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Environmental appraisals

Sustainability Appraisal (SA), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), and Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA)

Background

Under the requirements of the Planning Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and the National Planning Policy Framework 2012 the council as the Local Planning Authority must carry out a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of its Local Development Framework (LDF) to help fulfil the aim of sustainable development.

A Sustainability Appraisal (pdf 6,657KB) is required under the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive and it incorporates an assessment of the economic and social impacts of development as well as environmental issues.

Under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, the Local Planning Authority must ascertain the potential impact of any plan that they propose will have on the conservation and integrity of internationally designated sites, Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Special Areas for Conservation (SAC). The Medway Estuary and Marshes and the Thames Estuary and Marshes are both designated SPAs. There is a SAC in the Medway Valley near Upper Halling. The LDF therefore requires a Habitats Regulation Assessment (pdf 2,011KB)  to be carried out.

Process

These documents were produced following a process that evolved alongside the preparation of the Core Strategy. This included making the interim documents available for consultation at a number of key stages. The final versions of the SA and HRA that accompanied the draft Core Strategy that was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate were informed by the outcomes of a consultation process held in autumn 2011, alongside the publication draft.

Subsequently a draft addendum to the SA/SEA report (pdf 415KB) has been produced. This took account of new information that emerged during the Examination of the Submission draft Core Strategy in 2012. The council consulted on this addendum report from 21 January until 25 February 2013. A final report (pdf 1.07MB) has now been published.

Printed copies of the document are also available to view shortly at Medway Council’s offices at Gun Wharf, Chatham, and in libraries throughout Medway.

For reference purposes, and to evidence the process followed in the production of the HRA and SA, the earlier interim versions are available to view below.

Following a further Core Strategy hearing held in May 2013 the Council made clear that it would bring together further information relating to the Addendum SA stage and consider whether a further appraisal was justified taking account of the most up to date information. This work has now been completed and is available to view in the following documents:

Medway Core Strategy Major Sites Assessment (pdf 10,281KB)

Medway Core Strategy Major Sites Assessment  - Additional Information (pdf 2,097KB)

Medway Core Strategy Major Sites Assessment - Addendum October 2013 (pdf 296KB)

At publication draft stage

Update to Interim Sustainability Appraisal (incorporating SEA) August 2011 (pdf 231 KB)

HRA Screening Report July 2011 (pdf 813KB). 

At pre-publication draft stage

The Interim Sustainable Appraisal November 2010 (pdf 3,891KB).  This provided an update of the details and an analysis of the proposed policies. It then discussed how they would contribute to the SA objectives set out in the framework. It also began to detail how the monitoring system will work.

At issues and options stage

The Medway Initial Sustainability Appraisal July 2009 (pdf 2,254KB) looked at and considered the five areas being considered to accommodate both mineral and waste provision, as well as employment and housing growth.

Scoping report

The Sustainability Appraisal scoping report 2008 for consultation (pdf 1,302KB) was produced outlining the scope and timetable for the SA of the Medway LDF. This document included an outline of the sustainability issues affecting the Medway administrative area, drawn from a review of relevant documents and baseline information. Using these, the SA framework, consisting of objectives and suggested indicators, was formed.

Consultation at this stage allowed stakeholders to verify that all relevant plans had been reviewed, that baseline data was the most up-to-date and to ensure that all issues had been identified, helping to ensure that the SA will be comprehensive and robust during later stages.

The representations received through the consultation period were considered and where appropriate incorporated into the Scoping report (Final Version April 2009) (pdf 855KB).

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