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Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report Consultation

The consultation for the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Local Plan (JLP) Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Scoping Report opened on 18 March and closed at 12 noon on Friday 24 April 2020.

Please note this is NOT a consultation on the JLP, but on the scope of related SA documents which are required by regulations.

Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report Consultation

All Development Plan Documents are required to be subject to SA and Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) throughout their preparation.

The requirements to carry out an SA and SEA are distinct. However, it is possible to satisfy both using a single appraisal process (as advocated in the National Planning Practice Guidance).

SA is an assessment process designed to consider and report upon the significant sustainability issues and effects of emerging plans and policies, including their reasonable alternatives.

SA informs the plan-making process by helping to refine the contents of such documents. This is so they maximise the benefits of sustainable development and avoid (or at least reduce) the potential for adverse effects.

The purpose of an SA Scoping Report is to:

  • provide the context for and determine the scope of the SA for the JLP
  • set out the assessment framework for carrying out the later stages of the SA

Two previous Scoping Reports have been published for consultation. This new Scoping Report is being issued for consultation in order to:

  • provide updated economic, environmental and social policy context and baseline information
  • set out a refined method of approach to the SA - using the previous SA work already carried out

The refined method of approach is intended to strengthen the robustness of the SA and therefore the soundness of the JLP.

Legislation requires the Council to consult statutory consultees (Natural England, Historic England and Environment Agency) upon the proposed scope. In line with other scoping consultations undertaken by the Council, views are sought from other environmental bodies, governance agencies and member of the public.

Following this consultation, all responses will be considered and where relevant the Scoping Report will be amended accordingly. An updated version of the Scoping Report will then be placed on the website.