The South East of England has one of the fastest growing and economically active populations in Europe, with associated significant pressures from development, particularly housing and transport. Sustainable water management has been identified as a major issue for future development of the region. The South East England Regional Assembly and the Environment Agency have carried out a study to investigate the potential constraints that flood risk, water resources, and water quality may pose on development. The study aims to improve understanding in order to inform the revision of regional planning polices and suggest practical guidance for local authorities to implement such policies. Wide technical consultation was carried out with the Environment Agency, local planning authorities and development agencies. Threshold Assessment was investigated as a technique to assess the potential impacts on the environment of various levels of forecast growth within selected parts of the region. Initial results indicate the need for more strategic and better integrated planning which recognises environmental and development boundaries.

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