Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment

Page updated on: 13/02/2019

LDP Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment

The purpose of the Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment is to appraise the social, economic and environmental effects of the LDP. The SA will look at the strategy, policies and proposals in the LDP to ensure that the decisions made fit in with the principles of sustainable development. Sustainability Appraisal will play an important part in showing that the LDP is sound. It is an integral element of every stage of the plan preparation, informing the LDP from inception to adoption. The Sustainability Appraisal must also include the requirements of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Regulations.

Initial SA Report of the Preferred Strategy

The Initial SA report is the second stage of the SA process and appraises the social, economic and environmental effects of the LDP Preferred Strategy. This includes the Vision, Strategic Objectives, Growth Options and Spatial Options. It also appraises the Strategic Policies and outlines a monitoring framework which will be used to ensure the adopted LDP is delivering against the Sustainability Framework.

Habitats Regulations Assessment

Under the Habitats Regulations, the Council is required to assess whether the revised Local Development Plan (LDP) is likely to have a significant effect on the integrity of any European Site either directly or indirectly, alone, or in combination with other plans and projects.

The HRA of the LDP must be undertaken in parallel with, but separately to the SA/SEA, and the findings of each process will inform each assessment. The HRA should be undertaken throughout the LDP preparation process.

Habitats Regulations Assessment Screening Report

The HRA Screening Report provides a high level, preliminary assessment of the LDP Preferred Strategy. At this stage, the aim of the report is to identify European sites which have to potential to be impacted by the revised LDP, and to identify potential likely significant effects that the revised LDP may have. It also identified other plans, programmes and projects that may have ‘in-combination’ effects when considered alongside the effects of the revised LDP. The Preferred Strategy does not identify any site-specific allocations and so a further, more detailed HRA screening will be carried out on the LDP Deposit Plan.