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What is the difference between Sustainability Appraisal, Strategic Environmental Assessment and other forms of assessment?

Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) are tools used at the plan-making stage to assess the likely effects of the plan when judged against reasonable alternatives.

In contrast Environmental Impact Assessment is applied to individual projects which are likely to have significant environmental effects (also see the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011).

A plan or project may also require an appropriate assessment, as set out in the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended), if it is considered likely to have significant effects on a habitats site. A Sustainability Appraisal should take account of the findings of an appropriate assessment, if one is undertaken.

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