'Sustainability' is about trying to ensure that the decisions we make today do not have too much negative impact on future generations. National planning policy places great weight on sustainable development.
As we go through the stages of preparing a new local plan, we are required by law to do a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) looking at how the different policy options at each stage affect sustainability, and how any negative effects can be minimised.
The first stage of SA is to do a 'scoping report'. This uses available evidence to highlight the different 'sustainability issues' in the area, and the current state of play - or 'baseline' situation. The report goes on to consider how we might address the various issues ('objectives'), and how we can measure progress ('indicators'). We prepared the West Lancashire SA Scoping Report in autumn 2016, and received comments on it from the three required 'statutory consultees' as well as from Lancashire County Council Public Health.
Habitats Regulations Assessment
In addition to the SA, we are also required to do a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) to try and make sure that we cause minimum harm to important wildlife habitats. As with the SA, the HRA will also be carried out at each stage of preparation of the Local Plan.