chapter  9
Promoting Sustainable Development through Regional Plans: The Role of the Environment Agency
ByHugh R Howes
Pages 20

This chapter examines the changes in the approach taken by the Environment Agency for England and Wales in influencing the policies for environment and sustainable development in regional plans. It illustrates the former through an account of regional planning in South East England, before describing the Agency's activities in new partnerships in the Lea Valley in London. Local Planning Authorities are responsible under town and country planning legislation for consulting the Agency on certain planning applications and have discretionary powers regarding the referral of others. Local Environment Agency Plans are non-statutory plans, which will complement areas of environmental policy and regulation for which Local Authorities have executive responsibility. The current round of Regional Planning Guidance has presented the Environment Agency with an unparalleled opportunity to influence the town and country planning system from the top downwards. Several areas of regional significance are identified in the Draft Regional Planning Guidance for the South East as Priority Areas for Environmental Regeneration.