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The sustainability appraisal

24.      As part of the plan making process it is necessary to carry out a sustainability appraisal in parallel with the development of the plan. Sustainability appraisal (SA) is a process to ensure that environmental, economic and social impacts of preferred policies and proposals and any reasonable alternatives are fully documented and taken into account.

25.      A scoping report, setting out a proposed sustainability appraisal framework, was published for consultation in April 2010.

26.      The city council appointed and retained specialist planning consultants (LUC) to undertake the SA exercise for both this plan and the Site allocations plan. LUC’s independent appraisal has followed the recommended SA process and best practice. A draft SA report was published for consultation alongside the draft DM policies plan in January 2011. That report set out the outcome of the sustainability assessment of the draft policies for consultation and the alternative options.

27.      A second, more comprehensive SA report was produced by LUC to accompany the pre-submission version of the plan consulted on between August and October 2012, with further appraisals carried out at submission stage in April 2013 and for proposed modifications to the plan published in June 2014. The sustainability appraisal report now published appraises the adopted plan and documents the SA process throughout its preparation.