Publication - Consultation paper

Local development planning - regulations and guidance consultation: part D - interim impact assessments

Published: 17 Dec 2021

Part D of the local development planning - regulations and guidance consultation includes the following impact assessments: strategic environmental, business and regulatory, equalities, fairer Scotland duty, child rights and wellbeing and island communities.

Local development planning - regulations and guidance consultation: part D - interim impact assessments
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Proposed Regulations – Pre-Screening Notification, and Draft Guidance – Screening Report

SEA Pre-Screening Document

Responsible Authority: Scottish Government

Title of the plan: The Town and Country Planning (Development Planning) (Scotland) Regulations 2022

What prompted the plan:

(e.g. a legislative, regulatory or administrative provision)

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 sets out an integrated package of proposed improvements to the planning system.

Plan subject:

(e.g. transport)

Local Development Planning

Brief summary of the plan:

(including the area or location to which the plan related)

The Regulations provide additional procedural detail around the requirements set out in Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 for preparing local development plans across Scotland. The further detail in the Regulations is based on the broad principles that were outlined within the 2019 Act, and which was subject to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Certain aspects of existing Local Development Plan preparation procedures will be retained. There will be some updates to reflect changes in primary legislation, for example the removal of SDPs and references to Delivery Programmes. New requirements from the 2019 Act will be added, for example, the Regulations will outline procedures for the new Evidence Report and its assessment. These additions would not be expected to have environmental effects in their own right as they are more administrative in nature, covering the preparation process or what has already been outlined in the 2019 Act.

Brief summary of the likely environmental consequences:

(including whether it has been determined that the plan is likely to have no or minimum effects, either directly or indirectly)

As the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 was subject to SEA and the principles of what was to be contained within the new LDP, it is our view the environmental impact of the package of proposed improvements to the planning system has already been determined. The additional level of detail contained in the new Regulations has therefore no or minimal environmental effects beyond those that were already established by the assessment of the 2019 Act. In addition, as individual LDPs continue to be subject to SEA, those environmental effects stemming directly from the plans themselves can still be captured.

Brief summary of how environmental principles have been considered:

(including whether any of the guiding principles, as set out in section 13 of the Continuity Act, are relevant to the plan)

The environmental principles are imbedded within SEA, ensuring relevant plans and programmes that are subject to SEA consider how best to avoid environmental damage and if damage does occur it is addressed. As the 2019 Act was subject to SEA the environmental principles would have been considered within this assessment. As the new Regulations have no or minimal environmental effects in their own right it is our view the original assessment ensures the principles are imbedded in the proposed regulations and draft guidance.

Contact details: Carrie Thomson, Principal Planner, Planning & Architecture Division, Scottish Government. Carrie.thomson@gov.scot

Date of opinion: 7 December 2021

When completed send to: SEA.gateway@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or to SEA Gateway, Scottish Government, Area 2H (South), Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ

SEA Screening Report

Step 1 – Details of the Plan

Responsible Authority: Scottish Government

Title of the plan: Development Planning Guidance

What prompted the plan:

(e.g. a legislative, regulatory or administrative provision)

The Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act, 1997, as amended by the Planning (Scotland) Act, 2019, and The Town and Country Planning (Development Planning) (Scotland) Regulations.

Plan subject:

(e.g. transport)

Local Development Planning

Screening is required by the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005.

Based on Boxes 3 and 4, our view is that:

☐ An SEA is required, as the environmental effects are likely to be significant: Please indicate below what Section of the 2005 Act this plan falls within

Section 5(3)

Section 5(4)

☒ An SEA is not required, as the environmental effects are unlikely to be significant: Please indicate below what Section of the 2005 Act this plan falls within

Section 5(3)

Section 5(4)

Contact details: Carrie Thomson, Principal Planner, Planning & Architecture Division, Scottish Government. Carrie.thomson@gov.scot

Date: 7 December 2021

Step 2 – Context and description of the plan

Context of the Plan:

The Town and Country Planning (Development Planning) (Scotland) Regulations, when they come into force, will outline the procedural requirements for preparing a Local Development Plan (LDP). The Development Planning Guidance is designed to support Planning Authorities by offering greater clarity on what they are expected to do within the preparation of the LDP and highlighting the relevant policy requirements.

Description of the Plan:

The guidance will be a reflection of the statutory requirements as set out in the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 and the new Town and Country Planning (Development Planning) (Scotland) Regulations, as well as the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) once approved and adopted.

What are the key components of the plan?

The guidance is structured in three sections, each fulfilling a different purpose:

  • Section 1 sets out the overall aims and expectations for new style plans. It provides key messages of what they should be like in the future.
  • Section 2 sets out the process of how to achieve a new style plan. It covers the legislative requirements, how these are met and responsibilities of stakeholders.
  • Section 3 sets out guidance on how new style plans are expected to implement the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) policies for the development and use of land.

Have any of the components of the plan been considered in previous SEA work?

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 was subject to SEA in 2017 and the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) is currently out for consultation and has been subjected to SEA.

In terms of your response to Boxes 7 and 8 above, set out those components of the plan that are likely to require screening:

The principles of what is to be contained within a LDP has already been subject to SEA; the development planning guidance sets out advice for Planning Authorities on implementing current and anticipated statutory requirements as well as in implementing aspects of the future National Planning Framework. It is this advice that is the subject of this screening.

Step 3 – Identifying interactions of the plan with the environment and considering the likely significance of any interactions.

 

Environmental Topic Areas

Explanation of Potential Environmental Effects

Explanation of Significance

Plan Components

Biodiversity, flora and fauna

Population and human health

Soil

Water

Air

Climatic factors

Material assets

Cultural heritage

Landscape

Inter-relationship issues

   

Development Planning Guidance

X X X X X X X X X X

The principles of what is to be contained within an LDP has already been subjected to SEA through the assessment of the 2019 Act and through the assessment of the draft NPF4 which has been laid in the Scottish Parliament for consideration. This non-statutory guidance is designed to offer consistency in the preparation process of a LDP and clarity for planning authorities around the evidence report stage and how to undertake the preparation of the proposed plan and associated documents. It is therefore our view that the guidance will not have significant environmental effects in its own right.

As the principles of what has to be contained within a LDP will be set out in legislation and within the finalised NPF4 once approved and adopted, the scope for environmental effects from this non-statutory guidance is in our opinion limited. The guidance offers a broad description of what is expected at each stage of LDP preparation against the full spectrum of policy areas. As the LDP preparation would also be subject to statutory SEA requirements the environmental effects from the guidance would be extremely limited and is not expected to be significant.

Step 4 – Consideration of environmental principles

Summary of how environmental principles have been considered:

(including an outline of how the guiding principles, as set out in section 13 of the Continuity Act, are relevant to the plan)

As both the 2019 Act and the draft NPF4 have been subject to SEA the environmental principles are heavily embedded in planning policy already. A meaningful SEA can address the environmental principles and ensure the aims to; protect the environment; adopt the precautionary principle; seek to prevent environmental damage, prepare to address environmental damage and polluter should pay are adopted into policy.

Step 5 – Statement of the findings of the screening

Summary of interactions with the environment and statement of the findings of the Screening:

(Including an outline of the likely significance of any interactions, positive or negative, and explanation of conclusion of the screening exercise.)

It is our opinion that the Development Planning Guidance with have no significant environmental effects. This opinion is based on the limited scope for the guidance, to have environmental effects in its own right, that have not already been considered within the assessment of the 2019 Act and the draft NPF4. In addition as every LDP in Scotland will be subject to SEA the environmental effects from the delivery, on the ground, of these planning policies will be captured meaningfully at a local level and steps taken to avoid, minimise or offset adverse effects or enhance positive ones can still be taken.


Contact

Email: LDPRegsandGuidance@gov.scot