Description Of Service
Over the past two decades there has been a growing call for a shift to a more sustainable pattern of development that integrates environmental, social and economic concerns at a local, regional and global level of development. This arises from an increasing awareness of the need to change the prevailing model of development whose effects were increasingly placing a burden on resources and environmental systems and the well being of human populations, in terms of the loss of biodiversity, air, water and land pollution, rapid depletion of natural resources, soaring waste generation, climate change etc.
The concept of sustainable development can be broadly defined as 'Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (Brundtland Report definition 1987).
This broad vision has been interpreted into practical objectives in the Government's Strategy for Sustainable Development 'Securing The Future' (March 2005). This outlines five broad objectives:
- Living Within Environmental Limits
- Ensuring a Strong, Healthy and Just Society
- Achieving a Sustainable Economy
- Promoting Good Governance
- Using Sound Science Responsibly
Sustainable Development and the Planning System
Achieving sustainable development is one of the major challenges facing society as where we live, work and take recreation all have an impact on the Earth's resources. The planning system in controlling land-use patterns has an important part to play in promoting sustainable development.
The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 introduced a new planning system to govern the way development plans are drawn up. Under the new system Planning Authorities are now required to prepare a Local Development Framework (LDF) to replace Local Plans. The LDF for Amber Valley Borough will consist of a portfolio of Local Development Documents (LDD), which will set out spatial and other development strategies for the Borough. These planning documents are required to promote the principles of sustainable development by putting in place a framework for development within the authority that incorporates socio-economic and environmental concerns of local communities and ensures plan policies reinforce each other.
Sustainability Appraisals (SA) of LDDs is a requirement of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The primary objective of the SA is to uphold sustainable development by making sure that sustainability considerations are integrated into the process of plan preparation.
Sustainability Appraisals considers the impacts of the plan on a range of environmental, social and economic interests and test its performance against the objectives of sustainable development. This appraisal also meets the requirement of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive by incorporating an in-depth assessment of the environmental impacts and possible mitigation measures of plan policies and strategies. Thus, a substantive SA process will:
- Adopt a long-term view of development within the area covered by the plan, with particular interest on the social, environmental, and economic effects of the proposed plan.
- Develop an effective system for ensuring that sustainability objectives are transformed into sustainable planning policies.
- Reflect global and national concerns, as well as concerns at the regional and local levels.
- Provide an audit trail of how the local development document has been revised to take into account the findings of the sustainability appraisal.
- Incorporate the requirements of the SEA Directive.
- Produce and consult on a Scoping Report early in the process for each plan.