As part of the production of a NDP Sedgemoor District Council is required to advise and assist the “qualifying body” (Parish Council), including in ensuring that the NDP does not breach, and is otherwise compatible with, European Union obligations. This includes deciding whether the NDP requires a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in accordance with the European Directive 2001/42/EC (“SEA Directive”) and associated Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 (“SEA Regulations”).
Sedgemoor District Council considers that the Wedmore NDP is not a “plan or programme” of a type described at Regulation 5(2) or 5(4) of The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004. The Plan is a “plan or programme” of the type described at Regulation 5(3), however, the ‘small area’ exemption applies and a determination made under Regulation 9(1) concludes that the Plan is not likely to have significant environmental effects.
Also, having regard to the criteria set out in Schedule 1 of the SEA Regulations, and consultation with Environment Agency, Historic England and Natural England the District Council has made a determination under Regulation 9 that the Wedmore Neighbourhood Development Plan is unlikely to have significant environmental effects (and, accordingly, does not require an environmental assessment).