Sustainable development seeks to create a balance between economic, social and environmental pressures. In a waterway context, a development will be expected to show that it has made efforts to meet best practice in this field. Indeed, long-term economic sustainability can be encouraged by ensuring that environmental and social issues have been catered for, and increasingly planning authorities are requiring some form of sustainability statement as part of an application.
We would expect a sustainable approach to be taken given the historic and sometimes sensitive nature of our waterway network. However, sustainability need not hamper innovation or contemporary work and, by the very nature of their business, moorings/marinas lend themselves to 'green' solutions. Most boaters are environmentally conscious and will welcome and anticipate measures which support our sustainability values.
Measures to support and help facilitate sustainability may include efforts to lower energy consumption, including ideas to generate renewable energy (e.g. small-scale wind power), waste minimisation and on-site recycling, construction materials obtained from sustainable sources with the use of recycled aggregates, management of water resources including sustainable urban drainage systems, and, if feasible, encouragement of waterborne transport during construction.
The social aspects of sustainability include the need to consider impacts upon the local community, opportunities for local job creation, and benefits in terms of, for example, publicly accessible green space, and interpretation or educational opportunities possibly linked to a nearby school.
A wide range of guidance is available on sustainable development and construction. Local authorities will be able to provide advice on the standards expected from developers. The Government's Sustainable Development Unit provides information, background and links about sustainability. Specific information about sustainable drainage is available from CIRIA (The Construction Industry Research and Information Association).