The future of SA and SEA

Photo credit: London December 1 2014 001 Bloomberg Place by David Hold on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Practitioners respond to the LPEG's report TO PROVE THE VALUE OF SA AND SEA

CEP’s Ric Eales and Bill Sheate have co-authored a paper, prepared by a group of sustainability appraisal (SA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) practitioners from eight consultancies (AECOM, Amec Foster Wheeler, CEP, Levett-Therivel, LUC, Ramboll Environ, Steve Lees Planning and TRL) and Oxford Brookes University, in response to the Local Plans Expert Group’s (LPEG) 2016 Report on Local Plans to the Communities Secretary and to the Minister of Housing and Planning.

The paper - ‘Sustainability appraisal: from LPEG’s “little genuine assistance” to making a real sustainable difference’ – challenges the LPEG report’s overall dismissive tone regarding SA/SEA, whilst acknowledging some areas of improvement are needed.  It focusses on developing a ‘next generation’ approach to SA/SEA, within the context of Brexit, which improves plan making and stakeholder engagement and contributes to more sustainable development.

The authors welcome LPEG’s interest in improving the process, but conclude that they believe that SA/SEA is a robust, insightful tool, informative to plan makers and those affected by plans and, if done well, can help plug a key local democratic deficit.

The paper is available here.