Go to Top

Sustainability Appraisal (SA) & Integrated Assessment (IA) including Social, Equality, Health Impact Assessment (SIA, EqIA, HIA)

Sustainability Appraisal (incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment) is a mandatory requirement during the preparation of spatial planning documents in England & Wales and arising from the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Sustainability Assessment is increasingly used as a tool to support planning applications for development consent. Integrated Assessment aims for efficiencies by integrating various assessments where appropriate, including Health and Equalities Assessments.

We have wide practical experience gained over more than 10 years and have undertaken over 300 SA/SEAs of plans in all sectors and at all levels throughout the UK.  Our expertise and experience also includes independent compliance reviews, critical friend, preparation of guidance, development of methods, and successful rebuttal of SEA legal challenges.

Examples of Projects:


PROJECT: SUSTAINABILITY/INTEGRATED APPRAISAL (SA/IA) incorporating SEA, HEALTH, EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT and HRA/AA of THE SOUTH WORCESTERSHIRE DEVELOPMENT PLAN (SWDP)

malverns worcester whyhavonRetained during 2008-2016 for SA, SEA, EqIA, Health Impact Assessment, HRA of, including strategic options for distributing development, core policies, and strategic sites; preparation of SA Reports; support at Examination, including preparation of SA Addendum Reports to address issues raised during consultation. The SWDP was found sound and adopted on 25 February 2016 http://www.swdevelopmentplan.org/.


PROJECT: SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL (SA) incorporating SEA of LOCAL PLAN

Cheshire East CouncilCheshire East Council

SA/SEA specialists commissioned as critical friend to undertake independent compliance review and then help Officers improve the robustness of earlier SA work; support with structure of final SA Report to accompany Submission Local Plan. Retained for additional SA work during suspension of Examination; support at resumed Examination.


PROJECT: SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL (SA) incorporating SEA of ROCHFORD CORE STRATEGY

Sustainability AppraisalRochford District Council

SA/SEA specialists commissioned as critical friend to undertake compliance review and then help Officers improve the robustness of earlier SA work especially of reasonable alternatives for spatial options; revisited SA and refreshed with preparation of SA Addendum Report; support to Council at SEA legal challenge (click here for Judgment) – successfully rebutted; Core Strategy found sound and adopted.


PROJECT: SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL (SA) incorporating SEA of LOCAL PLAN

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough CouncilMerthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

SA/SEA and HRA/AA of Local Plan; additional SA requested by Inspector at Examination as a result of developer challenge on major strategic site; SA refreshed and SA Addendum Report prepared; support to Officer Team at Examination; Local Plan found sound and adopted.


PROJECT: SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL (SA) incorporating SEA, HEALTH, EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT and HRA/AA of JOINT CORE STRATEGY

Gloucester, Cheltenham & Tewkesbury CouncilsGloucester, Cheltenham & Tewkesbury Councils

SA, SEA, EqIA, Health Impact Assessment, HRA/AA of Joint Core Strategy, including strategic options for distributing development, core policies, and strategic sites; preparation of report on SA/SEA of alternatives and options assessment; preparation of SA Report to accompany Preferred Option GCT JCS consultation 2013.


PROJECT: APPRAISAL of SUSTAINABILITY (AoS) incorporating SEA and HABITATS REGULATIONS ASSESSMENT of ENERGY NATIONAL POLICY STATEMENTS

Department of Energy & Climate ChangeDepartment of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

Team:
Enfusion: development of methods; specialists in AoS, SA/SEA, HRA/AA
MWH: project management, technical specialists
AoS/SEA & HRA of the new National Policy Statements; development of assessment methods, including CEA, strategic & local significance for t he Nuclear NPS – a national plan with potentially suitable sites for new power stations; appraisal & mitigation suggestions, including possibilities to inform the development consent process by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC); iterative & ongoing assessment & consultation with DECC plan makers and statutory consultees; outline monitoring strategy.
Following public consultation, re-appraisal of the other Energy NPSs EN1-5 (Overarching, Fossil Fuel, Renewables, Gas/Oil, Electricity Networks), including development of methods for alternatives assessment & cumulative effects; preparation of revised AoS Reports.


PROJECT: SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL(SA) & STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT (SEA)
South Hams District CouncilSOUTH HAMS LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK

South Hams District Council

Retained by the Council since 2004 to carry out SA/SEA of South Hams Local Development Framework to submission stages and Examination in Public (EiP); Core Strategy, Development Control policies & other DPDs found sound by Inspectors and including the SA Reports. Close liaison with neighbouring Councils & other stakeholders to ensure a consistent approach, particularly in the context of the Plymouth Sub Region; preparation and facilitation of Roundtable Discussions on consultation responses; preparation & facilitation of Training Workshops for SA/SEA; preparation of outline Monitoring Strategy and SA/SEA Statements.
Cited as best practice SEA by RSPB www.rspb.org.uk/Images/seareport_tcm9-153343.pdf

Sustainability Threshold Assessment (STA) used for comparative options assessment, including site allocations; close and responsive iterative working with Officers, consultees & communities to integrate STA and SA/SEA wherever efficient and effective; development of STA from SA framework and integrated with participation work by the Prince’s Trust.
Sherford Area Action Plan including urban extension to Plymouth: provision of expert witness & specialist support, representing the Council at EiP of the Sherford AAP where a third party promoter challenged the SEA as a means of promoting another site for development. We successfully supported the Council against this legal challenge to the SEA process; the AAP was found sound by the Inspector.
Cited as Good Practice Case Study in research for Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG)
www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/towardsmoreefficient


PROJECT: SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL/STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
HABITATS REGULATIONS ASSESSMENT/APPROPRIATE ASSESSMENT of LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORKS

Dartford & Gravesham Borough CouncilsDartford & Gravesham Borough Councils

SA/SEA of Local Development Frameworks with joint working where effective, including Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) – Appropriate Assessment screening in this historic area within the nationally important Thames Gateway. Integrated scoping methodology to identify commonalities for the Boroughs, to enhance/streamline plan-making and SA/SEA; appraisal of LDF Vision, Objectives and Strategic Options & Preferred Options; SA/SEA of DPDs and AAPs; preparation of SA Reports; Consultation and Participation.
Key Issues: new communities & integration with existing communities; new & affordable housing; creation of Jobs; migration; Infrastructure; Environmental Equity & Green Space; Flood Risk Management; Effective Engagement with Local People; Skills & Training.