An analysis of coastal zone management in England and the Netherlands
The coastal zone is an area of crucial economic and ecological significance, which has increasingly been recognised in land-use planning. Within the coastal zone, integrating land-use planning and environmental management is recognised as one way to minimise trade-offs of interest between economic development and environmental objectives. Many governments are currently discussing the potential role of integrated coastal zone management (CZM) within their planning systems, while some international organisations promote CZM as a means to counter the loss of coastal resources due to human occupation of the coast. This thesis examines how the coastal zone in the United Kingdom is perceived and how effectively CZM is being promoted as a planning model to secure sustainable coastal development through the integration of planning policies. Policy integration is not a quixotic quest, but a model suggesting appropriate methods to manage and reduce conflicts. Any planning model can be traceable to varying assumptions and propositions from political thought, which in turn arises from different political practices. Each CZM plan thus reflects the planning and policy culture of its national system. In order to provide a context within which to assess the UK approach, the development of CZM in the Netherlands is also examined. Both national planning systems have comprehensive statutory land-use planning systems, while marine issues are controlled sectorally by central government. Neither administration has a national CZM policy framework. This thesis therefore includes a comparison of two management plans: the Wash Estuary Management Plan and Integraal Beleidsplan Voordelta. By comparing the organisational structures, policy development and implementation, the case studies provide an insight into the national CZM planning strategy currently being followed in the UK. Finally, the thesis concludes by identifying ways in which CZM might be further improved in the UK and also integrated into European approaches that have recently been initiated.