Development Plan Assessments
The Department is often required to carry out a number of assessments during the preparation of a development plan
Strategic Environmental Assessment
European Directive 2001/42/EC requires Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of a wide range of plans and programmes. The objective of the 'SEA 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 with a view to promoting sustainable development.
The SEA Directive also makes provision where applicable for transboundary consultation. The Department has prepared best practice guidance on the matter in the following attachment.
Article 6 of the European Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC states that any plan or project likely to have a significant effect on a Natura 2000 site shall be subject to appropriate assessment of it's implications for the site in view of the site's conservation objectives
Equality Impact Assessment
Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 requires that the Department carries out its functions with due regard to the desirability of promoting good relations and the need to promote equality of opportunity. The Department therefore seeks to ensure that development plans do not have the effect of discriminating against individuals or groups of people who fall within the categories defined in Section 75. Development Plans will therefore be screened to consider whether any potential adverse effects will arise from their policies and proposals and where appropriate an EQIA will be undertaken.