Regional Land Use Partnerships: phase 1 process evaluation - final report

The Regional Land Use Partnerships (RLUPs) evaluation report considers the lessons learned from the Year 1 (2021 to 2022) pilot process. The report was completed by SAC Consulting and outlines key early findings from RLUP pilot establishment.

5. Conclusions

a. Early RLUP outcomes

What have been the key value added by the RLUP pilots to date? Almost all pilots reported that they have already benefitted from the new connections formed within and between organisations in the process of drawing these pilots together. Creating a new space to address these high-level goals and consider the region’s biggest issues and their relevant stakeholders has had knock-on effects for many individuals and organisations inputting to the pilots:

“I feel that we had nothing before this. […] Over time we’ve had less openness. We have less exchange of information. We have had less reason between … about the arguments. We’ve had more fear about who has more power and we’ve had people are taking more established positions and taking stands, and I think that that’s not the way to go forward because you just get bogged down […] The RLUP has been an opportunity for us all to kind of get together, people who normally I wouldn’t be seeing.”

Taking this idea further, a new grouping of stakeholders chosen specifically to input to these (heretofore intractable) land use issues can drive changes up the decision-making chain as well as down to the ground. By drawing a group together, connected to all scales of governance and charged with providing a strategic overview of land use incompatibilities, these will quickly detect where different policy levers are working in opposition, for example through historic payments referenced in Section I. By connecting relevant stakeholders, these partnerships will drive alignment and close the loop on easy wins, something appreciated by the pilots:

“These people with the vision talking to us, they want that direct route from us to local to make sure there’s that empowerment, and so, ergo it needs to happen back up the tree as well. […] We are welcoming all forms of input and dialogue at every level and that’s about democracy that they want to happen.”

“It’s about the optimism that comes with change […] I’m just heartened that we can actually bring together people from such diverse backgrounds and find commonality.

Even in their first few months of delivery and despite several systematic barriers, the current RLUP pilots have been successful in adding significant value to untangling the twin crises. They have also all demonstrated substantive progress towards their Phase 1 outcomes and if these practical barriers are addressed, there is nothing to suggest that they will not prove a useful policy tool across integrated land use and the many silos it intersects.



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