Strategic environmental assessment development plans 2 nd time around 13 may 2014
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Strategic Environmental Assessment Development plans: 2 nd time around 13 May 2014. William Carlin Senior Policy Manager: Environmental Assessment Scottish Government Fiona Rice Policy and Advice Manage: Environmental Assessment SNH. Development Plans: What to consider second

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Strategic Environmental Assessment Development plans: 2 nd time around 13 May 2014

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Strategic Environmental Assessment

Development plans:

2nd time around

13 May 2014

William CarlinSenior Policy Manager:Environmental AssessmentScottish GovernmentFiona RicePolicy and Advice Manage: Environmental AssessmentSNH

Development Plans:

What to consider second

time around?

What does proportionate mean to you?





  • Balanced

  • Matched

  • Aligned


Dictionary: Properly related in size, degree, or other measurable characteristics; corresponding:

e.g. Punishment ought to be proportional to the crime.

The challenges

  • Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 doesn’t cover the concept of 2nd time assessments,

  • Requires the ability to balance pragmatism and compliance,

  • Development plans are high profile, can be a source of conflict, so risk of challenge is higher,

  • How do you cover reasonable alternatives satisfactorily,

  • There is no room for complacency.

Proportionality:learning to focus

An SEA of two halves



  • In terms of 2nd time around, the assessment stage is where greatest opportunities for proportionality rest.

  • For example:

  • Improved scoping,

  • Opportunity to recycle some of the baseline data where possible,

  • Assessment techniques already established,

  • Refresh of some material rather than drafting from scratch.

As the content of Environmental Report is outlined within the 2005 Act, practitioners have to indicate where significant environmental effects of a plan are likely to arise.

New Development Plans cannot be treated as modifications to the previous plan and therefore have to cover the whole plan.

What you cannot ignore?

  • What new environmental data has become available?

  • Have new plans, programmes or strategies been produced that impact on yours?

  • Has new legislation come into force?

  • The CAs comments on the previous plan consultation?

  • What has monitoring, if available discovered?

Where to start?

The Development plan:

  • What has been added? e.g. new housing allocations, roads, new growth targets or policies.

  • What has been modified? e.g. vision; housing numbers; waste targets,

  • What has been removed? e.g. potential mitigation policies

  • What has stayed the same? e.g. policies, targets

Where to start?

The previous assessment:

  • What is new? e.g. air or water quality data, monitoring outputs, other PPS

  • What has happened? e.g. flooding within plan area, drop in air quality

  • What has stayed the same? e.g. elements of baseline, assessment method

What is important?

  • Use scoping more effectively,

  • Take the Consultation Authorities with you,

  • Learn from your mistakes (Learning opportunities),

  • Remember with the reasonable alternatives, nothing is set in stone

  • Its not like modifications.

Previous plan



2nd time around

Remember it’s about:

  • reviewing what worked and what didn’t last time,

  • opportunity to focus the assessment based on experience,

  • using different methods of assessment where its beneficial,

  • not setting unrealistic expectations of being able to slash the size of the previous assessment,

  • clarity is more important than the size of the report.

Any questions?

In Groups

  • Mind mapping exercise: SDP/LDP (15 mins)

    • Split into three groups, each covering one of the headings below and considering, based on personal experience within group, what is likely to have changed over the past 5 years?

      • Environmental baseline,

      • other plans and programmes, &

      • internal policies

Mind map


  • Still in your groups look at the results from all the groups and consider what elements of the SDP/LDP assessment is likely to fall within the headings below.

Broad headings of LDP

  • Housing needs / settlement strategy

  • Retail / Supporting business

  • Transport / infrastructure

  • Design / Historic environment

  • Energy / energy efficiency

  • Natural Resources (incl. landscape, forestry, rivers)

  • Waste management

  • Education

  • Sport

  • Flooding

  • Agriculture / Aquaculture

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