities, experts and third parties may also be invited to contribute. The licensing authority will then inform the developer on the probable scope of the assessment, as well as on the type and scope of the documents that the developer is to be provided.

·         Requirement 2: The developer compiles the necessary documentation and presents the results to the licensing authority as a summarised description of the effects on the environment.

·         Requirement 3: The licensing authority will then ask other authorities to express their opinion, make provisions for public consultation whereby the developer's documents must be made accessible to the public, and will allow the authorities of other countries to participate, should the project have cross-border effects.

·         Requirement 4: The licensing authority will put together a summarised report on the foreseeable effects of the project on the environment and other matters like economic and social effects on the basis of the information supplied by the developer, the opinions of the other authorities (both domestic and foreign) and objections made by the public.

·         Requirement 5: The licensing authority will then assess the effects on the environment based on the summarised description of the effects on the environment and other matters.  Steps 4 and 5 should normally be contained in a single document, labelled "Environmental Impact Assessment."

·         Requirement 6: Taken into consideration the assessment, the licensing authority decides whether to grant the project approval or not. The decision and the grounds upon which the decision was made must be made accessible to those affected by the project as well as those who raised objections. If the licensing authority does not grant the project approval, then it must inform persons concerned thereof.

 

The regional planning works on two levels:

The state planning is administered by the Federal State authorities, which is usually the ministry responsible for development and the environment. It has the obligation to observe certain general principles laid down in Federal law. The regional planning is for smaller areas as an intermediate level suitable for transforming the general goals of state planning into a spatial pattern which sets a framework for local planning.

At a local level the spatial development plans of the regional policy of a land government and the sub-regional policy serve as instructions for the master plan of land use. The local level is the most important level for the implementation of the requirements of the regional policy. The communities in Germany are self governing with extended planning powers.

At the same time their plans have to conform to the aims and orders of the regional policy. The preparatory land use plan has to be developed from the regional plan and it has to be approved by the superior authority. That guarantees the cooperation and assimilation between the sub-regional level and the local level. Coordination and agreement is required between the various planning levels. The guidelines and plans of each higher administrative level have to be considered. This ensures that plans are not contradictory and that visions and principles are put into concrete terms from level to level.

The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs and its authorities are responsible for questions of principle in spatial development, for the framework legislation and for international cooperation.

7.2.7.2  Environmental Evaluation / SEA in Urban Development

A.                 Regulatory mechanisms
Statutory mechanism

German political system is of federal structure. Under the Federal Constitution, the federation is not entitled to transpose all the requirements of the SEA Directive into national law. The 16 Lander (federal states) will have to develop their own legal provisions, since the federal acts only constituted a framework. There were bills in most of the federal states. Draft guidelines have been released for planning. For spatial/land use planning, there are some guidelines including:

·         Guidance on how to adapt the Federal Construction Act with new EU Directives

·         Recommendations of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety for direct implementation of the SEA Directive through the Lander

·         The Environmental Report in Practice covering statutory local land use plans and master plans

The detailed regulations governing the granting of planning permission for specific building projects are adopted by the federal states in their respective state building codes. This applies in particular to the procedure for granting planning permission. In addition, there are also material requirements to be met when carrying out specific projects with a view to avoiding building-related hazards.

Municipalities are obliged to formulate two types of statutory land use plans. The preparatory land use plan constitutes a framework instrument, while the binding land-use plan serves as a regulatory instrument. The preparatory land-use plan covers the entire area of the municipality and indicates “the intended development of the community”. It is legally binding for all public institutions, private actors are neither bound by it nor can they deduce any claims for building permissions on its grounds.

The binding land use plan, on the other hand, is much more detailed, defining functions and intensity of use, basic urban design principles and the allocation of public infrastructure. Environmental aspects are becoming increasingly important in urban design Germany in recent year.

Federal law obliges municipalities to address a considerable number of concerns, like socially just housing provision, economic development, environmental protection, interests of the public and private land owners) when engaging in statutory land use planning. Local planning authorities are obliged to discuss drafts of land use plans with the public at an early stage. Private and public actors may raise suggestions and objections which need to be taken into account before the final version of the preparatory and binding land use plans are enacted as legal documents. Citizens and other actors affected by a binding land-use plan may demand its re-examination by the courts.

The EU Directive 2001/42/EC was implemented by two legal acts into the German federal laws:

·         Concerning specific provisions on urban land use planning, regional and spatial planning by law of the 24 June 2004 that inter alia amended the Federal Building Code and entered into force on the 20 July 2004;

·         Concerning the implementation of the SEA Directive 2001/42 in general by law of the 25 June 2005, that inter alia amended the Federal EIA Act and entered into force on the 29 June 2005.

The legal acts in the German federal law provide statutory requirement that SEA has to be implemented for plans and programmes, but excluding policies.

The Länder have adopted their own acts on EIA (which were necessary for particular kinds of projects mentioned in the EIA Directive, such as Land highways, cable railways, specific agricultural projects, etc.), but in substance these are fairly similar to the Federal EIA Act.

Administrative mechanism

At regional and local level, the municipal government carries out their own SEA process under their own administrative procedures. It is not legal binding and applied to different regions with different regulations.

B.                 Evaluation methodologies
Statutory mechanism

Step 1: Screening and scoping

Under German Federal EIA Act, SEA is required in the following cases:

·         Transport plans at federal level;

·         Extension plans for airports;

·         Flood protection plans

·         Programs of measures according to the Water Framework Directive;

·         Spatial planning and regional planning;

·