Review Report

Ended on the 22 December 2017
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Sustainability Appraisal

6.1 The Council is required to appraise the sustainability of its proposed land use strategy and policies at each stage of the Local Development Plan process. This is done through the publication of a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which incorporates the key themes of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). An SA of the current LDP took place prior to consultation and was considered by the Inspector. This is available at:

6.2 The Council is legally required to undertake a SA of the LDP to ensure that social, environmental and economic considerations are considered at each stage of document production. The SA will be developed in a way that it will be compliant with the requirements of the European Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive, transposing the Directive into UK law.

6.3 The main objectives of a full Sustainability Appraisal will be to address the following:

  • Ensure that the LDP takes account of policies, plans and programmes on an international, national and local scale.
  • Establish a baseline assessment of Conwy, outlining the environmental, social and economic characteristics and raising any issues that the Plan will need to account for.
  • Creating a sustainability framework that respects the sustainability of Conwy. Testing sites and policies as part of the LDP against the Conwy sustainability framework to assess the impact of the policy options, including the preferred option.
  • Ensuring that realistic and meaningful alternative options are tested as part of the process, reflecting on potential improvements to the LDP.

6.4 The scoping report will need to cover a range of information to demonstrate consistency with the SEA Directive. The Review of LDP preparation and stages of SA (incorporating SEA) are outlined in Table 1 below:

Local Plan Pre-production - SA Stage A: Setting the context and objectives, establishing the baseline and deciding the scope.

Replacement LDP Stage

SA Stages

SA Process

Review Report

A1: Identifying other relevant policies, plans and programmes, and sustainability objectives.

Brings together a range of information to address potential constraints and influence options.

A2: Collecting baseline information

Helps identify sustainability problems by creating indicators based on gathered evidence.

A3: Identifying sustainability issues and problems.

Opportunity to define key issues for the LDP and bring forward any potential inconsistencies that may arise.

A4: Developing the SA framework.

The framework provides a way in which the sustainability effects can be appraised.

A5: Consulting on the scope of the SA.

Views sought from statutory bodies in 6 weeks consultation.

This stage brings together a range of information to address potential constraints and influence options for change.

6.5 A Scoping Report will be prepared to meet the stages outlined in the ODPM guidance. Each of the SEA topic areas will also be addressed which will have regard for the legislative framework and local context. Any notable sustainability issues that arise in each section will be noted and indicators will be defined which will assist in testing proposals in the LDP to understand likely impacts.

6.6 What will be the scope of the SA?

The SA is required to appraise the impacts of emerging plans against a number of thematic objectives responsible for the environmental, economic and social effects of development. Annex 1 of the SEA Directive classifies the following areas such as issues which SAs should pay regard to in order to meet the requirements of the Directive.

  • Air Quality
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate Change mitigation
  • Community & Wellbeing
  • Economy & Employment
  • Housing
  • Landscape & Cultural Heritage
  • Soil
  • Transport & Accessibility
  • Waste
  • Water (including Flood Risk)

6.7 In terms of plans, policies and programmes, there has been significant contextual change since 2007 such as the introduction of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, the Planning (Wales) Act 2015, the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 and the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 for example. Key national policy and guidance documents such as Planning Policy Wales, Technical Advice Notes, Circulars and the LDP Manual have all seen updates.

6.8 The scoping report will assess any local challenges based on the current position, and outline the likely issues that may arise as part of any future plan. The document will be consulted on with key stakeholders, including environmental agencies and neighbouring authorities. This will be undertaken as part of a minimum 6 week consultation.

6.9 Environmental data is also being continuously updated. Initial observations indicate that a revised LDP will have similar environmental and social conditions but altered challenges to consider. There may also be scope to refine the Strategic Objective against which the Plan is assessed in light of the updated information.

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