More Big Issues – Health, Environment and the Countryside
Chapter 4 explains how planning has always been concerned to provide an environment that creates a healthy city although, as with housing and employment, it may not always have been provided with the tools to do it. A city has an environmental impact on surrounding countryside that planning needs to deal with, in particular, flooding from storm water and the disposal of waste by land-fill. In addition, rural planning presents its own challenges in terms of housing, employment and management of environmental issues, including coastal ones. Land uses in the countryside - farming, recreation, habitat conservation and rural living - far from reinforcing each other, as was hoped in the mid-20th century, are more often in conflict with each other. One topic that planners do have explicit powers over, though, is control of sites for mineral extraction, commonly the extraction of building materials, such as stone or gravel. It is not just a question of where it should be allowed but what should be done with the workings afterwards, for example, used for water recreation or restored to agriculture.