Last edited 21 Jul 2021

Strategic environmental assessment

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) defines a strategic environmental assessment as: 'A procedure (set out in the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004) which requires the formal environmental assessment of certain plans and programmes which are likely to have significant effects on the environment.'

The London Plan, published by the Mayor of London in March 2016, suggests that Strategic Environmental Assessment is: ‘Required under the European Directive 2001/42/EC, which has been transposed into UK Law through the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004. Strategic Environmental Assessment seeks to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans to promote sustainable development.’

A handbook on environmental impact assessment, 4th edition, published by Scottish Natural Heritage in 2013 suggests that the terms Strategic Environmental Appraisal, or Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) refer to: ‘…the whole process of considering the environmental effects of certain public plans and programmes, including development plans, under the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005.’

See also: Strategic environmental assessment directive.

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