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RICS L A N D JO U RN A L

CH A I R M E N

FROM THE

CHAIRMEN RUR A L

Gerard

Smith FRICS

National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Cymru Environment & Rural Affairs Advisor Rachel Lewis-Davies spoke at our recent Royal Welsh Show breakfast about farmers’ wider role in the rural economy, in particular provision of ecosystem services, outlining how they can help mitigate flooding and be compensated. NFU President Meurig Raymond also stressed the need for continued support for food production and access to markets, while RICS launched its leaflet Post-Brexit rural Wales: Impact and potential opportunities (http://bit.ly/2bbtR5t). The views of key stakeholders at the show were clear – land and farming businesses in the UK will face restructuring with short-term pressure on rents and land values. Our rural market survey for January to June shows demand for commercial farmland in particular falling, with very modest increases in supply. Brexit uncertainty and global commodity prices continue to weigh on price growth; but land is still an attractive proposition and viewed as a safe haven, similar to gold, and the market continues to be underpinned by rollover money. Location, in particular, as well as the quality of property will still dictate price levels.

ENVI RON ME N T & RES O UR C E S

Stephen

McKenna Acting chair, MRICS

The board has continued to work on environment and minerals pathways and competencies to ensure the requirements have been met and that the wording is 4 OC TOBER/NOVEMBER 2016

consistent. The chair’s day in June looked at the issues of standards, regulation, the APC and the increasing harmonisation of international standards. Looking ahead to the 6 October conference in Bristol, we have some excellent speakers lined up. Hugh Towns will update us on minerals and waste planning changes in Wales, Martin Ott will consider challenges and opportunities in the waste sector, Tim Troman will examine landowners’ responsibilities for abandoned mine entry audits – taking into account recent changes in insurance law – and Gerard Edwards will discuss mineral resource safeguarding, a key issue in an era of infrastructure investment. Brexit may also feature in discussions; European directives implemented by UK government are part of the British legal system, but regulations are not, so there could be significant change in our field. Ministers will have to decide whether to embed EU laws into UK legislation, or develop a distinctive policy agenda.

LAND & RESOURCES GLOBAL BOARD

Barney

Pilgrim FRICS

The inaugural meeting of the International Land Measurement Standards (ILMS) coalition at the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Rome in June featured an impressive range of participants. It was inspiring to hear from professional surveyors in low- and middle-income countries such as Botswana, Ghana and Kenya about the critical importance of land issues. UN FAO was very generous in hosting the meeting. We made significant progress, and ILMS will now be a central part of the Land and Resources Global Board work over the next year. The board is also looking into producing a global professional

standard on environmental impact assessment processes and formats, given that these can differ considerably according to region or country. This new standard should help RICS members in providing their clients with a consistent methodology and output.

GEOMAT I CS

Gordon

Johnston FRICS

Sir Francis Bacon wrote that “travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education, in the elder, a part of experience”. My own recent experience after the Brexit vote is of cutbacks on construction and delays to inward investment in UK infrastructure programmes; longer-term funding could also be under threat. So we must ensure we use the voice and status of RICS to promote the value of spatial data, standards and professional support for developments that generate benefits. I frequently travel up and down the UK, and have seen that the transport networks are under pressure from increased use and ageing infrastructure. Such travel is often not a great experience, so it is important that the continued development and take-up of building information modelling, investment in developing national and international infrastructure projects and a long-term strategy involving surveyors, standards and spatial data all receive the necessary commitment. The Global Geomatics Professional Group has a role in making that a reality. Key elements will be how we attract new professionals and develop those who are recently qualified, manage our professional relationships as well as the technical challenges such as the ease of data interoperability between users and interested parties. If the current geopolitical situation can lead to a clear understanding of the UK’s post-referendum relationship

Profile for RICS

Land Journal October–November 2016  

Technology is affecting many aspects of surveying, offering new ways to look at and shape the world, and this issue covers a wide range of f...

Land Journal October–November 2016  

Technology is affecting many aspects of surveying, offering new ways to look at and shape the world, and this issue covers a wide range of f...

Profile for ricsmodus