PPS 11: Planning and Waste Management
Waste Management Strategy: Sustainable Development
1.17 A UK Sustainable Development Strategy - A Better Quality of Life 2 was published in May 1999. At the heart of the Strategy is the principle of ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now, and for generations to come by seeking to meet four parallel objectives of sustainable development:
- Social progress which recognises the needs of everyone;
- Effective protection of the environment;
- Prudent use of natural resources; and
- Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.
1.18 The UK Strategy recognised that the devolved administrations have a key role to play in establishing their own sustainable development policies, which reflect their institutions, landscape, culture and way of life. The Northern Ireland Executive has accepted these principles as consistent with its vision and priorities in the Programme for Government and has endorsed them as the basis for its approach to sustainable development. The principle of sustainable development is reflected in the RDS and it is a key aim of the WMS to achieve fully sustainable waste management. Similarly, in assessing all proposals for waste management facilities the Department will be guided by the principle of sustainable development, which is one of the key themes underlying the Department’s approach to planning.
1.19 Protecting the environment and human health are key principles in considering the development of waste management facilities or assessing other development in the vicinity of such facilities. In assessing such proposals the Department will be guided by the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle (See below). The Department will also take into consideration the most recent research by the responsible government agencies into possible health effects of various types of waste management facility. In addition, the Department will consider the potential to mitigate adverse effects through controls excercised by pollution control authorities.
1.20 The precautionary principle, outlined in Planning Policy Statement 1, General Principles, advises that where there are significant risks of damage to the environment associated with a development proposal, its protection will be paramount unless there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest. In some cases, it may be possible to grant planning permission for a particular waste management facility subject to conditions and/or a planning agreement to mitigate or compensate for any adverse environmental effects. The polluter pays principle means that polluters should pay the full costs of any measures required to protect the environment as a result of their actions.
2 A Better Quality of Life, a Strategy for Sustainable Development for the United Kingdom, DETR, 1999.