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Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal (SEA/SA)

SEA/SA CoverOur advice aims to help town planners to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of SEA/SA for land use plans. It focuses on the particularly influential or problematic stages of SEA/SA, and emphasises how, when done well, it is a positive tool improving both local and neighbourhood plans, and protecting and enhancing the environment.

As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, which is the source of much of our environmental legislation, it is more important than ever to ensure that we use the tools we have as effectively and efficiently as possible.


Read the full advice or the summary.


The advice outlines four tips for success:

  • Identify the plan's significant impacts and ways of minimising its negative effects to make the plan more sustainable and more responsive to its environmental effects;
  • Use SEA/SA to document the 'story' of the plan – why the plan is the way it is and not something else;
  • Focus on the alternatives and mitigation stages as this is where SEA/SA can best influence the plan;
  • Focus on key issues and effects, scope out insignificant effects, and don't include unnecessary information.


Commissioned by RTPI South East from Levett-Therivel our practice advice logically works through the SEA/SA process, highlighting good practice and case studies to demonstrate how it can be an effective and efficient tool for improving land use plans.


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