Update 17 May 2017: The Plaistow & Ifold Parish Neighbourhood Plan has been screened by Chichester District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority as requiring a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) due to the potential for likely significant environment effects.
An SEA is a mechanism for considering and communicating the potential impacts of an emerging plan, and potential alternatives in terms of key environmental issues. The aim of SEA is to inform and influence the plan-making process with a view to avoiding and mitigating potential negative impacts. Through this approach, the SEA for the Neighbourhood Plan seeks to maximise the emerging plan’s contribution to sustainable development.
An SEA is undertaken to meet specific requirements prescribed by the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 (the ‘SEA Regulations’).
A Scoping Report is now being finalised for the SEA process. This sets out a baseline and context review for the SEA, a series of key sustainability issues, and an SEA ‘Framework’ against which it is intended to assess the Neighbourhood Plan (including reasonable alternatives).
The Scoping Report will be released for a period of five weeks to the statutory bodies for SEA, Historic England, the Environment Agency and Natural England for their comment, as well as to the South Downs National Park Authority and Chichester District Council. The purpose of the consultation is to enable those organisations an opportunity to comment on the proposed scope of the SEA. This is a statutory requirement.
Subsequent to the end of consultation on the SEA Scoping Report, an Environmental Report will be prepared and released with the ‘Regulation 14’ Consultation version of the Neighbourhood Plan.