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Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

‚ÄčAbout Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

SEA is a process for assessing and evaluating significant environmental effects of large proposed developments or strategic plans. These assessments will be written prior to any required planning application and will be amended during the planning application and afterwards through construction phases with future monitoring.

The SEA is a formal process that includes:

  • evidence gathering
  • assessment
  • reporting the results
  • consultation

This process assesses impacts on the environment at a larger scale than those within an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). It allows the impact of multiple proposals, considers impacts at a more strategic Island wide level for plans or programmes and assesses proposals well before planning application stages. It manages impacts through mitigation measures and long term environmental enhancements.

When a SEA is needed

A SEA would be required when plans or programmes will have a significant effect on the environment. These may affect designates sites, a Ramsar Site, increase the risk of flooding, pollution, noise, impacts on valuable landscapes and damage to rare or sensitive places. There are other reasons a SEA could be needed if there are impacts on human health, increase waste production or impacts on incomes, life choices or ability to create communities. The SEA would be written by those responsible for commissioning the plan or programme.

Comments on a SEA

Consultation is a key part of the SEA process to make sure both the public and key organisations have their say. At the scoping stage the level of detail and areas to be covered will be agreed. The plan or programme will be set out in a report which must be consulted on. Finally when the plan is adopted there must be further public consultation.

We'll determine the parts of a proposed development that are most likely to have a significant impact on the environment and consult the relevant organisations to detail the level of information that an EIA must contain. We'll provide this information as a scoping opinion. Because these assessments are at a strategic level a Steering Group may be required to ensure there is full participation and a clear assessment of impacts.

When you need a SEA

The type of plans or programmes that may be subject to a SEA include:

  • Island Plan and future updates (the Island Plan has been subject to informal SEA)
  • States of Jersey Strategic Plan
  • masterplans (for example the North St. Helier Masterplan was subject to informal SEA
  • energy plans such as the Renewable Energy Plan
  • National Park Management Plans
  • transport plans
  • waste strategies
  • Climate Change Adaptation Strategy
  • countryside management plans

You need to make a formal request to the department to see if you need an assessment. If the use of the screening procedure concludes that SEA is not necessary, there may still be benefits associated with undertaking the SEA for reasons of good practice.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Some types of EIA development that may promote residential, commercial or recreational development may also require SEA, for example masterplans. There can often be a benefit to subjecting small-scale masterplans to SEA, particularly if a number are proposed across an urban area such as St. Helier, as this will allow consideration of cumulative effects. However if a plan or programme could potentially fall under the requirements of an EIA it should not need a SEA.

View or comment on a SEA

We advertise all SEA scoping requests via:

You can make a comment on these plans and documents using the planning register. If you don't have access to a computer, you can use the public computers at Customer and Local Services, La Motte Street (opening times are 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday).

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