The Scottish Government’s proposed environmental watchdog must be strong enough to maintain high environmental standards after Brexit, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Scotland has warned.
In its response to a Government consultation, RTPI Scotland also said that there is a need to embed these environmental standards in new legislation and to police them to ensure that post-Brexit standards don’t regress and the quality of the environment is maintained at the very least.
It also said that the standards should be included within the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework to ensure that they are embedded in national strategies including Scottish Planning Policy and the National Planning Framework.
Julia Frost, Convenor of RTPI Scotland, said:
“Following the concerning findings from this week’s UN report detailing a major reduction in global biodiversity there is now, more than ever, a need to ensure that Scotland meets the highest standards to improve the natural environment for people and wildlife.
“The relationship between planning and environmental policy is an important one. We look forward to working with the new watchdog when it is established to ensure planning is at the forefront of environmental protection and enhancement.”
In its response, RTPI Scotland also called for the four UK governments to take a consistent approach to environmental standards by agreeing cross-border principles.
RTPI Scotland’s call comes in response to a Scottish Government consultation on how Scotland can maintain effective environmental governance following an exit from the European Union.
It follows on from recently published research from the RTPI into environmental planning after Brexit, which explored ways of improving the relationship between current EU environmental legislation and planning.
RTPI Scotland’s full response to the Scottish Government consultation can be found here