2. Strategic Environmental Assessment and the Sustainability Appraisal Process
2.1.1 The Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 (the ‘2005 Act’) requires public bodies in Scotland to carry out SEA on their plans, programmes and strategies. SEA is a way of examining plans, programmes and strategies as they develop to identify any significant effects they may have on the environment – both positive and negative. This process ensures that environmental considerations are taken into account during their development. SEA also aims to build in mitigation measures to avoid or minimise any potentially significant adverse effects on the environment, and looks for opportunities to enhance environmental performance. SA takes into account environmental, social and economic effects. In this document the term ‘SA’ should be taken to mean ‘SA incorporating the requirements of SEA’.
2.1.2 The SA process began with the submission of a Scoping Report to the SEA Gateway in February 2018. Comments on the Scoping Report were received from the three statutory SEA consultation authorities – Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Natural Heritage (now NatureScot) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES). These helped inform the development of the Sustainability Appraisal.
2.1.3 Consultation on the SA report and the proposed work programme took place between 5 November 2019 and 28 January 2020. In total 113 responses were received, of which 61 were from groups or organisations and 52 from individual members of the public. Respondents included public sector organisations, and planning and other professionals from a range of private and third sector organisations. The 52 responses from individuals included 16 ‘campaign plus’ responses where respondents had adapted standard text on domestic cycle storage produced by Spokes (a third sector campaign group included in the 61 group respondents).
2.1.4 The aim of the SA was to provide a frontloaded, strategic level assessment to inform the iterative programme for the review and expansion of PDR in Scotland. In particular, it identified a range of potential mitigation measures to minimise any identified negative effects, as well as enhance any positive ones. As individual components of the work programme are developed further and as additional detail emerges, we will continue to give consideration as to whether any further appraisal or assessment is required. We will also update this draft Statement where relevant.
2.1.5 In the meantime, this draft Statement sets out:
- how the environmental, social and economic considerations have been integrated into the iterative programme for expanding PDR;
- how the Sustainability Appraisal Report has been taken into account;
- how the opinions of consultees have been taken into account;
- the reasons for choosing the programme as adopted, in light of the other reasonable alternatives considered; and
- the measures to be taken to monitor the significant environmental effects arising from implementation.
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