Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

2. North Somerset Local Plan 2036 Sustainability Appraisal: Scoping Report

Task A4

5. Task A4 - The Sustainability Appraisal Framework: objectives and indicators

Introduction

5.1 The SA framework provides a way in which sustainability effects can be described, analysed and compared. The process of undertaking a SA involves the identification of sustainability objectives which are used to measure and monitor the success of the plan.

Development of the Framework

5.2 The starting point for this SA framework is the JSP Scoping Report. This has been reviewed and updated to ensure relevance to the scope of the Local Plan incorporating elements of the most recent Scoping Report for the Sites and Policies Plan. Table 11 sets out the proposed SA framework objectives accompanied by sub-objectives. These are used to assist in making judgements about the likely effects of options and policies on the headline SA objectives.

5.3 Table 12 sets out each objective with a set of 'decision-making criteria', these are what the SA will look to identify in terms of positive and negative effects of the plan. Alongside these are a small number of indicators, which will allow the District's performance on that issue to be gauged, now and in the future. These indicators will be used to scrutinise and evaluable potential options for the North Somerset Local Plan. Using a consistent approach as a starting point to score the effects of Local Plan content will allow for transparent appraisal.

5.4 The SA Framework will be used in the SA procedure to assess the relative performance of each option and objective of the plan using significant positive (++), positive (+), significant negative (--), negative (-) and where necessary neutral symbols (=). Unknown impacts will also be identified (?). Possible mitigation measures will be proposed accordingly. Detail of the SA methodology will be set out in detail in the SA main report.

Internal compatibility of the Sustainability Objectives

5.5 The internal compatibility of the SA objectives is then tested for conflict. There may be tensions between objectives that cannot be resolved: the compatibility assessment should clarify these so that subsequent decisions are well based, and mitigation can be considered.

5.6 The diagram ( Table 13 ) shows that uncertain compatibility exists between a number of the objectives. The ultimate effect of the objectives. The ultimate effect of the objectives on one another is dependent on the way that they are implemented in North Somerset.

5.7   It is considered that the uncertainties identified do not necessitate the SA objectives to be re-written. Some areas of potential conflict will always remain. The conflict between the provision of a buoyant and diverse economy and conserving biodiversity will always be difficult to reconcile, but both are key elements of ensuring sustainable development.  Potential negative impacts can, however, be avoided through the correct implementation.


Table 11: Sustainability Appraisal Framework Objectives

1

Support communities that meet people’s needs

1.1

Deliver a suitable quantum of high quality housing

1.2

Deliver a suitable mix of high quality housing types and tenures (including affordable housing) for all parts of society

1.3

1.4

Reduce poverty and income inequality, and improve the life chances of those living in areas of concentrated disadvantage

Achieve reasonable access to community facilities (post office,

meeting venues, youth centres)

1.5

Achieve reasonable access to educational facilities (primary schools, secondary schools)

1.6

Achieve reasonable access to town centre services and facilities (Designated Town and District Centres)

2

Improve health, safety and wellbeing of all

2.1

Achieve reasonable access to public open space

2.2

Achieve reasonable access to healthcare facilities

3

Develop a diverse and thriving economy that meets people's needs

3.1

Deliver a reasonable quantum of employment floorspace /land

3.2

3.3

Increase access to work opportunities for all parts of society

Protect town centres in their role of providing jobs and contributing to a strong local economy

4

Minimise consumption of natural resources

4.1

Achieve reasonable access to sustainable transportation (rail station, bus stops, cycle paths, footways)

4.2

Reduce non-renewable energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions

5

Maintain and improve environmental quality and assets

5.1

Minimise impact on and where appropriate enhance the historic environment, heritage assets and their settings

5.2

Protect and where possible enhance biodiversity and geodiversity at a landscape scale, particularly with respect to protected habitats and species

5.3

Minimise impact on and where appropriate enhance valued landscapes, including that within or close to the Mendip Hills AONB, recognising its wider purposes (natural beauty, enjoyment and cultural heritage) whilst having regard for its economic and social well-being

5.4

Promote the conservation and wise use of land, maximising the re-use of previously developed land

5.5

Minimise the loss of productive land, especially best and most versatile agricultural land

5.6

Minimise vulnerability to tidal/fluvial flooding (taking account of climate change), without increasing flood risk elsewhere

5.7

Minimise vulnerability to surface water flooding and other sources of flooding (taking account of climate change), without increasing flood risk elsewhere

5.8

Minimise harm to, and where possible improve, water quality and availability

 

Table 12: The Sustainability Appraisal Framework for appraising Local Plan policies

SA Objective   Sub- objective   Decision-making criteria    Indicator(s)   Target  Relevant SEA topic  
(SA will look for…) 
Positive effect Negative effect
1. Support communities that meet people’s needs    1.1 Deliver a suitable quantum of high quality housing Development that contributes to meeting the needs identified. Development that does not contribute to meeting the needs identified. No. of housing completions/ year (net) (from JSP when finalised) Material assets, Population
1.2 Deliver a suitable mix of high quality housing types and tenures (including affordable housing) for all parts of society  Development that contributes to meeting the needs identified. Development that does not contribute to meeting the needs identified. % of eligible developments meeting the required affordable housing standard, and any standards for other specific housing need groups 100% eligible developments to contribute in full Material assets, Population
1.3 Reduce poverty and income inequality, and improve the life chances of those living in areas of concentrated disadvantage Development that helps to regenerate the areas identified as the most deprived 20% of areas in England Development that does not help to regenerate the areas identified as the most deprived 20% of areas in England A reduction in the gap between areas recorded within the most and least deprived wards in the Indices of Multiple Deprivation.   Material assets, Population
1.4 Achieve reasonable access to a full range of community facilities (post office, meeting venues, youth centres) Development within a reasonable distance of community facilities. Development beyond a reasonable distance of community facilities, with no public transport to community facilities. Reasonable distance: 800m of convenience store, post office, meeting venues. 100% of new housing within 800m Material assets, Population; Human health
2. Support communities that meet people’s needs          1.5 Achieve reasonable access to educational facilities (primary schools, secondary schools)  

Development within reasonable distance of education facilities. 

Development which adds to capacity of educational facilities, where known capacity issues exist.

Development beyond reasonable distance of education facilities. 

Sites located with access to schools which do not have pupil capacity.

Reasonable distance of:

Primary School = 800m/ Secondary School = 1500m 

100% of new housing within 800m / 1500m   Material assets, Population, Human health
 
 
1.6 Achieve reasonable access to town centre services and facilities (Designated Town and District Centres)      

Development within reasonable distance of designated town or district centre. 

Development which adds to the retail and leisure services and facilities within a town or district centre. 

Development which would create a demonstrable increase in footfall and potential use of a centre. 

Development with potential to create a critical mass / sense of place which would enable conditions / circumstances to establish.

Development beyond reasonable distance to designated centres, and no public transport access to town centre services and facilities.  

Development beyond a reasonable distance of designated town or district centre.    

Reasonable distance to:

Bristol City Centre or Weston-super- Mare Town Centre= 5km

Other Town / District Centre =1500m    

100% of new housing within 5km / 1500m       Material Assets, Population, Human health
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. Improve health and wellbeing of all           

2.1. Achieve reasonable access to public open space 

(Designated Open Spaces, Town and Village Greens, and Public Rights of Way)     

Development in a location providing access to suitable (quantity and quality) of public open space. 

Development on or adjacent to primary walking network/PRoWroutes.    

Development in a location lacking access to suitable (quantity and quality) of public open space. 

Development on public open space which reduces quantity, quality and accessibility. 

Development outside PRoW network.  

Hectares of accessible open space per 1000 population. 

A range of well managed public open spaces within reasonable proximity of the site (800m).   

100% of new housing within 800m Landscape Human health, Population
 
 
 
 
 

2.2 Achieve reasonable access to healthcare facilities

(Doctors, Opticians, Pharmacies, Dentists, Hospitals)     

Development within reasonable distance to   health facilities.      Development without reasonable access to healthcare provision in proximity to site.      

Reasonable distance:

Hospital 5km

GP Surgery 1200m

Dentist 1200m

Opticians 800m

Pharmacies 800m 

100% of new housing within these distances       Human health, Population
 
 
 
 
 
3. Develop a diverse and thriving economy that meets people's needs       3.1 Deliver a reasonable quantum of employment floorspace/land and increase access to work opportunities for all parts of society       Development that contributes towards the needs identified by the Economic Development Needs Assessment and the outputs and requirements of the Strategic Economic Plan.       Development that does not contribute towards the needs identified by the Economic Development Needs Assessment and the outputs and requirements of the Strategic Economic Plan.       Amount of (net) additional floorspace completed. Economic activity rates Average earnings No. of jobs by sector and area

Net increase in recorded average earnings 

Net increase in number of jobs     

Material assets, Population
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. Develop a diverse and thriving economy that meets people's needs   

3.2 Achieve reasonable access to major employment areas Major Employment areas

J21 Enterprise AreaLocally designated key employment areas

Development within reasonable distance of major employment areas.    Development beyond reasonable distance of major employment areas.   

Reasonable threshold:  

Walking distance (800m preferred max). Cycling distance (2km preferred max). 

Frequency of Public Transport (Mon-Sat 0700 – 1900hrs, urban = every 15 mins, suburban = every 30 mins and rural = every 60 minutes)

100% development meeting the thresholds    Material assets, Population, Air, Climatic factors
 
 
 
3. Develop a diverse and thriving economy that meets people's needs          3.3 Protection of Town Centres in the role of providing jobs and contributing to a strong local economy         

Development which adds to the retail and leisure services and facilities within a town centre. 

Development which would create a demonstrable increase in footfall and potential use of a centre.     

Development which removes retail and leisure services and facilities from within a town centre.         

No. of planning applications approved for retail uses outside of town centre boundaries (above a threshold of 10 units). 

Vacancy rates       

         

 

 

 

0%

Material Assets, Population
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Minimise consumption of natural resources        4.1 Achieve reasonable access to sustainable transportation (rail station, bus stops, cycle paths, footways)       

Development generating need for travel within reasonable distance of rail station. 

Development generating need for travel within reasonable distance of bus stops. 

Development with access to multiple bus routes.   

Development generating need for travel outside reasonable distance of rail station. 

Development generating need for travel outside distance to bus stops. 

Development outside cycling network. 

Development that reduces connectivity, safety or use of cycling network. 

Reasonable distance to:

Rail Station = 800m

Bus Stop = 400m

Cycle paths and PRoW = 400m 

Development that is on or adjacent to the existing cycling and PROW network No. of developments that extend/ enhances cycling network.

100% of new housing within these distances.        Material Assets, Population, Air, Climatic factors.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Minimise consumption of natural resources   4.2 Reduce non-renewable energy consumption and ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions   Development that contributes to reducing non-renewable energy consumption and ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions.   Development that does not contribute to reducing non-renewable energy consumption and ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions.  

Developments incorporating renewable and low carbon energy generation. 

Energy generated locally from renewable and low carbon sources.

50% reduction in emissions by 2035.   Air, Climatic factors, Material assets
 
 
5. Maintain and improve environmental quality and assets           

5.1 Minimise impact on and where appropriate enhance the historic environment, heritage assets and their settings 

Assets

Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas, Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Registered Historic Parks and Gardens, Unregistered Historic Parks and Gardens, Undesignated local assets (HER), Locally listed structure, Town and village greens, Local Green Spaces          

Development is likely to safeguard, protect, and where appropriate enhance, the significance of any affected heritage asset, historic townscape or landscape.            

Development that leads to loss, change or harm of significance of any affected heritage assets, historic townscape or landscape. 

Development in locations which would harm the character and setting of an asset.          

% of Conservation Areas (by total designated area) with up-to-date conservation area appraisals. 

No. of listed buildings repaired and brought back into use. 

% of heritage asset category identified as ‘at risk’.        

100%          

 

 

 

 

 

 0%

Climatic factors, Cultural heritage
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. Maintain and improve environmental quality and assets            

5.2 to protect and where possible enhance biodiversity and geodiversity at a landscape scale, particularly with respect to protected habitats and species (taking account of climate change)

National

SSSI, National Nature Reserves, Local Nature Reserves, UK Priority Habitat,

Local Sites SNCI/Wildlife Sites, Ecological Networks?         

Development which has adverse impacts on protected species and habitats. 

Development that integrates/preserves or enhances existing local sites/ habitats or features. 

Development that maintains/enhances the connectivity and integrity of Wildlife Networks. 

Development which enhances existing GI corridors and linked assets. 

Development that takes opportunities to provide new/ strengthen existing GI corridors. 

Development that utilises topography and landform to enhance valued landscape.

Development on or adjacent to national and local sites (including Wildlife Corridors) that creates potential for harm. 

Development that would fragment the Connectivity and Integrity of Wildlife Networks. 

Development that severs existing GI corridor. 

Development that leads to loss of individual GI assets on existing corridors in the Strategic Network.      

No. of application approvals that generate significant improvements to biodiversity impacts. 

Changes in areas and populations of biodiversity importance. 

Change in priority habitats and species. 

% of planning approvals likely to lead to a net gain in local biodiversity. 

No. of applications refused in part due to their lack of consideration of biodiversity impacts.    

               Biodiversity, Fauna, Flora, Landscape
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. Maintain and improve environmental quality and assets     5.3 Minimise impact on and where appropriate enhance valued landscapes recognising its wider purposes (natural beauty, enjoyment and cultural heritage) whilst having regard for its economic and social well-being. National designations, AONB    

Sites which do not cause any significant adverse impact on either the general landscape or townscape. 

Developments which enhance the visual attractiveness of the area, contributing to townscape, landscape, and /or character of the settlement  

Development which cause adverse impact on landscape or townscape. 

Developments which detract from visual attractiveness of the area.  

Number of planning applications in the Mendip Hills AONB with commentary on anticipated impacts. 

Provision of new green infrastructure. 

Number of open spaces managed to Green Flag Award standard.

      Biodiversity, Fauna, Flora, Landscape
 
 
 
 
5. Maintain and improve environmental quality and assets  5.4 Promote the conservation and wise use of land, maximising the re-use of previously developed land  Development on previously developed land/brownfield sites.  Development on open space/greenfield/ Green Belt sites.  % of dwellings built on greenfield and brownfield land  (to be developed through the plan once components of housing land supply are known)  Fauna, Flora, Landscape, Soil
 
5. Maintain and improve environmental quality and assets     5.5 Minimise the loss of productive land, especially best and most versatile agricultural (BMV) land    

Safeguarding the protection of high value agricultural land (1 to 3a) which is also outside of flood risk zones 3a and 3b. 

Development on land with no current or immediate potential agricultural value. 

Provision or enhancement of local food growing land of demonstrable value.

Development on land with agricultural value 1 to 3a, which is also outside of flood risk zones 3a and 3b. 

Loss of local food growing land of demonstrable value.  

Development on land of Best and Most Versatile agricultural value.      0%     Landscape, Soils
 
 
 
 
5. Maintain and improve environmental quality and assets     5.6 Minimise vulnerability to tidal & fluvial flooding, without increasing flood risk elsewhere      

Highly vulnerable and more vulnerable development in flood zone 1. 

Development proposed in areas of lowest flood risk (as contained in Table 2 and 3 of the Flood Risk and Coastal Change PPG). 

Development which mitigates existing flood risk from tidal or fluvial sources.  

Highly, more and less vulnerable development in flood risk zone 3b. 

Highly vulnerable development in flood risk zone 3a  Any other development in areas of flood risk. 

Flood defences and mitigation measures would have negative effects on flooding elsewhere.

No. of planning permissions granted contrary to advice regarding flooding. 

Development approved in areas of high flood risk. 

Development proposed in areas of lowest flood risk. 

Development which mitigates existing flood risk from tidal or fluvial sources.

0 permissions       Climatic factors, Human health, Water
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. Maintain and improve environmental quality and assets    5.7 Minimise vulnerability to surface water flooding and other sources of flooding, without increasing flood risk elsewhere    

Development proposed outside of identified high risk surface water areas. 

Development which includes measures to reduce run off

Development which mitigates existing surface water flood risk.

Development proposed in identified areas at high risk from surface water flooding. 

Development which significantly increases run off, increasing the risk of surface water flooding. 

No. of planning permissions granted contrary to advice re. flooding or water quality. 

A reduction in surface water flood risk across the District. 

0 permissions    Climatic factors, Human health, Water
 
 
 
5.8 Minimise harm to, and where possible improve water quality and availability Development with potential to improve water quality and/or availability. Development posing a risk to water quality and/or availability. Applications with demonstrating improvements to current conditions   Water

 

Table 13: Compatibility of SA sub objectives

Table 13

Question 4. Do you agree with the proposed Sustainability Appraisal Framework?