At a watershed : the emerging relationship between river basin management planning and development planning in Scotland
Smith, Heather M.
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen
MetadataShow full item record
This project has explored the implementation of an integrative and collaborative policy _ vision in a real world setting - the emerging relationship between the river basin management planning (RBMP) and development planning regimes in Scotland. This relationship fits comfortably with some of the latest paradigms in the fields of water management and land use planning. Both fields espouse the need for greater integration and collaboration, particularly within and between public sector organisations. Such approaches are often portrayed as key to achieving ambitions for sustainability. The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) places particular emphasis on building linkages between water management and land use planning systems. There is growing understanding that such linkages can emerge as a patchwork of overlapping and interrelated institutions. However, there is still limited empirical understanding of such institutional relationships and what they mean in practical terms for those involved. This project's approach is based in interpretive policy analysis, and it has explored how various public bodies have constructed different understandings of this emerging relationship - what it is, how it works, and why it is needed. Methods included analyses of key documents, as well as in-depth interviews, primarily with RBMP and planning staff from local authorities, SEPA and other agencies. The findings show that the locus of the relationship is 'downshifting' towards lower levels of the planning regime - i.e. local development plans, and development management. In keeping with this, some higher level issues - such as the wider tradeoffs between enabling new development and ensuring the protection and improvement of the water environment - are not being discussed in this context. This pattern is shaped by wider socio-political aims, such as the government's central purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth. These findings support the need for higher-level interactions in which these wider aims can be discussed and debated.