The effects of Brexit on the UK planning system are still uncertain but it is likely that Brexit will have a significant impact on the UK planning system as a number of EU laws and regulations, such as those related to environmental protection and the free movement of goods and people, currently shape the UK planning system.
It is possible that these laws and regulations will be repealed or significantly amended after Brexit, which could have a significant impact on the UK planning system. Additionally, the loss of funding and cooperation from the EU may also affect the UK planning system.
Here are a few areas that may be affected by Brexit in the UK planning system:
- Environmental protection: EU laws and regulations currently play a significant role in shaping UK environmental protections and policies. Without these laws and regulations, it is possible that protections for habitats, species, and the wider environment may be weakened.
- State aid and regional development: EU laws and regulations currently regulate the use of state aid and regional development funding in the UK. After Brexit, it is possible that the UK will no longer be subject to these regulations and that there will be changes in how state aid and regional development funding is distributed.
- Habitat and species protection: EU laws such as the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive have been instrumental in protecting habitats and species in the UK. Without these laws, it is possible that protections for habitats and species may be weakened.
- Air and water quality: EU laws such as the Air Quality Directive and the Water Framework Directive have set standards for air and water quality in the UK. Without these laws, it is possible that air and water quality may deteriorate in the UK.
- Climate change: The EU has been a leading voice in promoting action on climate change, and EU laws such as the Climate and Energy Package have set targets and standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. Without these laws, it is possible that the UK’s commitment to reducing emissions may weaken.
- Waste management: EU laws such as the Waste Framework Directive and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive have set standards for waste management in the UK. Without these laws, it is possible that the UK’s commitment to reducing, reusing, and recycling waste may weaken.
- Chemicals: EU laws such as the REACH Regulation have set standards for the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals in the EU. Without these laws, it is possible that the UK’s commitment to protecting human health and the environment from the risks posed by chemicals may weaken.
Note that the actual effects on these regulations will depend on the outcome of the negotiations and the agreements reached between the UK and the EU. The UK government may decide to retain similar or even more stringent regulations to ensure continuity and maintain the level of protection to the environment.
Some of the Directives, Regulations or other instruments that may be affected by Brexit and are worth considering include the following:
- Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (85/337/EEC)
- Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (2001/42/EC)
- Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)
- Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC)
- Birds Directive (2009/147/EC)
- Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC)
- Noise Directive (2002/49/EC)
- Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC)
- Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC)
- Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU)
- Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2010/31/EU)
- Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC)
- Climate and Energy Package (2009/29/EC, 2009/31/EC, 2009/33/EC, 2009/406/EC)
- REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006
- Plant Health Directive (2000/29/EC)
- Invasive Alien Species Regulation (1143/2014/EU)
- Construction Products Regulation (305/2011/EU)
- Common Agricultural Policy (Various Regulations)
Note that this list is not exhaustive and there may be other EU instruments that affect the UK planning system in various ways.