Two thirds of IEMA Members surveyed this week say that ultimately national needs must take priority where there is conflict between national and local built environment issues.
From 646 Members polled, 65% say that while a balance is obviously needed, nationally significant infrastructure projects must take priority. Members also indicated that the Government’s Green Investment Bank should have a greater role in taking forward such nationally significant infrastructure. 92% said that they want to see the role of the Green Investment Bank increased so that it has powers to appropriately borrow and invest in projects that both protect and improve the UK’s natural capital.
Furthermore, where there are prominent regional concerns, such as the recent peak in air pollution levels in the South East of England, IEMA Members say that these should not be left to Local Authorities alone; in fact 89% of respondents say that resolving the UK’s poor air quality is a critical priority for the next Government. Making significant progress on improvements to air quality will benefit the environment as well as human health and well-being, as poor air quality is currently linked to 29,000 premature deaths each year.
Three quarters of IEMA’s respondents say that the current planning system is not equipped to aid the UK’s much-needed transition to a sustainable economy. 75% said that the Planning System – including its legislation, policies and guidance – is not currently capable of playing the vital role necessary in order to achieve sustainable economy goals. Lack of action on this issue could threaten the UK’s ability to implement infrastructure projects which harmonise with the need to protect the natural environment.
IEMA’s Policy Lead on planning and environmental impact Josh Fothergill said “This poll very markedly shows that there is an opportunity for the incoming Government to take the bold decision needed to kick the UK’s transition to a sustainable economy up a gear. In particular professionals using the Planning system indicate it must play an enhanced role in this transition.”
Other significant statistics from IEMA’s poll include:
· In relation to managing coastal erosion and the associated risks to people and property, IEMA Members believe that if the next Government continues to pursue a “managed retreat” policy then it must alter its approach to compensating those whose property is at risk. 64% say that the Government should expand community adaptation funds, such as the 2009 Pathfinder scheme, to assist communities most at risk.
· In regards to other built environment developments, 84% believe that identifying brownfield sites should be a priority for new housing developments needed to address the UK’s housing crisis. 58% said urban infill is a key option and 42% said publically owned land could also be used.
The results of the Natural Environment segment of IEMA’s fourth Election Quick Poll will be released on Thursday 23rd April, on the same day as the final Poll opens.
Posted on 16th April 2015
IEMA reacts to IPCC report: AR6 Climate Change 2021
- 9th August 2021
IEMA reacts to CCC Progress report to Parliament
- 24th June 2021
IEMA reacts to Climate Change Committee Report
- 15th June 2021
IEMA Reacts to Queen’s Speech
- 11th May 2021
Enhancing Scotland’s EIA Community - Scotland’s EIA Conference 2021 moves online
- 22nd April 2021
IEMA launches senior management briefing on how organisations can benefit from effective environmental auditing
- 29th March 2021