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  • Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Local Plan to 2036

    Proposed Submission Local Plan

    November 2017

  • 1

    Further information and copies of this document can be obtained from:

    Strategic Planning Team East Cambridgeshire District Council The Grange Nutholt Lane Ely Cambridgeshire CB7 4EE Telephone: 01353 665555

    Email: planningpolicy@eastcambs.gov.uk

    It can also be viewed on our website at: http://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/local-development- framework/local-plan-review

    mailto:planningpolicy@eastcambs.gov.uk http://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/local-development-framework/local-plan-review http://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/local-development-framework/local-plan-review

  • 2

    Contents

    1 Non-technical summary ..................................................................................................... 3

    2 Introduction and Context ................................................................................................... 3

    3 The scoping stage (Stages A1-A5) .................................................................................... 7

    4 East Cambridgeshire Local Plan (Proposed Submission) – November 2017 .............. 12

    5 Sustainability Appraisal of the Local Plan (SA Stages B1-B4) ..................................... 13

    6 Sustainability Appraisal of the Local Plan (SA Stages C-E).......................................... 15

    7 Sustainability Appraisal Summary Findings .................................................................. 16

    Appendix A: Preferred Policy and other Options Considered .............................................. 22

    Appendix B: Evaluate the likely effects of the Local Plan policies and alternatives .......... 67

    Appendix C: Evaluate the likely effects of settlement policies / sites ............................... 113

    Appendix D: Summary of Baseline Data and Indicators ..................................................... 231

    Appendix E: Abbreviations used in this report .................................................................... 236

    Appendix F: LP2 Distribution of Growth Options ................................................................ 237

  • 3

    1 Non-technical summary

    1.1 Please see a separate document for a non-technical summary of this full Sustainability Appraisal report.

    2 Introduction and Context

    2.1 Introduction

    2.1.1 This report forms the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) undertaken for the Proposed Submission version of the East Cambridgeshire Local Plan (November 2017).

    2.1.2 The report has been produced alongside the Council’s emerging Local Plan and is being published for consultation at the same time as the Proposed Submission version. This is to provide the public and statutory bodies with an opportunity to express their opinions on the SA report, which can also be used as a reference point in commenting on the Local Plan.

    2.1.3 Both the Local Plan and this SA will be consulted upon for six weeks during November and December 2017. The deadline for comments on the Local Plan and this SA report is set out on the Statement of Representations Procedure, published on our website. Further details about the consultation process are available on the Council’s website at: http://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/local-development-framework/local-plan-review.

    2.2 The East Cambridgeshire Local Plan

    2.2.1 The Proposed Submission Local Plan contains the emerging proposals for planning policies for the growth and regeneration of East Cambridgeshire over the next 20 years.

    2.2.2 The Council is undertaking the SA of the Local Plan in accordance with the Sustainability Framework established in the SA Scoping Report (December 2015). This iteration of the SA will accompany the Submission version of the Local Plan, when submitted in early 2018 (scheduled for Feb 2018). A final SA will be published alongside the adopted Local Plan. Once adopted, the Local Plan will become part of the statutory Development Plan for East Cambridgeshire.

    2.3 The Sustainability Appraisal

    2.3.1 European Directive 2001/42/EC requires that a ‘Strategic Environmental Assessment’ (SEA) is carried out on plans and programmes which are likely to have significant effects on the environment. Therefore an SEA is required on the Local Plan. The purpose is to consider environmental effects of the policies and site allocations and look at how to mitigate adverse impacts.

    2.3.2 An SA is also required by the Planning Act 2004. The purpose of SA is to promote sustainable development through the plan-making process. It involves appraising the social, environmental and economic effects of plans, strategies and policies. It is therefore wider than the SEA process, as it looks at social and economic impacts too. Provided it is carried out in accordance with Government guidance, the SA process can fully incorporate the requirements of the SEA Directive.

    2.3.3 The SA process is broken down into five stages which occur in parallel with the production of a Local Plan document – this integration is fundamental to sound plan-making. These stages are summarised in the table below, with further explanation on the following pages.

    http://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/local-development-framework/local-plan-review

  • 4

    Table 1: The Sustainability Appraisal Process in Local Plan Preparation: source National Planning Practice Guidance (March 2014)1. This Document is Stage D

    1 Source:http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/blog/guidance/strategic-environmental-assessment-and-sustainability-

    appraisal/sustainability-appraisal-requirements-for-local-plans/

    http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/blog/guidance/strategic-environmental-assessment-and-sustainability-appraisal/sustainability-appraisal-requirements-for-local-plans/ http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/blog/guidance/strategic-environmental-assessment-and-sustainability-appraisal/sustainability-appraisal-requirements-for-local-plans/

  • 5

    2.3.4 Stage A involves establishing the framework for undertaking a Sustainability Appraisal. It

    involves producing a set of objectives against which the document can be assessed – together with the evidence base for the appraisal. The framework and evidence base for the East Cambridgeshire Local Plan were set out in a ‘Scoping Report’ which was published for consultation in 2015. A ‘Final Scoping Report’, incorporating changes, was published in December 2015. The full version of the Scoping Report can be viewed on the District Council’s website at http://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/local-development-framework/local-plan-review

    2.3.5 Stage B focuses on the appraisal of the options (or alternatives). This stage took place in early 2017. Sustainability considerations have been, and will continue to be, taken into account throughout the preparation of the Local Plan. Sustainability issues specific to East Cambridgeshire have been identified and consulted on at the SA Scoping Report stage and the alternative policy options have been assessed and were consulted upon through a draft SA report which accompanied the Further Draft Local Plan (January 2017).

    2.3.6 Stage C involves preparing an updated version of the SA report. All policies and any reasonable alternatives (including site allocations) are appraised against the SA framework. The likely significant effects in terms of environment, economy and society will be identified and where appropriate any measures to prevent or reduce any significant adverse effects will be identified. This stage took place over a large part of 2017.

    2.3.7 Stage D is the stage where we consult on the Local Plan (final version as far as the Council is concerned) and the final draft version of the SA report. This is the present stage we are at.

    2.3.8 The final stage of the process (Stage E) involves publishing the final SA and monitoring the significant effects of the Plan. This takes place via the Authorities Monitoring Report, which sets out indicators and targets for monitoring progress of the Local Plan. The final version of the SA report will include the indicators to monitor the Local Plan.

    2.4 Habitat Regulation Assessment

    2.4.1 The EC Habitats Directive 1992, transposed into British law by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, requires that a ‘Habitats Regulations Assessment’ (HRA) of the Local Plan is carried out to identify any ‘likely significant effects’ on the interest features of European designated sites, commonly referred to as Natura 200 sites. ln East Cambridgeshire, there are several such sites, including the Ouse Washes (Rasmar, SAC and SPA).

    2.4.2 The first stage of the HRA involves screening each policy in the Local Plan, to identify any ‘likely significant effects’. A screening assessment was carried out on the Further Draft version of the Local Plan (January 2017). This concluded that the Local Plan is unlikely to have any significant effects on Natura 2000 sites. However, Natural England did not agree with the conclusion of no likely significant effect. Therefore, the policies in the Further Draft Local Plan were re-screened, using a revised methodology and taking into account the comments and concerns raised by Natural England. The re-screening resulted in a number of poli

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