Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) / Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)
To ensure that a neighbourhood plan meets the basic conditions at examination it must be compatible with EU obligations and must ensure that the plan "does not breach and is otherwise compatible with EU obligations", must have consideration of the impact that the plan may have on the environment and must consider whether the plan may have an impact on a European protected wildlife site.
Further guidance on the SEA / HRA processes can be found on the Locality website: https://neighbourhoodplanning.org/toolkits-and-guidance/understand-plan-requires-strategic-environmental-assessment-sea/.
SEA / HRA Screening & Determination (Oct 2018).
The 'responsible authority' must determine whether or not a plan is likely to have significant effects and whether a SEA and/or a HRA are needed. A screening determination will need to be produced either by the qualifying body or Mid Suffolk District Council as the Local Planning Authority.
In agreement with Thurston Parish Council, Mid Suffolk District Council has commissioned a company called Essex Place Services to prepare such reports.
Once this report is produced, Mid Suffolk District Council will then also consult with the three statutory bodies (Natural England, Historic England and the Environment Agency) before issuing appropriate Determination Notices. Mid Suffolk District Council will be covering the cost of preparing the screening report but should there be any further work, if required, this will be funded by the Parish Council.
It can be reported that the pre-submission draft version of the Thurston NDP has been assessed to determine whether a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and/or a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) are required and that the outcome of this exercise was that the need for an SEA Scoping Report and the need for an HRA Scoping Report were both 'screened-out'.
A copy of the relevant reports and Notices of Determination are published below:
Mid Suffolk District Council further consulted with the three statutory bodies (Natural England, Historic England, and the Environment Agency) on the Thurston NP SEA / Screening Report and all concur with Essex Place Services’ findings that the need for an SEA and HRA are ‘screened-out’.
As such no further work is required in respect to this matter.