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What does sustainability mean to you?

Much has recently been written about sustainability and it is core to the Draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) document published by The Department of Communities and Local Government in July 2011 responses to which are currently being considered by the Government.

This document is aimed at "achieving sustainable development and positive growth - making economic, environmental and social progress for this and future generations".

At a recent meeting at a local council planning office much was stated about the need to ensure a new development would be sustainable and I thought I knew what was meant but when I asked each of the council officers for their interpretation of "sustainability" I received very different responses depending on their particular job and some of their requests were conflicting!

According to Wikipedia "sustainability is the capacity to endure". We are used to endurance when dealing with planning authorities!!

There is no definition of "sustainability" in the draft NPPF document and some local planning authorities appear not to have an agreed definition so please let me have your views. I will start the ball rolling with a couple of definitions for us to consider:

1.    sustainable development means new construction that is good for the economic, social and environmental life of the countryside;

2.    sustainable development is that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Do you agree with these definitions? Or do you have your own defintion of sustainability?  Please let us know in the comments below.

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