ACCON UK is able to undertake Sustainability Appraisals for proposed developments of any size. In terms of land use planning, a Sustainability Appraisal is similar to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) but also includes economic and social inputs, and provides a critical evaluation of the performance of a proposed project against predetermined social, economic and environmental criteria so that the project’s performance can be improved.

Sustainability Appraisals are mandatory under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. At present there is no specific formal procedure when undertaking a Sustainability Appraisal, however it usually involves the following aspects:

  • Reviewing current best practice with regard to the subject of the plan;
  • Scoping national, regional and local policy guidance;
  • Reviewing the plan’s assumptions, objectives and forecasts;
  • Identifying criteria for appraising the plan’s sustainability performance;
  • Modifying plans/policies in the light of the appraisal; and
  • Identifying sustainable development indicators so the plan’s long term delivery of sustainability can be monitored.

Sustainability Appraisal has the advantage of being quicker than SEA, producing a slightly less rigorous, although still valuable, broad analysis, usually in the form of a checklist with accompanying explanation. This allows fairly rapid assessment to be made about the sustainability impact of a planned development, individual policies and also indicates where policy adjustments may need to be made.

Our sustainability credentials run through much of the work we provide in other specialist technical disciplines and in this respect we are able to provide advice on the following:

  • Renewable Energy;
  • Code for Sustainable Homes;
  • Carbon Footprinting and Management; and
  • Water & Waste Management.