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New Approach To Sustainable Development

Research published today (23 May) by RICS holds out the promise of a new
tool for planners and project managers that will allow the comprehensive
appraisal of projects and processes. By considering all factors in the
planning equation, from social and environmental impact to bottom line
economics, the research will lead to greater sustainability in the
development and use of land and property and speed the development process.

Four years in development by RICS and the Environment Agency,
Comprehensive Project Appraisal (CPA) has won endorsement from
organisations such as English Nature and the Prince’s Foundation, and is
already in use by the Environment Agency.

The concept of sustainability requires that any project appraisal must
take into account the full range of economic, environmental, planning
and social issues. Traditional methods and current systems used by
chartered surveyors, planners, developers and others do not extend to
cover all the elements involved, nor do they prioritise the different

CPA will be applicable to many development projects, from urban
development schemes to long term rural diversification, as well as farming.

Factors taken into account include:

· Financial and economic values

· Global environment

· Local/regional environment

· Recreation

· Safety and security

· Wider economic and social issues

· ‘Livability’ (aesthetics, odours, noise, etc.)

· Public welfare

· Infrastructure and transport

· Views and differences of stakeholders

CPA can also be used in the preparation and review of development plans,
especially in conjunction with Local Agenda 21, the process under which
local authorities seek to ensure that their policies are founded on the
principles of sustainability agreed at the Rio Earth Summit.

Chairman of the research steering group, chartered surveyor Nicholas
Woolley, who initiated the project, said:

“For too long decisions on projects and processes have been inadequately
appraised, and made with many damaging outcomes. We now have an
effective tool, which is robust, gives measurable results and is
practical to apply.”


Notes to editors

Comprehensive project appraisal, towards sustainability, published by
RICS. Copies of the report available from the RICS Policy Unit, tel: 020
7222 7000.

Nicholas Woolley FRICS is managing director of Woolley and Company in
Freckenham, Suffolk. He can be contacted on 01638 721540 or mobile 07860

RICS Press Release | 24 May 2001

May 24th, 2001
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