Sir – Your editorial on Wednesday, July 4, rightly identifies real fears of ill-thought through developments. These too often can have devastating impacts on people, our fragile environment and in addition, huge, measurable costs for us as taxpayers.
For example; we are constantly told of the huge cost of implementing a truly integrated transport strategy. What we are not told is the ongoing cost of the present mess. In 1998, just one of the costs of excessive road use was the hospitalisation of 320,000 people injured in road accidents – £10 billion or 25% of the total NHS budget for that year. Could not this be better spent elsewhere?
There is now a huge opportunity to examine rapidly the external costs of alternative projects (including doing nothing) through using a new methodology, called ‘Comprehensive Project Appraisal’ (CPA), which can be applied to a wide range of projects and processes. CPA guides the trained appraiser through the necessary steps to reach a recommendation.
I originally developed the idea and chaired the joint steering group of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Environment Agency and English Nature which has, with our research Consultants, RPA of Norfolk, taken this forward over four years. CPA includes consultation with local interests and groups, much along the lines of the Local Agenda 21, or Community Appraisal process.
We need to stimulate sustainable wealth creation, especially in our countryside after the devastating consequences of foot-and-mouth. I am confident that CPA has real potential in this for planners, land managers and others. The methodology has already won endorsement from a wide range of bodies, including planners, developers, environmentalists and others.
NICHOLAS WOOLLEY, The Old Rectory, Freckenham, Bury St Edmunds
East Anglian Daily Times | 10 July 2001July 10th, 2001