Agenda item

Local Development Plan Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Scoping Report and Initial Habitat Regulations Appraisal (HRA) Screening Report


The Development Planning Team Leader presented a report, the purpose of which, was to inform the Development Control Committee of the        Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Scoping Report (attached at Appendix 1 to the report) and Habitats Regulation Appraisal (HRA) Screening Report (attached at Appendix 2). The reports were subject to 5 weeks stakeholder consultation period commencing 23rd July 2018 until 27th August 2018.


The Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report for the Replacement Bridgend Local Development Plan outlines the proposed approach to the LDP’s Sustainability Appraisal (SA), incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).


He explained that this report was the first stage of a SA process to identify, assess and address any likely significant effects on the environment from the emerging replacement Bridgend Local Development Plan


Under Section 62(6) of the 2004 Act, emerging LDPs need to be subject to Sustainability Appraisal.  This is statutorily required to guide the selection and development of policies and proposals for inclusion in LDPs in terms of their potential social, environmental and economic effects.


The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Wales) Regulations 2004 as amended (‘the SEA Regulations’) require Responsible Authorities, including local authorities such as Bridgend County Borough Council, to assess the likely significant environmental effects of implementing relevant plans and programmes, as defined within the regulations. The SEA Regulations also require Responsible Authorities to examine the likely significant effects of reasonable alternatives to the plan or programme under consideration. Where required, the assessment is to be prepared following a staged reporting process known as Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).


The Development Planning Team Leader explained that SA and SEA share a common focus on assessing environmental and wider sustainability performance and can therefore be undertaken and reported together.


         Screening: The SA Scoping Report sets out a draft SEA Screening   Determination for the consideration of the SEA Consultation Bodies (Section 3).

         Scoping: sets out the proposed SA Framework, SA methodology and SA consultation arrangements detailed in Sections 5 and 6;

         Preparation and Consultation: a SA Report will need to accompany each substantive element of the replacement LDP as it emerges, in particular the preparation of LDP Pre-Deposit and subsequently LDP Deposit Documents. Each SA Report must be consulted on in tandem with the emerging replacement LDP, with the SA Report for the final LDP Deposit Document then submitted to the Welsh Assembly to support an independent examination of the replacement LDP.

         Preparation of a Post Adoption Statement: By the end of the LDP Review process, a replacement LDP will have been adopted for the BCBC area, this is required by the end of 2021 to avoid a planning policy vacuum.


The Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report is structured as follows:


         Section 2 – LDP Review Context and Proposed Content;

         Section 3 – Need for SEA; 

         Section 4 – Environmental Information and Key Sustainability Issues;

         Section 5 – Proposed SA Framework describes the assessment framework which will be used to identify and assess the likely effects from the LDP Review;

         Section 6 – Proposed SA Methodology and Consultation; and,

         Section 7 – Next Steps.


Section 4 of the Scoping Report are supported by two appendices, namely:


         Appendix A – Baseline Analysis; and,

         Appendix B – Review of Plans, Programmes and Strategies supports


The SEA Regulations also introduce a link between SEA and a need, in some cases, for a separate Habitats Regulation Appraisal (HRA) of plans and projects where there is the potential for significant effects on European Sites (Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation. Further details regarding the HRA are provided in the Initial HRA Screening Report that was submitted to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in tandem with this SA Scoping Report.


In terms of Targeted Stakeholder Consultation, the Draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report and the Initial HRA Screening Report was subject to a 5 week stakeholder consultation period commencing 23rd July 2018 until 27th August 2018. The LPA received 9 consultation responses. A summary of the key issues raised in relation to the reports was provided in the Consultation report.


RESOLVED:                  That the Committee:-


(1)  Endorsed the contents of the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report, the Initial HR Screening Report and Screening Determination.

Gives delegated authority to the Group Manager Development, Communities Directorate to make any factual corrections or amendments to the reports, as considered necessary.

Supporting documents: