Evidence and research for planning policies

9. Sustainability appraisal

Various appraisals have informed plan preparation.

For links to all documents on this page see the Sustainability appraisal downloads page

What is Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)?

The Council is required under the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to undertake a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of all local development documents. The main purpose of the SA is to appraise the social, environmental, and economic effects of proposals and policies.

The SA must also incorporate the requirements of the European Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA), which ensures that significant environmental impacts are identified and taken into account.

Scoping Report

The first formal step in the process is the preparation of a Scoping Report, which will set out the framework for the appraisal and assessment of proposals and policies.

The Scoping Report sets out the plans, policies and programs, from an international to a local level, which will influence the development of the Local Plan. It also sets out sustainability objectives and indicators against which proposals will be assessed.

The Scoping Report also contains a baseline which outlines key information about quality of life in the borough today and identifies the key sustainability issues, problems and opportunities.

The latest scoping report is available to download below:

For reference, the previous scoping report is available to download below:

Sustainability Appraisal for the Core Strategy

The Core Strategy was informed by comprehensive Sustainability Appraisal. The final reports are available to download below:

Sustainability Appraisal for the DMP

A Sustainability Appraisal report was undertaken for the Regulation 18 consultation stage of the DMP, and is available to download on the DMP evidence page. An updated Sustainability Appraisal will be undertaken for the Regulation19 consultation stage, based on the June 2017 Scoping Report referred to above.

SA/SEA of Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs)

The Town & Country Planning Act Regulations no longer require a Sustainability Appraisal to be carried out on Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs). Previously the requirements of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) would have been incorporated into this process, which is now no longer the case.

In order to assess whether an SPD will still require SEA, we have produced a screening template which is available to download below:

This enables us to see early on in the process whether SEA is required, and will raise any environmental concerns early on in the process. This approach has been supported by the Environment Agency and Natural England.