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Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal - Proposed Submission Core Strategy and Policies DPD

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1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Overview

The overarching strategic framework for development in Ipswich to 2027 is set out within the Core Strategy and Policies Development Plan Document (DPD) which was formally adopted on 14th December 2011.

Following the initiation of a focussed review of the adopted Core Strategy in 2013 (which provided updated housing and employment numbers, along with proposing to bring forward development at the Garden Suburb sooner) it was determined that the extent of changes amounted to a whole plan review. Therefore the emerging Core Strategy and Policies DPD (hereafter referred to as the 'Core Strategy') will eventually replace the current adopted Core Strategy and Policies DPD.

The emerging Core Strategy together with the emerging Site Allocations (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) DPD (hereafter referred to as the Site Allocations DPD) will provide the new 'Local Plan' / statutory development plan for Ipswich up to 2031.

As part of the preparation process, a combined Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) has been undertaken. Hereafter the term SA has been used in this report when referring to the combined SA/SEA process. This report presents the process and findings of the SA of the Core Strategy.

1.2 Background to and Purpose of the Core Strategy and SA Report

As previously stated above, the Core Strategy sets out the strategy for future development in Ipswich to 2031. It indicates broadly how and where the borough will accommodate development to meet needs identified through the evidence base. It also explains how it will ensure this is done in a sustainable way. It contains detailed policies to manage development in Ipswich. Proposed development will be assessed against all relevant policies contained within the Core Strategy along with those in the Site Allocations (Incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) DPD and any other relevant adopted plans.

An SA was undertaken for the Draft Submission Core Strategy and Policies in 2009 by Suffolk County Council and the Core Strategy was subsequently adopted in 2011. In October 2013 Ipswich Borough Council consulted upon the scope of SA for a Focused Review of the adopted Core Strategy. Subsequently an interim SA Report was prepared and consulted upon in January 2014.

In August 2014 it was determined that the extent of the changes in the Core Strategy represented the need for a whole plan review rather than a focussed review. Therefore, a Scoping letter was issued in September 2014 to the three statutory bodies and published on Ipswich Borough Council's website to provide an update to the scope and approach to SA.

A benefit of the Core Strategy whole plan review is that Ipswich Borough Council can now consolidate the general development management (DM) policies into Part C of the Core Strategy rather than including them within the Site Allocations DPD.

Due to the changes outlined above Ipswich Borough Council are revising the SA of the whole Core Strategy to ensure it reflects the latest versions of the Plan. Therefore this SA Report supersedes the SA of the Core Strategy (which was adopted in December 2011) and the SA of the Core Strategy Focused Review (consulted upon January-March 2014). This SA Report is published for comment alongside the Proposed Submission Core Strategy and Policies DPD.

This SA Report provides a summary of the SA process so far and presents the findings and recommendations of the assessment of the Core Strategy. It is essential that the Proposed Submission Core Strategy and Policies DPD is read in conjunction with this SA Report. A separate SA Report has been produced in relation to the Proposed Submission Site Allocations DPD.

Comments received on the previous SA Report of the Core Strategy during the consultation in early 2014 have been considered in undertaking this SA. Further details are provided in Appendix C.

1.3 Structure of this SA Report

Table 1-1 provides an outline of the contents and structure of this SA Report.

Table 1-1 Contents and Structure of this SA Report

Section of SA Report

Outline Content

Abbreviations

Abbreviations used in this report.

1: Introduction

Provides the background to, purpose of, and structure of the Core Strategy and this SA Report.

2: The Core Strategy and Policies DPD

Provides an overview of the contents of the Core Strategy and Policies DPD.

3: Sustainability Appraisal

This section outlines the legal requirements for the SA. It outlines the key elements of the SA process and the approach adopted for appraising the effects of the Core Strategy (including the SA Framework), together with an overview of the consultation requirements.

4: Appraisal of the Core Strategy and its Alternatives

Presents a summary of the SA of the Core Strategy including its alternatives against the SA Framework. This section also outline any recommendations suggested to improve the sustainability performance of the policies against the SA Framework.

5: Cumulative Effects

Presents a summary of the potential cumulative effects that may arise as a result of the Core Strategy.

6: Monitoring Framework

Provides a draft monitoring framework to monitor identified significant effects identified through the SA.

7: Next Steps

Identifies the next steps in the SA process, following consultation on this SA Report.

Details of how to comment upon this SA Report are also provided.

Appendix A

Provides a review of relevant plans programmes and environmental protection objectives.

Appendix B

Provides a summary of the baseline conditions within the borough. It also identified current issues and opportunities.

Appendix C

Outlines a summary of the consultation responses received and how they were taken on board in the SA.

Appendix D

SA matrices for the Core Strategy policies

Appendix E

SA matrices for the Development Management policies.

Appendix F

2013 Focussed Review Alternative Assessment

Appendix G (available upon request)

Provides an extract of relevant plans, programmes and protection objectives along with baseline data for Suffolk Coastal. Taken from the Suffolk Coastal District Council - Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report Site Allocations and Area Specific Policies DPD and Felixstowe Peninsula AAP - November 2014

Appendix H (available upon request)

Provides an extract of relevant plans, programmes and protection objectives along with baseline data for Mid Suffolk and Babergh. Taken from the Babergh District Council and Mid-Suffolk District Council Development Management Policies and Strategic Site Allocations Joint Sustainability Appraisal - Scoping Report - June 2014.

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