Consultation Draft Statement of Community Involvement 2018
6. Sustainability Appraisals and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
What are Sustainability Appraisals / SEA?
6.1 Sustainability Appraisal (SA) is a requirement of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, with Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) deriving from the European Union Directive 2001/42/EC. It is common and good practice in the UK to combine the two processes into one, which is referred to as Sustainability Appraisal (SA). This process usually incorporates the requirements of the SEA Directive.
6.2 The Council is required by law to produce a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment) all development plan documents excluding the Statement of Community Involvement, the Annual Monitoring Report, Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) and the Local Development Scheme. Neighbourhood Plans do not need to undertake Sustainability Appraisals. In some circumstances they may require an SEA and in all cases they are required to indicate how they contribute to Sustainable Development.
6.3 The Council will consult stakeholders in relation to Sustainability Appraisals/ SEAs alongside the Development Plans to which they pertain. Please see table 3 on page 10 for further information.
6.4 The Planning Act 2008 allows Local Planning Authorities to prepare SPDs without undertaking SA/SEA, as long as they screen for the need for a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) incorporating a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the SPD as it is produced. In light of the 2008 Planning Act, the Councils are required to carry out a screening to ensure that the legal requirements for SA/SEA are met where there are impacts that have not been covered in the appraisal of the parent Development Plan Document (DPD).
6.5 The impact of the SPDs will be restricted to relatively specialist topic areas at a local level or site based considerations. Whilst they will help deliver district wide objectives the issues considered do not need to be as comprehensive as for the Local Plan. The SEA Directive suggests a possible exemption of SEA where the plan or programme would be likely not to have significant environmental effects. Appropriate Screening will be undertaken for all SPDs.