Sustainability Appraisal, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitats Regulations Assessment

The borough council commissioned consultants ClearLead Consulting Ltd to undertake the Sustainability Appraisal (SA), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) for the new Local Plan.

SA of Development Plan Documents (DPSs) is required under Section 19 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) also requires SA of DPDs. The SA must incorporate the requirements of the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 (the SEA Regulations which transpose the SEA Directive (2001/42/EC) into English law).

The purpose of SA is to appraise the environmental, social and economic effects of plans and programmes. The SA 'testing' of the DPD policies and their reasonable alternatives will help to develop the most sustainable policies and proposals as an integral part of the Local Plan’s development.

The HRA screening exercise will be undertaken in accordance with The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (transpose the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) into domestic legislation) to determine if the emerging planning policies (either in isolation and/or in combination with other plans and projects) would generate an adverse impact upon the integrity of a European site, in terms of its conservation objectives and qualifying interests.

Alternative Spatial Strategy Options Assessment

This presents the findings of the SA of the Spatial Strategy Options undertaken as part of Stage B of the SA process, 'Developing and Refining Options'. At this stage, the SA informs the plan-making process through predicting and evaluating the likely significant effects of reasonable alternatives. For Amber Valley, this has comprised an appraisal of Alternative Spatial Strategy Options for the scale and distribution of housing and economic growth within the borough and will help to inform the council’s decision making process regarding which of the Spatial Options to take forward in the next stage of preparation of the new Local Plan.

The report and accompanying appendices can be viewed via the following links:

Options for potential site allocations and policy alternatives will follow the spatial options assessment.

Scoping Report

The first stage of the SA process was to scope the level of information required within the SA. Scoping Reports provide baseline information on the environmental, social and economic characteristics of the plan area, it also sets out a methodology and framework for the assessment of the Local Plan and its alternatives at later stages of the Plan preparation process.

A draft Scoping Report was produced in 2020 and was subject to a consultation with the statutory consultees and a range of other key stakeholders to confirm that it provides sufficient information to ensure that a robust and legally compliant SA is carried out. Appropriate amendments were made in line with representations received and the final Scoping Report, together with the associated appendices, can be viewed below.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841584 or email