Sustainability Appraisal - Supplementary Report [EXAM 115/115B]

Ended on the 12 August 2020
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(2) Chapter 6

Summary of Changes to the SA Findings

6.1 This chapter summarises the changes that have been made to the SA findings since they were previously presented in the Regulation 19 SA report[30].

6.2 A significant amount of the SA work reported previously has not been affected by the preparation of this Supplementary SA Report. As described in Chapter 2, some of the SA work presented in this Supplementary SA Report is new, i.e. it relates to options that weren't appraised previously. Other work is revised, either because options themselves have changed; because there is new information available about them or the baseline situation has changed; or to improve the consistency and robustness of the SA.

6.3 The following sections summarise which aspects of the SA findings have changed.

No changes to the SA

6.4 Much of the SA work undertaken and reported previously is unchanged as a result of this Supplementary SA Report as it has focussed on addressing the issues raised by the Inspectors and does not present re-appraisal of all options considered for the Local Plan. This is the case for the SA work undertaken previously for:

  • Areas A-D
  • Small and medium site options
  • Development management policies

6.5 The SA findings for these parts of the Local Plan are therefore unchanged from those presented previously in the January 2018 SA Report.

New and revised SA work

6.6 The SA work undertaken and reported previously for the following options has been subject to revisions within this Supplementary SA Report:

  • Approaches to distributing development growth
  • Some of the strategic residential options
  • Some of the strategic employment site options

6.7 Entirely new appraisal work has been undertaken and presented in this report in relation to:

  • Employment strategy options
  • Some of the residential site options
  • Most of the employment site options

6.8 The sections below summarise the changes that have been made to the SA findings.

Approaches to development growth

6.9 The changes to the appraisal of these options have mainly resulted from changes to the options themselves, i.e. the removal of one option and amendments made to others. For that reason, the SA findings reported previously are not directly comparable.

6.10 However, the SA findings for these options have also been revised to draw out more distinctions between the options and this has resulted in a wider range of effects being identified than was previously the case, particularly more potential negative effects. Where the effects of options are uncertain as they would depend entirely on the specific locations of each type of development, this was previously indicated in most cases with a potential but uncertain neutral (0?) effect. The revised SA recognises that the potential effects of built development would generally be negative rather than neutral, for the environmental SA objectives in particular.

Employment strategy options

6.11 The SA findings for the employment strategy options, as presented in Chapter 4 of this report, are entirely new as these options were not subject to SA previously. Those options were to either provide sites for footloose strategic warehousing through the Local Plan, or not to.

6.12 The potential significant negative effects of those options that have been identified in the SA relate to SA objectives 6: highways and air quality, 13: landscape and 14: historic environment. No potential significant positive effects have been identified in the SA for either of the options.

Residential site options

6.13 Most of the strategic residential site options that have been subject to SA in this Supplementary SA Report were previously appraised in some form. However, several locations that were previously appraised as a single option have now been identified as having alternative versions (either different boundaries or capacities) that needed to be considered as separate alternative options – this is the case for Arlesey, Luton North and Luton West. Three alternative options at each of these locations have now been appraised. The SA findings for those alternative versions of the site options are therefore new.

6.14 Biggleswade East Phases 1 and 2 were already identified as two separate options; however the two phases had not been appraised independently from one another – this has now been done, which has resulted in some changes to the SA findings for Phase 1 as it previously also incorporated the Phase 2 land. Phase 2 had not previously been appraised independently; therefore the SA findings for that option are new.

6.15 The SA has also been updated to reflect a minor boundary change at Marston Moretaine South (Marston Vale), which resulted in a small number of changes to the SA findings for that site. Another site, Houghton Regis North, was not previously included in the SA and has now been appraised. Although it has planning consent, it is a strategic allocation in the Reg 19 Local Plan. The SA findings for that site are therefore entirely new.

6.16 The remaining sites were previously appraised and have not been subject to boundary changes or other alterations – this is the case for Aspley Guise, Henlow Airfield and Camp, Marston Moretaine North (Marston Thrift), Tempsford South and Tempsford Airfield, Wixams South and North and North East Sandy. The SA findings for those site options are therefore largely unchanged from the Regulation 19 SA Report; however a small number of changes have been made to ensure consistency and to ensure that the appraisal is robust.

(1) Employment site options

6.17 Of the 16 reasonable alternative employment sites appraised in this Supplementary SA Report, only three had previously been subject to SA. A small number of changes have been made to the SA matrices for those site options (Sundon RFI, Land West of the A1, Biggleswade and Land at Ridgmont (M1, Junction 13), again to ensure consistency and robustness.

6.18 The SA findings for the other 13 sites are entirely new.

[30] Enfusion (January 2018) Central Bedfordshire Council Local Plan: Pre-Submission Regulation 19 Consultation Sustainability Appraisal

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