Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3142: Environmental Law and Planning

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

While the module’s precise content and syllabus may vary each year, it is anticipated that it will cover the following topics :

Foundations of Environmental Law

- Definitions, History

- Values, Principles and Philosophy   

- Sectors, Sources and Institutions

- Regulation, Compliance and Enforcement

Critical Perspectives in Environmental Law

- Habitat Protection and the Ecosystems Approach

- Human Rights and Environmental Law

- Earth Jurisprudence: Law, Animal, Ecology

- Marine Spatial Planning and the Future and Environmental Law


 Introduction to Town and Country Planning

History and Ideologies

- Planning Authorities, the Localism Act 2011 and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

- Defining Development: The Need for Planning Permission and General Permitted Development

- Defining Development: Change of Use and Operational Development

- Planning Conditions, Planning Agreements and Planning Gain

- Appeals, Judicial Review and Enforcement

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

- Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment and its History

- The European Requirement of Environmental Impact Assessment

- The Application of EIA in English Law

- The Trump Golf Case Study

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities4422 x 2 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities9Workshops - 6 x 1.5 hour (3 per term) which will involve student-led individual and group work, with guidance and intervention from a tutor
Guided Independent Study108General reading for the module
Guided Independent Study54Workshop preparation
Guided Independent Study85Assessment preparation

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

Web based and electronic resources:

Electronic journals and databases such as EUR-Lex, West law, Lexis Nexis, Hein Online etc.


www.planningresource.co.uk - The Website of Planning, the journal of the Royal Town and Country Planning Institute. Best source of regular planning news.

www.planningportal.gov.uk - Provides Government information on the planning system etc

www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk - The website of the planning inspectorate, whose inspectors hear appeals.

www.rtpi.org.uk - Website of the Royal Town Planning Institute, the professional body of the planning profession.

www.idea-knowledge.gov.uk - Website of the Planning Advisory Service. The service aims to give planners help.

www.tcpa.org.uk - Website of the Town and Country Planning Association. The site contains extensive resources relating to city, regional and environmental planning.

www.jncc.defra.gov.uk– Website of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. This site contains extensive details of onshore and offshore areas that have been designated under European law.

Other Learning Resources

Those provided for and distributed to the students by the ESI and local environmental initiatives collaborated with.