Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment
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 practice in the UK to combine the two processes into one, which is referred to as Sustainability Appraisal (SA). This process incorporates the requirements of the SEA Directive.
The Council is required by law to produce an SA (incorporating SEA) for all of its Local Plan (2011-2028) documents except for the Statement of Community Involvement, the Annual Monitoring Report, Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) and the Local Development Scheme.
Sustainability Appraisal of the DaSA Local Plan
Sustainability Appraisal has been undertaken throughout the preparation of the Development and Site Allocations (DaSA) Local Plan.
An updated SA Scoping Report, built on and elaborating upon earlier SA Scoping information published to inform the Core Strategy, was published in August 2016. It followed a consultation with the Environment Agency, Historic England (formerly English Heritage) and Natural England.
The SA was published alongside the DaSA Local Plan Options and Preferred Options public consultation, which ran from 12 December 2016 to 20 February 2017. Comments were invited on this SA as part of the consultation and can be viewed here.
- DaSA Local Plan – Options and Preferred Options SA Main Document (Nov 2016)
- DaSA Local Plan – Options and Preferred Options SA Appendices 1 & 2 (Nov 2016)
- DaSA Local Plan – Options and Preferred Options 3 & 4 (Nov 2016)
An updated SA was published alongside the Proposed Submission version of the DaSA Local Plan. It reflected updates made to the DaSA since consultation on the ‘Options and Preferred Options’ document and effectively refines the earlier SA Report.
- DaSA Local Plan – Proposed Submission SA Main Document (Sep 2018)
- DaSA Local Plan – Proposed Submission SA Appendices 1, 2 & 5 (Sep 2018)
- DaSA Local Plan – Proposed Submission SA Appendices 3 & 4 (Sep 2018)
A Sustainability Appraisal Report Addendum was also produced alongside the Modifications to the Proposed Submission DaSA Local Plan. This SA Report presented information on the modifications compared to the Proposed Submission DaSA Local Plan Policies, informing the consultation and subsequent plan finalisation.
Post-Adoption SEA Statement
In accordance with Regulation 16 of the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004, the Council has prepared a post-adoption SEA Statement. It effectively tells the story of the SEA process and its relationship with the Rother District Council’s DaSA Local Plan.
Sustainability Appraisal of the Core Strategy
Sustainability Appraisal has been undertaken throughout the preparation of the Core Strategy.
In support of the Core Strategy process beginning at that time, the first SA Scoping Report underwent statutory consultation in August 2006. This set out the context and objectives for the SA, collected baseline data and identified key issues / problems for the District and devised a Sustainability Appraisal Framework against which options and strategies can be tested. An updated revision of the Scoping Report was issued to the statutory consultees in December 2007 and this was approved in February 2008 and published in June 2008. In addition, it should be noted that the Proposed Submission Core Strategy SA (August 2011) updated many of the elements of the Scoping Report, including:
- Reviewing list of Relevant Policies, Plans, Strategies and Programmes (See Section 3 and Appendix 7 of August 2011 PSCS SA)
- Updated Baseline Information (Appendix 1)
- SA Framework (Appendix 2)
- Spatial Portrait (Section 3)
The SA of the Proposed Submission Core Strategy was published alongside the Core Strategy consultation in the 12 week period 19th August 2011 to 11th November 2011.
Comments were previously invited on the Initial SA Report which was made available alongside the Core Strategy ‘Consultation on Strategy Directions’ during the twelve-week consultation period 7th November 2008 – 30th January 2009.
In June 2012, the Council published ‘focused amendments’ to the Core Strategy, which includes amendments to the SA. These were incorporated in the revised ‘Proposed Submission Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal (incorporating the focused amendments)’ published in June 2012. In January 2013, a further ‘Sustainability Appraisal of the Council’s proposed modifications’ was undertaken.
Most recently, in July 2013 a ‘Sustainability Appraisal of the Council’s Proposed Revised Modifications’ was presented to RDC Full Council. This supplements earlier SA’s and supports the Council’s proposed revised modifications to the Core Strategy’s housing provisions in particular.
Post-Adoption SEA Statement
In accordance with Regulation 16 of the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004, the Council has prepared a post-adoption SEA Statement. It effectively tells the story of the SEA process and its relationship with the Rother District Council’s Local Plan Core Strategy.
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of Neighbourhood Plans
Unlike the situation for Rother District’s Local Plan, there is no legal requirement for a neighbourhood plan to have an SA, as set out in section 19 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. However, a qualifying body must demonstrate how its plan or order will contribute to achieving sustainable development. So whilst an SA is not legally required, neighbourhood planning authorities may find that the SA approach is a useful way forward.
However, in certain circumstances, a Neighbourhood Plan may require an SEA under EU regulations. Examples of where SEA may be required for Neighbourhood Plans, include:
- Where a neighbourhood plan allocates sites for development
- Where the neighbourhood area contains sensitive natural or heritage assets that may be affected by the proposals in the plan
- Where the neighbourhood plan is likely to have significant environmental effects that have not already been considered and dealt with through an SA of the Local Plan
For more information, please visit the Neighbourhood Plan Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) page.