Sustainability Appraisal and Habitat Regulation Assessment

This page contains information on the purpose of Sustainability Appraisals and Habitats Regulation Assessments, the latest version of the Local Plan Sustainability Appraisal, a summary of the process of how we have arrived at this version, and the progress this document has made through the Cornwall Council Committee Structure. Sustainability appraisal has also been carried out on town framework documents.

The Sustainability Appraisal process is governed by European and National legislation, which is supported by national policy. Sustainability appraisal of planning documents is required by S (19)5 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The sustainability appraisal process incorporates the requirements of the EU SEA Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive 2001/42/EC, but also assesses wider economic and social effects of plans. Sustainability appraisal performs a key role in establishing a sound evidence base for the Cornwall Local Plan. It forms an integrated part of the plan process, providing regular checks of social, economic and environmental impacts of a plan, leading to informed choices between alternatives.

Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) is required under the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) for any proposed plan or project which may have a significant effect on one or more European Sites - Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). The purpose of the HRA is to determine whether or not significant effects are likely and to suggest ways in which they could be avoided.

The Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment are being updated to inform the Proposed Schedule of Further Focused Changes to the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies Proposed Submission Document – 2010-2030 (March 2014) and Schedule of Focused Changes (August 2014.) The latest Sustainability Appraisal and Technical Annex Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 (this has been split in five parts due to its large file size) have been published. A Non Technical Summary of the Sustainability Appraisal report is also available. The Sustainability Appraisal Report and Habitats Regulations Assessment were published for consultation alongside the Local Plan Further Significant Changes document in January 2016.

The first stage of sustainability appraisal is to set the context and objectives for sustainability appraisal, establish a baseline of the current conditions in the area and decide on the scope of the sustainability appraisal. This information is presented in the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report which was updated in 2012 to the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report 2012 Update to reflect changes that arose as a consequence of the National Planning Policy Framework being published.

The Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment inform the development of the Local Plan and have been revised at every stage as follows:

Sustainability appraisal of the various Cornwall Local Plan: Strategic Policies (formerly the Core Strategy ) documents has accompanied these documents at the following Committees: