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Strategic environmental assessment

The European Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) came into force in Scots Law in 2005. Its official designation is European Directive 2001/42/EC, "The assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment It applies to a wide range of plans and programmes prepared by statutory agencies, regional planning bodies, local authorities and others.

The Directive aims to ensure environmental protection and sustainable development by requiring an assessment of the environmental effects of plans and programmes to be carried out as they are being developed.

SEA and plan making

SEA is a tool used internationally to improve the environmental performance of plans by predicting and evaluating the environmental impacts of plans and their alternatives at an early stage in their preparation. Improvements to plans are identified through the involvement of environmental experts, stakeholders and the public. When SEA is carried out effectively and is properly taken into account by decision-makers, the result should be a more robust plan that responds to environmental challenges and improves people's quality of life.

An SEA process follows a number of key stages:

  • Pre-screening
  • Screening
  • Scoping
  • Environmental Report
  • Adoption
  • Monitoring

So far, the Sustainable Development section has undertaken SEAs in relation to the following documents:

  • Ayrshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan
  • Core Paths Plan
  • Carbon Management Plan

Planning and SEA

Specific queries relating to SEAs for developments should be addressed to The Planning Section of the Council.

Transportation and SEA

Specific queries relating to SEAs for transportation should be addressed the Transportation Section of the Council.

Strategic Environment Assessment Documents



Environmental Report

Post Adoption Statement


Paper copies of the Ayrshire BAP, and related SEA documents can be viewed at the following Council locations:

  • County Buildings, Wellington Square, Ayr (Mon - Thur 8.45am - 4.45pm; Fri 8.45am - 4pm except public holidays)
  • Burns House, Burns Statue Square, Ayr (Mon - Thur 8.45am - 4.45pm; ;Fri 8.45am - 4pm except public holidays)
  • Carnegie Library, Main Street Ayr (Mon, Tue, Thur and Fri 9am - 7pm; Wed & Sat 9am - 5pm except public holidays)

Carbon Management Plan
Climate Change Action Plan
Local Transport Strategy

Environmental Reports