Strategic Environmental Assessment
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is required under European legislation for all plans which may have a significant effect on the environment.
A SEA aims to protect the environment at a high level, and ensures the environment is considered during the preparation and adoption of plans, this promotes sustainable development.
Not all neighbourhood plans will require a SEA to be carried out. To decide if a SEA is required, a screening exercise is used to look at the proposals in a neighbourhood plan and see if a significant effect is likely. It is part of our role, as a local planning authority, to provide a screening opinion for neighbourhood plans being produced in North Dorset and this is based on information provided by neighbourhood plan groups.
Producing a screening opinion
We need the following information to be able to provide a screening opinion on a neighbourhood plan:
- a copy of your baseline information (evidence base)
- a list of any identified issues and challenge
- the Plan vision and its objectives
- any intention to allocate land
- details of any public consultation undertaken (consultation statement)
Producing a scoping report
If a neighbourhood plan is likely to have a significant effect on the environment a SEA must be carried out. The first stage in preparing an SEA is the production of a scoping report. You can find out more about the SEA process in national planning guidanceand the environmental assessment of plans and programmes regulations 2004. We will discuss the steps that neighbourhood plan groups need to take and provide advice on producing a scoping report.
SEA Determination Statements