Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a process to ensure that the environmental implications of decisions are taken into account before certain plans and programmes are adopted. The SEA process is integrated throughout the development of a plan / programme, notably during data gathering, feasibility of options, development of the preferred option, and monitoring its implementation.

The assessment is undertaken to meet the requirements of European Directive 2001/42/EC. The objective of the Directive is "to provide for a high level of protection of the environment and to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans and programmes with a view to promoting sustainable development, by ensuring ... an environmental assessment is carried out for certain plans and programmes."  

The assessment is intended to increase the consideration of environmental issues during decision making related to strategic documents (plans, programmes and strategies). It does this by identifying the significant environmental effects that are likely to result from the implementation of the plan or alternative approaches to the plan. The findings of the assessment are presented in an Environmental Report that is consulted upon, with the public, alongside a draft of the plan. Issues raised in the Environmental Report and in responses to the consultation must be considered by the plan-maker before the plan is formally adopted.  

We published our SEA Scoping report of the Eastern Yar draft flood and erosion management strategy in February 2007. This report documented the data gathering we had completed and set out environmental objectives for the strategy.

The SEA Environmental Report is the main written output of the SEA process, and documents the environmental effects of the preferred options within the plan or programme. The Environmental Report also records how environmental impacts have been taken into consideration and influenced decision-making in selecting the preferred plan. We will publish the Eastern Yar draft flood and erosion management strategy Environmental Report at the start of our public consultation. You will be able to download it from the ‘documents' page.