Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

How plans and programmes are assessed to identify and mitigate against detrimental impacts upon the environment.

The Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive

In 2004, the UK Government ratified European Union Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment, or Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) as it has become known.

The SEA Directive requires that plans and programmes should be assessed to identify and mitigate against detrimental impacts upon the environment.

SEA is being implemented in the UK for the planning process through Sustainability Appraisal (SA).

Both processes are undertaken during the preparation of a plan or strategy to aid the implementation of sustainable development. The main difference between them is that while SEA has more of an environmental focus, SA includes greater coverage of the social and economic aspects of sustainable development. Although SA and SEA are distinct requirements, government guidance has recommended a single appraisal process.

In line with government guidance and regulations, we have carried out SA (incorporating SEA) on its Minerals Development Plan Documents (MDPDs) and Waste Development Plan Documents (WDPDs).


After the implementation of the MDF and WDF, monitoring of key indicators will take place to assess the impact of the plans. Progress relating to the DPDs will be included in our Minerals and Waste Annual Monitoring Report, and will show any changes to the plan area which have resulted from their implementation.

Draft Scoping Report

The Suffolk Minerals & Waste Local Plan Sustainability Appraisal Draft Scoping Report (PDF, 2.26MB) is now available to view.

Consultation on this document ended on 31 October 2016.

Minerals and Waste Local Plan - Issues and Options Consultation 

Suffolk County Council is currently running an Issues and Options Consultation as part of the development of a new combined Minerals and Waste Local Plan. 

To view the consultation, which includes a Sustainability Appraisal, visit the consultation web page.