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Requirement of a Strategic Environmental Assessment

To view the Final Assessments please select Final North Solent SMP and select the relevant appendix and annex

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is the term used to describe an assessment undertaken to meet the requirements of European Directive 2001/42/EC.

The objective of the European Directive 2001/42/EC 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 Directive introduced the statutory requirement of an SEA in the UK in July 2004. This was further implemented by secondary legislation for England and Wales via The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 (SI 2004 1633), known as the 'SEA Regulations'.

There is no legal requirement for an SEA under the SEA Regulations for SMPs, however DEFRA's best practice guidelines strongly encourage operating authorities to undertake an SEA for SMPs as they help to set the framework for future planning and have significant environmental implications.

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