National planning policy sets out that local plans are key to delivering sustainable development and that they must be prepared with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development.  Therefore, it is important that the Local Plan for the District of Ashfield contributes to a sustainable future for the District.


A Sustainability Appraisal is a means of ensuring that the likely social, economic and environmental effects of the Plan are identified, described and appraised.  It includes a process set out under a European Directive and related UK regulations called Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).   The SEA regulations require a report, which identifies, describes and evaluates the likely significant effects on the environment of the plan or programme.


A Sustainability Appraisal helps to inform the selection of plan options by appraising reasonable alternatives in respect of different levels of growth that could be accommodated in the District over the eighteen year plan period, the distribution of growth between the District’s settlements and site allocations. A Sustainability Appraisal also undertake an assessment of policies and sites.  It inform decisions by assessing the likely positive and negative impacts of options, policies and sites across a wide range of topics. It is an aid to decision making rather than determining decisions.  Other factors such as Green Belt, deliverability, conformity with national policy, consultation responses will need to be taken into account along with the SA in bringing forward the Local Plan.


Consultations on the Local Plan will be accompanied by a Sustainability Appraisal, which has informed the production of Local Plan.  The analysis in the SA reports is based on the SA Framework established in the SA Scoping Report.


Further information on Sustainability Appraisal and SEA is set out in Planning Practice Guidance.




The SA Scoping Report is the first stage of undertaking Sustainability Appraisal.  It undertakes:

  • a review of other plans and programmes,
  • a baseline analysis of Ashfield existing environmental, economic and social characteristics
  • identifies key sustainability issues.

Based on this information, the Scoping Report sets out the proposed SA Framework to be used to appraise the effects of the Local Plan and any reasonable alternatives.

In accordance with the Regulations a consultation was undertaken on the Scoping Report from 20th December 2019 to 3rd February 2020.  The Final Scoping Report and the Consultation Statement can be viewed on the Council’s website at:


A paper copy is available to view at the Council’s offices at Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

If you have any queries on Sustainability Appraisal please contact the Forward Planning Team on 01623 457381, 457382 or 457383.