Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Sustainability Appraisal

1.7 The Council is presenting here, for consultation, a clear indication of the options for growth and development, and for the policies that have been considered necessary, together with the reasons for the recommendations. This is considered to provide for a more expansive consultation process and a better final plan.

1.8 The principles of 'sustainable development' are central to the planning system. A common definition of sustainable development is "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"[1]. This is a significant challenge in a rural District such as South Somerset where the population is so dispersed. The challenge here is to reconcile the need to deliver sufficient housing, jobs, education, recreation and health care opportunities to meet South Somerset's needs, whilst conserving the natural and built environment, minimising the need to travel and addressing climate change.

1.9 In order to ensure that sustainable development is achieved, Sustainability Appraisal (SA) is used to appraise the social, economic and environmental effects of the Core Strategy. SA is a legal requirement[2] which is carried out alongside preparation of the Core Strategy, and is a key part of the evidence which demonstrates that the approach in the Core Strategy is the most appropriate given 'reasonable alternatives'.

1.10 The findings of the Sustainability Appraisal of the 'Draft Core Strategy incorporating Preferred Options' have been published alongside the Core Strategy in a separate Report with Appendices.

1.11 This Sustainability Appraisal  follows the methodology set out at national level and provides an appraisal of the emerging options for both levels of growth and development locations, and for proposed policies, judged against the 14 sustainability objectives of the Sustainable Community Strategy. It is important that the objectives of the Core Strategy and Sustainability Appraisal are consistent.

1. World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987 [back]
2. Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004; European Directive 2001/42/EC “on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment” – the SEA Directive [back]