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  • Doncaster Local Plan Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report Update 2019

  • SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL OF THE DONCASTER LOCAL PLAN: SCOPING REPORT

    3

    NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY This report sets out how the appraisal will be carried out and how it will be integrated into the preparation of the Doncaster Local Plan and other relevant planning documents such as neighbourhood plans.

    What is the purpose of this report? This report represents the first step in the preparation of the Doncaster Local Plan and sets out the approach that will be used to appraise and monitor the effects of the Doncaster Local Plan, through to implementation. The Doncaster Local Plan will, once adopted, guide and shape the future planning and development of the borough over the period to 2032. In limited circumstances, neighbourhood plans will need to be appraised through the same process. However, it would only apply to those plans that are likely to cause significant effects (for instance, where it proposes to allocate sites or introduce policies that would affect sensitive areas of national or international importance).

    Why is the appraisal required? Local authorities are required by law to produce a local plan and carry out an appraisal of its policies and proposals from the start of the preparation process. The appraisal must be in conformity with the directives and regulations set out in European law, including the Strategic Environmental Assessment. In the UK, both assessments have been integrated into a single appraisal process, which covers both environmental as well as socio-economic considerations.

    What is the appraisal? Sustainability appraisal is a tool designed to assess, predict and monitor the effects of a plan or programme. The main role of the appraisal is to ensure that decisions are made in accordance with the principles of sustainable development and aims to integrate social, economic and environmental considerations from the outset. The appraisal will predict, assess and monitor the effects of the Doncaster Local Plan and describe measures that will help prevent, reduce or offset any adverse effects, and enhance positive effects from their implementation. In doing so, it will help ensure that the policies set out in the local plan are clearly justified, effective and consistent with national policy and legislation.

    How will the appraisal be used to inform the plan? The appraisal process will be undertaken during the preparation of the local plan (or neighbourhood plan, where applicable). The aims of the process and the potential outcomes are to:

     improve the quality and transparency of decision-making (i.e. it will tell the story of how the plan has evolved over time);

     ensure that the aims and priorities from other relevant plans and programmes (e.g. Borough Strategy) are reflected within the local plan;

     help strike a balance between competing demands such as environmental and economic goals;

     provide evidence and information to help justify the objectives and policies of the plan and explain the reasoning behind decisions such as the preferred choices;

     outline measures and interventions to improve the performance and effectiveness of the local plan and secure more sustainable outcomes (e.g. new policies or sites);

     monitor the performance of the plan (i.e. measure progress against the current baseline situation); and

     establish appropriate interventions (e.g. mitigation measures) to tackle the key challenges facing the borough. The Doncaster Local Plan will need to have regard to and put into practice a number of plans and programmes at the international, national, regional, sub-regional and local level. These are set out in the scoping report.

  • SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL OF THE DONCASTER LOCAL PLAN: SCOPING REPORT

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    What are the key issues and challenges facing Doncaster? The key issues and challenges facing the borough (as summarised below) have been identified from the review of relevant plans and programmes (see appendix A) and from the baseline information set out in the scoping report (see appendix B).

    Economic Strengthening and diversifying the economic base

    Protecting and improving the quality and character of the open countryside

    Balancing the need to regenerate deprived areas and create more private sector jobs.

    Need to promote and market the borough as a place to visit and do business

    Strengthening the role of our town and district centres.

    Enhancing transport connectivity and improving links to city regions and major conurbations

    Maximising opportunities to develop heat and power networks to support the transition to the low carbon economy.

    Safeguarding aggregate minerals to avoid sterilisation and ensure a sufficient supply of minerals

    Social Addressing the needs of different groups (e.g. gypsy and travellers) and individuals.

    Widening access to training and education

    Improving skills and educational attainment

    Accelerating housing delivery

    Lack of sufficient spaces in primary education and students graduating.

    Encouraging greater community engagement/participation

    Tackling multiple deprivation and health inequalities

    Reinforcing the distinct identity and character of individual settlements

    Improving access to markets, key facilities and services

    Environmental Reducing Doncaster’s carbon footprint

    Protecting and enhancing biodiversity and geodiversity assets.

    Encouraging the re-use of existing buildings and land, especially in rural areas.

    Improving air quality

    Increasing the climate resilience and energy efficiency of buildings and spaces

    Protecting and enhancing the green infrastructure network to address deficiencies and unmet needs.

    Securing safer neighbourhoods and development that designs out crime and reduces the fear of crime

    Promoting multi-modal journeys and public transport services to reduce the need to travel

    Protecting the character of existing attractive and desirable parts of the borough

    Increasing the floodplain capacity and flows to accommodate water during flood events and protect surrounding areas

    Encouraging better quality design

    Balancing regeneration and place-making aspirations against the risk of flooding and air pollution.

    Reducing the impact of groundwater abstraction.

    Avoiding damage to people, land and property

    Careful siting of new development to avoid adverse impacts on amenity and landscape

    Encouraging the use of secondary and recycled aggregates over primary minerals extraction.

    Ensuring a sustainable long term use for historic buildings and spaces

    How will the appraisal be carried out? Using this information, we have developed a set of objectives to assess and monitor the effects of the local plan, as outlined below. 1. Maintain and increase Doncaster’s growth and prosperity and diversify its economic base 2. Reinforce and support community identity and pride 3. Improve accessibility to place and services, both within and outside of the borough 4. Ensure resources are available and efficiently used to sustain development and reduce waste and consumption 5. Provide affordable, good quality housing that is available to everyone, including vulnerable and disadvantaged groups 6. Reduce social exclusion and disadvantage 7. Make places that are safe, attractive, culturally interesting and distinctive to live, work and travel in 8. Renew and reuse existing buildings, land and infrastructure 9. Improve the health and well-being of the borough’s population 10. Provide education and training provision to build the skills and capacity of the population 11. Manage and adapt to climate change

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    12. Protect, increase and enhance the natural environment, including the landscape, its underlying geology and wildlife habitat

    13. Protect, conserve and enhance the historic and cultural heritage 14. Protect and enhance soil, air and water quality (watercourses and ground water) The objectives have been broken down into a series of sub-objectives and indicators (see appendix 3) which will be used to test and compare the various options (e.g. sites and strategic growth locations) and the proposed policies and proposals that emerge from this process. The appraisal will also consider how the borough is likely to change if the plan is not adopted.

    How will the effects of the plan be monitored? The report sets out the approach to monitoring the effects of the local plan / neighbourhood plan, where applicable. A number of indicators have been suggested based on the information collected during this process, as set out in the framework.

    What are the next steps? The appraisal will be updated during the preparation process and subject to consultation alongside each version of the local plan.

  • SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL OF THE DONCASTER LOCAL PLAN: SCOPING REPORT

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    CONTENTS

    1 INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND

    2 PURPOSE OF THE SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL

    3 SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL OF THE LOCAL PLAN AND NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANS

    4 SCOPE OF THE SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL

    5 SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL METHODOLOGY

    6 NEXT STEPS

    7 APPENDICE

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