Sustainable development is a central concept in the planning system and reflects the need to consider social, environmental and economic issues and impacts so that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004) requires local authorities, when preparing local development documents such as the Minerals Plan, to '(a) carry out an appraisal of the sustainability of the proposals in each document [and] (b) prepare a report of the findings of the appraisal.' (Section 19(5)).

In addition to this, the Minerals Plan must also meet the requirements of EU Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive and so will be prepared in accordance with the Government's SA Guidance, which covers the requirements of both SA and SEA.

Scoping Report for Sustainability Appraisal

The first stage of Sustainability Appraisal is to set the context, establish the baseline and decide on the scope.

The Scoping Report covers:

  • other plans, programmes and objectives relevant to the plan, with information on synergies or inconsistencies
  • baseline information, either already collected or still needed, with notes on sources and any problems encountered
  • social, environmental and economic issues identified
  • suggested sustainability appraisal objectives and indicators (and targets where these are proposed), and how they were chosen
  • an overview of likely options to be considered through more detailed plan preparation and appraisal
  • proposals for the structure and level of detail of the sustainability appraisal report

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