Development and Air Quality Sustainability Statement

The appraisal checked the air quality document against a set of sustainability criteria.

The detailed findings from this appraisal have been documented in a separate Sustainability Appraisal Report.

Key findings

  • The air quality planning document will have a major positive impact on local air quality by strengthening the policies in the Unitary Development Plan. Other environmental objectives such as biodiversity and neighbourhood quality will also be improved to a lesser extent.
  • We also think that the air quality planning document will have moderate positive impacts on human health and access to services by promoting sustainable modes of travel.
  • The positive impacts for businesses and the economy are perhaps the most important, because these can help encourage a shift towards more proactive business practice with regards to sustainability.
  • We identified that the document could also encourage and support economic growth, whilst helping to improve the image of businesses and the borough itself.

Changes to the air quality document as a result of appraisal

  • As a result of the appraisal we made several minor changes to the wording of the Air Quality Document.
  • We suggested that readers of the document should be made more aware of the benefits of implementing the mitigation measures that are included within it.
  • The appraisal team identified the potential for the council to produce a "reducing consumption" strategy. This would deal with the broader issues of waste more thoroughly, also outlining the improvements in air quality that can be achieved by
    reducing waste movement and disposal.
  • We identified the need to consider the weight of importance given to economic, social and environmental objectives when progressing the Local Development Framework.
  • We identified and documented the links between the air quality document and other supplementary planning documents, particularly the Protected Species Document and the Travel Plans Document.
  •  We made slight alterations to our sustainability appraisal framework to reflect air quality issues with greater clarity.

Consultation

  • The Sustainability Appraisal Report was made available for consultation alongside the air quality document.
  • We received one comment stating a concern for the “lack of evidence base in the sustainability appraisal”.
  • In response, we outlined our methodology, directing the consultee to the multiple sources of information and evidence we used for the appraisal. Our detailed response to this comment can be found in the consultation statement.
  • The comments received about the air quality document did not result in any significant changes to its content, and therefore did not affect the sustainability appraisal process or require the document to be reappraised.

Conclusion

  • The Air Quality and Development Planning Document is more “sustainable” than the
    identified alternative of “business as usual”.
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