Community Local Environment Awareness Raising Programme (Rona Beattie
& Pauline Munro)
Community Local Environment Awareness Raising Programme (CLEAR) is an innovative
training and capacity-building programme, provided by Planning Aid for
Scotland (PAS). The programme, designed to enable more effective
participation in land planning issues that affect local communities, provides
a community-based approach to lifelong.
PAS is a voluntary organisation run by qualified and experienced town planners
who voluntarily give free advice and information on all aspects of town
and country planning and related issues to individuals, community councils,
tenants associations and voluntary organisations. PAS believes that the
CLEAR programme was necessary because many people feel excluded from
the planning system. Excluded not because people donít have the right
to participate but because the system is complex and they need to express
their views in planning terms if they are to have any effect.
The aim of CLEAR is to encourages people to get more involved in community
activities by enabling community groups and activists to make a meaningful
contribution to the local consultation period on the local or structure
plan, and to empower the participants with lifelong skills of disseminating
and understanding information which is normally outside the experience
of the lay person.
CLEAR programme operates in two stages:
be argued that the CLEAR project contributes to enabling communities to
influence their futures. Of particular value to communities is the
impartiality and independence of the advice provided by PAS as a neutral
body. By sharing knowledge and developing awareness, CLEAR empowers
those in the community to adopt courses of action previously unknown to
them. An example of this could be lodging a planning objection to
a development which could have negative implications for their community.
These interim findings therefore suggest that community groups and individuals
have been able to apply new knowledge, adding to the social capital of
their locality, and enabling them to reclaim a stake in their community.
groups prepare for learning about the planning process by identifying issues
that concern them. This is facilitated by the CLEAR Programme Manager.
Training Workshops Ė individuals and community groups attend a one day
training event tailored to respond to the issues raised in the first stage.
passages from the authors' paper "Learning to plan, planning to learn:
evaluating a community based approach to lifelong learning" presented at
the HRD conference in Toulouse, May 2003 (see proceedings)