The sustainability appraisal is used to help show how the council has assessed the various strategic development site options and policies. Sustainability Appraisal is the process by which the economic, social and environmental impacts of planning documents are assessed. The aim of the appraisal process is to minimise adverse impacts of development and promote more sustainable outcomes through the integration of sustainability considerations into the planning documents.

The latest Sustainability Appraisal accompanied the Pre-submission and Submission Local Plan:

Revised Sustainability Appraisal Report (2014)

Revised Sustainability Appraisal Appendices (2014)

Sustainability Appraisal Report (2013)

Sustainability Appraisal Appendices (2013)

The requirement for a Sustainability Appraisal came into force with the introduction of The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004) (as amended). In addition, European Directive 2001/42/EC requires that local authorities undertake an 'environmental assessment' of any plans and programmes they prepare that are likely to have a significant effect upon the environment.

This process is commonly referred to as 'Strategic Environmental Assessment' (SEA). The Sustainability Appraisal process meets the requirements of the SEA.

What is considered in the production and preparation of a Sustainability Appraisal?

Sustainability Appraisal is an integral part of the preparation of new or revised Local Plans, Development Plan Documents (DPDs) and Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs). The initial stage of carrying out a Sustainability Appraisal involves:

  • Identifying all relevant policies, plans and programmes
  • The collection of baseline data
  • Identification of key sustainability issues
  • The development of a Sustainability Appraisal Framework (containing sustainability objectives, indicators and targets)

This information is then written up into a Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report and is consulted upon with key partners. The second stage involves assessing the impact of plan policies and outcomes against sustainability objectives, indicators and targets contained within the Sustainability Appraisal Framework.

This assessment is used to refine planning documents as they are prepared and is written up into a Sustainability Appraisal Report. The Sustainability Appraisal Report is published, and consulted upon, at each consultation stage during the preparation of planning documents.