Sustainable development is a central concept in the planning system and reflects the need to consider social, environmental and economic issues and impacts so that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004) requires local authorities, when preparing local development documents such as the JWDPD, to '(a) carry out an appraisal of the sustainability of the proposals in each document [and] (b) prepare a report of the findings of the appraisal.' (Section 19(5)).
In addition to this, the JWDPD must also meet the requirements of EU Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive and so will be prepared in accordance with the Government's SA Guidance, which covers the requirements of both SA and SEA.
Consultation on the Scoping report is required in line with the SEA regulations. This is a statutory 5 weeks consultation, which must include the four SEA bodies; these are English Nature, English Heritage, Countryside Agency and Environment Agency. In addition local authorities must also consult the specific consultation bodies to the extent which they deem relevant for the subject matter of the document. In addition to those bodies which will be contacted directly, the Scoping report will also be available for consultation on the JWDPD website and included as part of the topics to be discussed in the Stakeholder Events to be held between September and November this year.
We have produced a Scoping Report for Sustainability Appraisal that sets out the ways in which the Joint Authorities will undertake Sustainability Appraisal for the JWDPD.