Sustainability Appraisal

The sustainability appraisal (SA) of the Local Plan to 2032 in terms of the economic, social and environmental sustainability of its policies, has been undertaken at a number of key stages during its preparation. The purpose of SA is to test the likely effects of potential alternative strategies or policies and to help inform choices about how best to deliver sustainable development for the local plan area.

The SA fulfils the Council’s statutory duty to provide an environmental report which:

  • identifies, evaluates and describes the likely significant effects on the environment of implementing the development plan document; and which also
  • considers reasonable alternatives to the proposed policies in the document taking into account its objectives and geographical scope.

The SA process involves setting topic based sustainability objectives which are used throughout the plan preparation process as a yardstick to measure the relative sustainability benefits of different policy options.

A formal SA report is prepared on the publication draft of the Local Plan, which then forms part of the publication documentation. This is a key document in the subsequent examination process.

Sustainability Appraisal by stage of Local Plan preparation:  follow the links to download the documents.

1. The 2009 SA Baseline Study / Scoping Report for the West Somerset Core Strategy was prepared subject to consultation with the Government’s statutory environmental advisors: Natural England, English Heritage and the Environment Agency.  The accompanying topic papers are available to download from the Related Documents section of the page on the right. They are also available for viewing at the Council Offices in Minehead and Williton and at public libraries within the District. 

2.  The 2010 Options Paper SA report was prepared in order to assess the potential alternative strategies which had been identified for inclusion in the Core Strategy.

3. The 2012 Sustainability Appraisal of the Draft Preferred Strategy of the Local Plan was carried out in addition to a Habitat Regulations Assessment.  These reports were published alongside the Draft Preferred Strategy for public scrutiny.  A Non Technical Summary of the SA and Appendix of assessment matrices were also produced.

4. A Sustainability Appraisal update for the 2013 Revised Preferred Strategy has been prepared.

5. The formal Sustainability Report on the Local Plan to 2032 Publication Draft (2014)has been completed and will be subject to public scrutiny as part of the Publication Documentation for the plan.  The report consists of the following documents:

Last updated 23rd December 2014.

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