Planning system 'frustrates the circular economy'

By Gem Childe on 18th Apr 2017

Circular economy

The organisation, the voice of the UK’s resource and waste management industry, said that there was considerable scope to improve the planning culture to give the industry the flexibility it needs to adapt to sustainable business models.

In a new report, Planning for a Circular Economy, the ESA outlines key aspects of the planning regime that can often frustrate efforts to reduce waste and sets out recommendations to improve the situation.

ESA’s Policy Advisor, Stephen Freeland, said: “Many local authorities need to let go of the strict control culture that has prevailed in one form or another since the 'landfill era' and instead adopt a more responsive approach to planning for waste management which better recognises the variable and dynamic nature of the space in which our industry now operates. Our industry increasingly resembles that of any other logistics business with materials moved around as markets dictate.

"Few other sectors face the same planning and political obsession about the origin of material or commodities, and where these should be transported to. To hamstring the resource and waste management industry in such a way will likely hamper investment and progress towards the objectives of the circular economy.”

The new report is available from the ESA website www.esauk.org/esa_reports/