One of the things that the Neighbourhood plan team has to produce is an assessment as to whether the impact of our plan on the Environment is likely to need a formal detailed strategic environmental assessment (SEA). Our impact assessment has been completed by our consultant and Natural England, the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, have responded today (11/03/2020) saying:
“Natural England considers that, based on the material supplied with the consultation, in so far as our strategic environmental interests are concerned, significant environmental effects resulting from the neighbourhood plan are unlikely. We therefore agree with the conclusion of the SEA screening report that a Strategic Environmental Assessment would not be required.”
This is excellent as a formal screening assessment would need additional time, effort and cost to create. It is good news that a body as important as Natural England agrees we do not need to complete one.