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  • Sustainability Appraisal Report

    Core Strategy

    Development Plan Document

  • Eden District Council

    SA of the Eden District Core Strategy

    Final Sustainability Appraisal Report for Preferred Options

    August 2006

    Entec UK Limited

  • Report for

    Roger Hopcraft

    Planning Policy Manager

    Eden District Council

    Planning Policy

    Town Hall

    Penrith

    Cumbria

    CA11 7QF

    Main Contributors

    Ross McLaughlin

    Luke McDonald

    Neil Marlborough

    Georgina McGough

    Issued by

    Ross McLaughlin

    Consultant

    Approved by

    Luke McDonald

    Principal Consultant

    Entec UK Limited

    Northumbria House Regent Centre Gosforth Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 3PX England Tel: +44 (0) 191 272 6100 Fax: +44 (0) 191 272 6592

    15064-01

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    Eden District Council

    SA of the Eden District Core Strategy LDF Core Strategy

    Final Sustainability Appraisal Report for Preferred Options

    August 2006

    Entec UK Limited

    Certificate No. EMS 69090

    In accordance with an environmentally responsible approach,

    this document is printed on recycled paper produced from 100%

    post-consumer waste, or on ECF (elemental chlorine free) paper

    Certificate No. FS 13881

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    August 2006

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    Non Technical Summary

    Introduction to Sustainable Development

    A widely used definition of sustainable development is Development which meets the needs of

    the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

    (Rio Summit, 1992). Sustainable development, as defined by UK Government, is the

    integration of social, economic and environmental objectives.

    An updated Sustainable Development Strategy1 has now been introduced by UK Government.

    This contains four priority areas for immediate action, and emphasises a need for changing

    behaviour to bring about long term sustainability improvements. The four areas for action are:

    1. Sustainable Consumption and Production

    2. Climate Change and Energy

    3. Natural Resource Protection and Environmental Enhancement

    4. Sustainable Communities

    Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment

    This document is the Final Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Report of the Core Strategy for the

    Eden District Local Development Framework (LDF). It has been produced following the

    implementation of the European Commission Directive 2001/42/EC (enacted in the UK under

    the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004) which requires a

    Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of Development Plans, as well as other plans and

    programmes. This Report has also been informed by guidance from the Office of the Deputy

    Prime Minister (ODPM) on undertaking a SEA combined with Sustainability Appraisal.

    The Directive seeks to provide for a high level of protection of the environment and to

    contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation of plans in

    order to promote sustainable development. Sustainability Appraisal extends the consideration

    of issues to include social and economic factors as well as environmental issues. In

    consequence, this appraisal considers the effects of policies on social, economic and

    environmental objectives that collectively define sustainability within the District. Where those

    effects are considered likely to be significantly detrimental, mitigating measures are proposed.

    These will take the form of proposed amendments to the plan policy wording.

    In completing this work, this SA Report (supported by work carried out by the Joint Cumbria

    Planning Authorities) has assembled relevant baseline information, outlined key sustainability

    issues, highlighted future trends and targets and outlined proposals for monitoring the impacts

    of the subsequent implementation of the Plan policies.

    There will always be significant tensions in the process of appraisal. The process makes explicit

    the potential conflict between economic growth and environmental impacts. Whilst these cannot

    1 DEFRA, (March 2005). Securing the Future: delivering UK sustainable development strategy

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    always be resolved, the appraisal, in highlighting such tensions is able to provide this

    information to decision-makers. Decisions can then be taken that are informed, based on

    evidence and that have sought to balance potentially competing interests.

    Whilst no local authority development plan can claim to ever achieve sustainability, its

    contribution towards realising sustainability can always be improved.

    Scope of the Report

    This final SA report comprises the following:

    Background to the purpose and objectives of the appraisal process

    The methodology used to complete the appraisal

    A summary of the current sustainability issues in Eden (i.e. the baseline situation) and the key issues that need to be considered

    A summary of the appraisal of the options

    A summary of the consultation carried out and the response to those consultations

    An assessment of the contribution of the plan policies to social, economic and environmental objectives within the District

    An outline of the proposed mitigating measures for where these impacts are negative and

    Proposed monitoring arrangements

    The report also contains a number of appendices which contain the additional and supporting

    information relevant to the assessment. This includes the completed appraisal framework for

    each policy in the Draft Core Strategy, the review of plans and programmes (necessary to

    inform the appraisal framework objectives) and more detailed information on the monitoring

    and baseline information gathered.

    Please note that the development of the Core Strategy is an evolving process and the version

    appraised has been progressed towards the widely spread consultation version. Significant

    alterations, following the consultation process, will be appraised in a sustainability appraisal

    addendum report.

    Statement on the difference the process has made

    This Final SA Report is an integral part of the process of the Core Strategy preparation and

    development. Earlier findings of the appraisal process have been used to refine provisional

    policy options.

    Where appropriate and consistent with the assessment, for specific policies, recommendations

    have now been made (which are summarised in Table NTS1). It remains at the Councils

    discretion whether it decides to accept or decline the proposed amendments to the plan policies;

    however, where the decision has been taken not to accept the recommendation, the reason is

    also provided. The amended policies will then appear in the final version of the Core Strategy.

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    The Sustainability Appraisal allowed stakeholders to critically analyse the Core Strategy across

    the range of sustainable development objectives. It was especially useful in checking that, for

    example, environmental policies took full account of social, economic and natural resources

    factors. This not only helped to improve the sustainability performance of policies but also had

    the added benefit of highlighting any conflict between or lack of clarity within policies. This

    was true not only in terms of mitigating potentially negative impacts but also in terms of

    establishing a positive relationship [where none was made previously] and enhancing already

    favourable impacts.

    The appraisal emphasised the need to look particularly carefully at certain impacts relating to

    the climate change, biodiversity, accessibility and cultural heritage across a wide range of

    policies. This offered the opportunity to look at these factors across the Core Strategy as a

    whole. Occasionally the points raised were more relevant as points to be considered when later,

    more site specific, Local Development Documents are prepared.

    The recommendations that were made during the appraisal process are shown below:

    Table NTS1 Sustainability Appraisal Recommendations for the Core Strategy

    Policy Objective Issue Recommendation of Sustainability Appraisal

    Eden District Council Response

    CS1 11 It was noted that the policy does not explicitly relate to the sustainable use of water.

    A positive score would be afforded by inserting and prudent use of water at the end of bullet point 4.

    Agreed

    All objectives Discussions noted that the term appropriate provision may be subject to scrutiny or mis-interpretation. However, it was considered that appropriate relates to the location of the services dependant on the settlement size. To this extent, the policy should be read in conjunction with Policy CS2, CS3 and CS6.

    Insert w

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