Appraising the Sustainability of Development Plans.

Sustainability Appraisals are a critical element of preparing a local plan. LUC provides expert advice on all aspects of Sustainability Appraisal and can provide bespoke training and critical friend support. We have undertaken over 70 Sustainability Appraisals (SAs) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs), with no legal challenges to date.

We’ve been supporting Herefordshire Council with the SA of its local plan since 2010. Our thorough approach ensured that all legal requirements were met and we were on hand to advise on wider issues, such as reasonable alternatives, the evidence to support the plan and the policies put forward. One of our directors also appeared as the SA expert at the examination into the plan in February 2015.

In addition, we prepared the Habitat Regulations Assessment for the local plan. The River Wye special area of conservation falls within the county boundary and stakeholders were concerned about the potential impact increased development might have on water quality. We attended stakeholder meetings with Natural England, the Environment Agency and others to discuss the issues and agree the preparation of a nutrient management plan to help mitigate potential impacts.

For assistance with your Sustainability Appraisals or expert guidance on any planning concerns, please contact Taran Livingston or Jeremy Owen.