National Parks in Oman - Joining an International Family for Conservation and Sustainable Growth

Wednesday 19th Apr 2023, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

34 Sackville St, London, W1S 3ED

We are pleased to invite you to the April lecture at the British Omani Society.

Oman is keen to designate National Parks, or in their words a Special Planning Zone, to conserve the natural landscapes and cultural heritage they treasure. How can this be achieved whilst still enabling appropriate development within these Zones to deliver Oman’s economic growth agenda?  This talk will outline how, with the assistance of the British Omani Society, the South Downs National Park, the newest national park in the UK, teamed up with their counterparts from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning to help progress their ideas and goals for National Parks in Oman, following the Oman National Spatial Strategy and Vision 2040.

Recognising the ambition for sustainable growth, in both physical terms and the capacity to plan for and manage their landscapes, you will hear our experience of an exchange visit programme full of activities assessing the similarities and differences in the issues we face in National Parks.  At first glance, Oman’s desert mountains and the green hills of the South of England are an odd coupling but it became apparent we had more in common than expected!  The need to balance development with conservation of natural assets and traditions, recognising the Omanisation programme, led to a set of actions for taking forward their own National Park ambitions for the future.

Whether visiting the Rolls Royce factory and prestigious Goodwood Estate for tea and horse racing with the Duke of Richmond, or meeting local dignitaries in a Bedouin tent in the Sharqiya Sands to engage in debate over tourism development in the area, the journey shone a light on both our cultures, governance and the tools needed for decision making, and the value of learning through collaboration. 

Date: 19th April 2023
Time: 5:30pm reception for 6:00pm start (UK)
Location: 34 Sackville St, London OR Zoom

If you cannot join us in person, you are more than welcome to join us via Zoom here.

Tim Slaney is the Director of Planning for the South Downs National Park Authority. He started work with the Authority in November 2011, setting up the Planning function. Prior to that, he worked at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead as Head of Planning and Regeneration. Tim has worked in a number of urban and rural District and Unitary authorities in the south west and south east with responsibility for a number of regulatory and community focused functions. This has included managing Planning, Building Control, Conservation, Transport and Highways, and Regeneration functions. He has led on a number of joint partnership working arrangements and projects across Authorities and service providers.

Tim leads and oversees the provision of the National Park Planning Service including Development Management service, Plan Policy making and Sustainable Futures. In the Development Management arena, Tim is responsible for the “hosted” arrangement, including contractual and performance matters, whereby 84% of the 5,000+ planning applications are dealt with by District Councils. He was also responsible for the first landscape-led Local Plan across the whole of the National Park, which incorporates ecosystem services. The planning service provides support and leadership as appropriate to over 50 Neighbourhood and Community Plans, both within and beyond the National Park. Tim also has a key corporate role representing the Authority on many matters including rural economic growth, tourism and affordable housing provision. Tim has recently been appointed as a board member of the newly formed South Downs Commercial Operations Limited.