Sustainability Appraisal of Local Plan
The National Planning Policy Framework states that:
“the purpose of planning is to help achieve sustainable development.”
In order to do this, Council’s are required to carry out a Sustainability Appraisal of their Plans to determine how the policies and allocations within them affect environmental, economic and social sustainability, whether negative effects can be avoided and whether any mitigation is required.
A Draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report was produced by the Council in January 2014 which set out the scope of the appraisal. Statutory consultees made comments on the Draft and this informed the production of the Final Scoping Report in February 2014.
A Sustainability Appraisal was then carried out of all the options (policies and sites) included in the Local Plan Issues and Options Draft and any reasonable alternatives. The Council produced a Draft Interim Sustainability Report in February 2016 which summarised the findings of the appraisal. The appraisal helped inform the decision regarding which policies and allocations to take forward into the next Draft of the Local Plan.
The Council also carried out an appraisal of the policies and allocations within the Local Plan Publication Draft. The results are included in the Sustainability Report (July 2016). A public consultation on the Sustainability Report (July 2016) was carried out in September/October 2016. Further amendments have been made to the document in light of the comments received and in consideration of the Local Plan Pre-Submission Draft and these are set out in the updated Sustainability Report (March 2017). The final Sustainability Report will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate alongside the Local Plan Submission Draft.
Sustainability Appraisal 2017
The Council has produced an update to the March 2017 Sustainability Appraisal to take into account amendments made to the plan at the Submission Draft stage. These can be found in the Sustainability Appraisal Update, January 2018 document below.
Sustainability Appraisal Update January 2018
Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)
Councils are required to assess the impact of their Local Plans upon Natura 2000 sites (SAC, SPA and RAMSAR sites) through a Habitats Regulations Assessment. This determines whether the plan would have likely impacts upon the sites, the significance of those impacts and whether mitigation measures can be put in place to avoid or reduce any impacts.
The Council appointed BDP consultants to carry out an assessment of the options (policies and allocations) within the Local Plan Issues and Options Draft. The results are shown in the Habitats Regulations Assessment Pre-Screening Report produced in October 2014 which helped inform the Local Plan Preferred Options Draft.
The Local Plan Preferred Options Draft was also assessed through the same methodology and a Habitats Regulations Assessment Screening and Appropriate Assessment Report was produced in April 2016.
A small number of policies and sites have emerged since the Local Plan Preferred Options Draft. The Council has assessed these using the same methodology and has produced a Habitats Regulations Assessment Screening and Appropriate Assessment Addendum in July 2016.
The Council has produced its final Habitats Regulations Assessment document which assesses the policies and sites within the Pre-Submission Draft. This document will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate alongside the Local Plan.
Habitats Regulations Assessment 2017
The Council has produced an update to the March 2017 Habitats Regulations Assessment to take into account amendments made to the plan at the Submission Draft stage. These can be found in the HRA Update, November 2017 document below.
HRA Update November 2017
All the SA and HRA documents can be viewed on the Council's Data Portal via the link below: