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Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal - Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) DPD

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1. INTRODUCTION

1.1.1 The overarching framework for development in Ipswich Borough to 2027 has been set out in the Core Strategy and Policies plan adopted on 14th December 2011 (currently being reviewed). The Core Strategy also identified strategic sites for development at the Northern Fringe and the former Crane’s factory. The Proposed Submission Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) Development Plan Document (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Site Allocations’ DPD) adds the site-specific detail to that strategy across the whole Borough. It incorporates the ‘IP-One’ area of central Ipswich, which was previously dealt with in a separate plan. It will be accompanied by an updated policies map, showing on an Ordnance Survey base map sites for development and those for protection.

1.1.2 The previous version of the Site Allocations DPD was assessed in 2013 and subject to informal consultation in early 2014. Public consultation was undertaken (under Regulation 18) on two draft development plan documents (Core Strategy Focused Review and Draft Site Allocations DPD) between January and March 2014. The Core Strategy at this stage was published as a focused review, but the Council has now been advised that the extent of changes proposed amounts to a full review. The plan updates housing and employment numbers and allocates all the land at the Northern Fringe for the Ipswich Garden Suburb development, allowing more of it to come forward sooner. Therefore, the Council is reviewing the whole Core Strategy document to 2031 alongside the emerging Site Allocations plan.

1.1.3 Due to the Core Strategy being reviewed and subsequent re-organisation of the two documents the Site Allocations DPD has been subject to this updated SA. As part of the preparation process, a combined Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is being undertaken. The term SA shall be used to refer to the combined SA/SEA for the remainder of this report. This report presents the process and the findings of the SA of the Site Allocations DPD.

1.1.4 This report relates to the Proposed Submission Site Allocations DPD and is available for comment for 12 weeks between 12th December 2014 and 5th March 2015.

1.1 Background to and Purpose of the Site Allocations DPD

1.1.5 The Site Allocations DPD will provide detailed site allocations and guidance across the borough, as shown on Figure 1-1 below. It will incorporate specific planning guidance for a defined area of central Ipswich known as IP-One as shown on Figure 1-2 below.

Figure 1-1 Ipswich Borough Council Draft Site Allocations DPD Policies Map

Draft Site Allocations DPD Policies Map

Source: Ipswich Borough Council (November 2014)

Figure 1-2 Ipswich Borough Council Draft Site Allocations DPD Policies Map IP-One Area

Draft Site Allocations DPD Policies Map IP-One Area

Source: Ipswich Borough Council (November 2014)

1.1.6 The draft Site Allocations DPD includes the following key elements:

  • Vision and Objectives

  • Site Allocation Policies

  • IP-One Policies

  • IP-One Opportunity Areas

  • Implementation, Targets, Monitoring and Review

1.1.7 The draft Site Allocations DPD was consulted on as part of the informal consultation under Regulation 18, inviting representations on its content. The Council consulted on the Preferred Options for two plans, Site Allocations and IP-One, in early 2008.

1.1.8 The preparation of the Site Allocations DPD commenced with a call for sites issued in February 2013. A joint Scoping Report for the Core Strategy Focused Review and the Site Allocations DPD was prepared for the scoping consultation, which ran between 25th October and 28th November 2013. Representations received from stakeholders and the public alike were considered when drafting the Site Allocations DPD and the corresponding SA Report. Another round of informal consultation was undertaken in 2014 on the full draft of the plan. Following the consultation, the plan has been reviewed and updated taking into account recommendations from the SA and stakeholder responses. Comments received on the SA Report and responses to these are contained in Appendix C.

1.1.9 Table 1-1 presents an indicative programme for the Site Allocations DPD and future consultation dates.

Table 1-1 Indicative Programme for the Site Allocations DPD

Date Stage/Element of the Site Allocations DPD
February – December 2013 Development of the Site Allocations DPD
January to March 2014 Informal consultation on the Site Allocations DPD
March to November 2014 Consider comments and Site Allocations DPD development
December 2014 to March 2015 Formal publication and consultation period for the Site Allocations DPD
July 2015 Submission
Autumn 2015 Independent examination of Site Allocations DPD by a planning inspector
Autumn 2015 Formal adoption of the Site Allocations DPD

1.2 Background to and Purpose of the SA Report

1.2.1 SA (incorporating the requirements of the SEA Directive1) has been undertaken on the Site Allocations DPD throughout its development. SA is an essential tool for ensuring that the principles of sustainable development are inherent throughout the preparation of the DPD and that it broadly complies with the relevant planning guidance. The overarching aim of the process is to contribute to better decision-making and planning. SA is an iterative process and follows a series of prescribed stages (refer to Section 2.2) in which the elements of the DPD are appraised against Sustainability Objectives, to encourage the selection of the most sustainable options and to ultimately improve the sustainability of the development that is brought forward.

1.2.2 An SA of the Preferred Options for the IP-One Area Action Plan and Site Allocations and Policies was prepared in 2007. Since then, the IP- One Area Action Plan and the Site Allocations and Policies DPD have been combined into the Site Allocations and Policies DPD. Because of the time that has elapsed and the changes to the plans, the Council has decided that this SA will assess the combined DPD as a new document. The findings of the previous SA will, however, inform the assessment.

1.2.3 This SA Report provides a summary of the SA process so far and presents the findings and recommendations of the assessment of the draft Site Allocations DPD. The key aims are to:

  • Provide information on the Site Allocations DPD and the SA process;

  • Present the key existing social, economic and environmental conditions within Ipswich, in the context of existing plans, programmes and environmental protection objectives, together with relevant baseline information;

  • Identify, describe and evaluate the likely significant effects of the site allocations;

  • Recommend measures to avoid, reduce or offset any potentially significant adverse effects.

It is essential that the Proposed Submission Site Allocations DPD is read in conjunction with this SA Report.

1.3 Structure of this SA Report

1.3.1 Table 1-2 provides an outline of the contents and structure of this SA Report.

Table 1-2 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 Site Allocations DPD and this SA Report.
2: 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 Site Allocations DPD (including the SA Framework), together with an overview of the consultation requirements.
3: The Site Allocations Alternatives Outlines the development of alternative options that were considered and appraised as part of the development of the Site Allocations DPD.
4: Appraisal of the Site Allocations Presents the appraisal of the policies and site allocations against the SA Framework including cumulative effects.
5: 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 Presents an update of relevant Plans, Programmes and Environmental Protection Objectives and their relationship/conflicts with the Site Allocations.
Appendix B Contains the baseline data, a summary of which is presented in Chapter 2.
Appendix C Scoping Letter Comments and Summary of Comments and Responses received Jan-March 2014
Appendix D Contains the assessment of alternative site uses
Appendix E Contains the assessment of SP Policies
Appendix F Contains the assessment of Site Allocations
Appendix G Contains the assessment of Opportunity Areas

1 Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment, June 2001
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