Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is the systematic appraisal of the potential environmental consequences of high-level decision-making, such as policies, plans, strategies and programmes.
The need for SEA has been formalised through European legislation known as the 'SEA Directive' and is implemented in England through the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations (SI 2004 1633). There is no legal requirement under the SEA Directive to apply SEA to SMPs.
However as SMPs clearly help to set the framework for future planning and have significant environmental implications, Defra recommends that the environmental appraisal of SMPs be undertaken in line with the approach in the SEA Directive.
This Appendix describes how environmental considerations have been incorporated into decisions on proposed policies for the draft SMP and retrospectively clarifies how the adopted approach is compliant with the SEA Directive.
This has been done using a combination of summary narrative descriptions, cross referencing to relevant sections of the SMP and an additional assessment using existing data on the proposed draft policies for public consultation.