DRAFT SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL (SA) STRATEGIC by amg17781

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									DRAFT SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL (SA) / STRATEGIC
       ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT (SEA)



 REDCAR AND CLEVELAND’S DRAFT GREEN SPACE
                STRATEGY



   “QUALITY SPACES FOR PEOPLE AND PLACES”




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1.         Background......................................................................................... 3

2.         Scope, Context, Baseline, Issues and SEA/SA Objectives ............. 3

Scope.............................................................................................................................. 3

Links with plans, programmes or environmental protection objectives ................ 3

Baseline Information ................................................................................................... 5

Environmental and Other Sustainability Issues ....................................................... 6

SEA/SA Objectives....................................................................................................... 7

3.     Testing the Draft Green Space Strategy against the SEA/SA objectives 8

4.     Proposals for Monitoring .................................................................... 14

5.     Appropriate Assessment ..................................................................... 15

Introduction ................................................................................................................ 15

Special Protection Areas............................................................................................ 15

Appropriate Assessment ............................................................................................ 15

Scoping of the Draft Green Space Strategy ............................................................. 16

Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 16




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1.     Background

1.1    The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004
       brought into effect the requirements of European Directive 2001/42/EC to
       undertake Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of relevant plans.

1.2    SEA is the process that is used to assess the effect that plans or programmes
       with a spatial element (those relating specifically to locations or areas) have
       on the environment.

1.3    A Sustainability Appraisal (SA) has been carried out of the Draft Green Space
       Strategy. SA is very similar to SEA except that it considers the social and
       economic consequences of implementing a plan or proposal as well as
       looking at the environmental effects. This SA Report outlines the results of
       the SA.


2.     Scope, Context, Baseline, Issues and SEA/SA Objectives

       Scope

2.1    Relevant material from the SA of the Local Development Framework (LDF)
       Core Strategy Development Plan Document (DPD) was used to establish the
       scope for the SA of the Draft Green Space Strategy. This is supplemented by
       information outlined in section 2.4 to 2.10.

2.2    Scoping is required to ensure that the range and extent of the SA/SEA is
       appropriate. Scoping involves the preparation of and consultation on a
       scoping report. A ‘workshop’ approach was used for the SA/SEA of the LDF
       Core Strategy DPD to consult on the scope of the SA/SEA. The workshop
       attendees were members of a sustainability focus group. The focus group
       included representatives from a number of organisations including the four
       statutory authorities (Countryside Agency, English Nature, English Heritage
       and the Environment Agency),

2.3    The workshop included:
        Discussion of the environmental and sustainability issues within the
          borough of Redcar and Cleveland
        Discussion of the proposed SA/SEA objectives
        Discussion of proposed SA/SEA indicators and baseline information

       Links with plans, programmes or environmental protection objectives

2.4    Table 1 outlines relevant plans, programmes and other environmental
       protection objectives and how their objectives and requirements might be
       taken on board.

Table 1: Links with plans, programmes or environmental protection objectives
Other Plans /      Objectives or requirements         How objectives or
Programmes         of the other plan or               requirements might be


                                                                                     3
                programme                          taken on board
A Rural         Identifies the issues that         Ensure that rural issues are
Strategy for    matter to rural people the         considered.
East Cleveland most, and looks to the future.
Community       A strategy, which seeks to         Ensure that community
Safety Strategy reduce crime and disorder          safety is considered.
                and improve the perception of
                community.
Community       Priority 1: Creating More          Ensure that priorities 1 to 6
Strategy        Employment Opportunities           are considered.
                Priority 2: Tackling Crime
                and the Fear of Crime
                Priority 3: Investing in
                Children and Young People
                Priority 4: Creating a Clean
                and Sustainable Environment
                Priority 5: Improving Health
                and Well-being
                Priority 6: Neighbourhood
                Renewal and Social Inclusion
Housing         A strategy prepared by the         Ensure that green spaces
Strategy        Council and is partners, which     support housing needs and
                sets out priorities for            aspirations.
                improving housing in Redcar
                and Cleveland to ensure
                housing provision meets
                community needs and
                aspirations.
Local            Protecting green spaces          Ensure that that ideas
Development         from development.              highlighted in the strategy
Framework        Providing additional green       are implemented through
                    spaces to meet demand          policies in the LDF.
                 Improving existing
                    spaces.
                 Providing policy guidance
                    for securing developers’
                    contributions towards
                    investment in green
                    space.
Local Transport Sets out strategies to address     Promote Green Routes,
Plan            the regeneration and               which will encourage
                transport shared priorities that   people to travel using more
                have been agreed between           sustainable forms of
                central and local government.      transport.
Neighbourhood A strategy to tackle hardship        Ensure that green spaces
Renewal         in the poorest areas.              in the poorest areas are
Strategy                                           identified.
Obesity         A strategy to tackle obesity in    Ensure that the use of
Strategy        Redcar and Cleveland               green spaces and green



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                   prepared by Langbaurgh             routes is promoted.
                   Primary Care Trust.
Physical           A strategy outlining how the       Ensure that the use of
Activity           Council is going to make sure      green spaces and green
Strategy           people have the opportunity        routes is promoted.
                   to improve their quality of life
                   by becoming more active.
Play Strategy      Strategy to provide quality        Improve play areas.
(Draft)            and accessible play
                   opportunities which offer
                   variety, adventure and
                   stimulus in an environment
                   where children and young
                   people can choose to play
                   freely and safely.
Public Rights of   Plan which will set out a          Improve green routes.
Way                framework for managing local
Improvement        rights of way in order to
Plan               provide better facilities for
                   walkers, cyclists and horse
                   riders.
Sustainable        Strategy, policies and actions     Ensure that awareness is
Environment        developed by the Council and       raised, behaviour is
Strategy           its partners, to raise             changed and environmental
                   awareness, change behaviour        improvement is delivered.
                   and deliver environmental
                   improvement across the
                   borough.
Tees Valley        Promotes action to improve         Promote actions to improve
Biodiversity       habitats and sites for             habitats and sites for
action plan        particular species.                particular species.
Tree and           Will develop a programme for       Improve management of
Woodland           the long term management of        green spaces to improve
Strategy           the borough’s stock of trees       the Borough’s stock of
                   and woodlands.                     trees.

      Baseline Information

2.5   Baseline information was defined through the comprehensive SEA/SA
      undertaken for the LDF Core Strategy DPD. This baseline information can be
      used for the SA of the Draft Green Space Strategy as it provides a broad
      coverage of environmental, social and economic issues across the Borough.

2.6   Baseline information is essential to the SEA/SA process as it is not possible to
      predict whether the Draft Green Space Strategy will achieve the objectives of
      sustainable development (SEA/SA objectives) without having an
      understanding of the current baseline situation.

2.7   The baseline information collected for the SEA/SA of the Core Strategy is
      available on http://www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/LDF. It is further


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       supplemented by baseline data, which is directly relevant to the Draft Green
       Space Strategy such as detailed background information on the quality and
       quantity of green spaces.

       Environmental and Other Sustainability Issues

2.8    Identifying environmental and other sustainability issues creates an
       opportunity to define key issues and improve the SEA/SA objectives. Table 2
       outlines the issues affecting green spaces in Redcar and Cleveland and the
       main points that the Draft Green Space Strategy should take into
       consideration to ensure that these key issues are addressed. These issues
       are based on evidence from the baseline information collected.

Table 2 - Issues

Urban Deprivation
The Borough is the 12th most deprived area of the country with 16 of the 22
wards containing areas included within the 20% most deprived
neighbourhoods nationally. Particular areas of the Borough are suffering from
high levels of urban deprivation and many are suffering from longstanding
problems associated with population decline, unemployment, multiple-
deprivation and environmental degradation. This has led to abandonment and
neglected buildings and poor quality green spaces.

     The quality of green spaces in the public realm needs to be improved to
      address urban decay and encourage people to return to the area.

Town/Village Centres
Some town/village centres suffer from poor image and environmental quality.

     The design quality of green spaces in the town/village centres needs to
      be improved to attract people to shop and increase leisure activity in the
      area.

Crime
Some green spaces are prone to criminal activity.

     The Green Space Strategy should be aimed at creating green spaces,
      which design out crime.

Poor Green Space Design
Some green spaces have been poorly designed and have failed to contribute
positively to the quality of the Borough’s towns and villages. This has
impacted negatively on the image of the Borough and the community’s sense
of pride in the area.

     Poor design needs to be addressed to improve the image of the
      borough and create a sense of place.

Local Distinctiveness


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Green spaces have too often failed to reflect local distinctiveness with little
effort being given to creating spaces that reflect and enhance the area’s local
character or distinctiveness.

      Green spaces should respect and protect local character and
       distinctiveness.

Connectivity
Very little concern has been given to ensure that green spaces are well
connected.

      Green routes should be promoted to improve connectivity between
       green spaces, the coast and countryside.

Social Inclusion
Some green spaces have been poorly designed and have failed to contribute
positively to the Borough’s towns and villages. This has impacted negatively
on the community by creating green spaces with problems such as crime, a
lack of facilities for children and older people and poor access.

      Green spaces should be created to have a positive impact and help
       create sustainable communities.


       SEA/SA Objectives

2.9    The 20 objectives were defined through the comprehensive SEA/SA
       undertaken of the LDF Core Strategy DPD. The SEA/SA objectives can be
       used for the SA of the Draft Green Space Strategy as they provide a broad
       coverage of environmental, social and economic issues across the Borough.

2.10   The sustainability objectives are listed in Table 3. The SA will involve
       establishing whether the Draft Green Space Strategy has adequately
       considered each objective and whether there is scope to improve the Draft
       Green Space Strategy to better deliver the objectives and improve the
       sustainability of the strategy.

Table 3: SEA/SA Objectives
Protect the Natural and Built Environment
1. To protect and enhance biodiversity and geodiversity.
2. To protect and enhance the quality and distinctiveness of the area’s
     landscapes and open spaces, townscapes and streetscapes.
3. To preserve, protect and enhance buildings, sites, features and areas of
     archaeological, historical and architectural interest and diversity.
Prudent Use of Natural Resources
4. To protect and improve local air quality.
5. To protect and improve the quality of all controlled waters.
6. To reduce the causes of adverse climate change.
7. To minimise the risk of flooding.
8. To reduce the amount of waste produced and increase the amount


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    recycled, reused and recovered.
9. To promote the re-use of previously developed land.
Community Support and Involvement
10. To promote social inclusion.
11. To ensure that the housing needs and aspirations of the community are
    met locally.
12. To enable the development of new and improved educational facilities.
13. To create safe communities.
14. To provide opportunities for physical activity to promote healthy lifestyles.
15. To maintain and improve the accessibility and quality of key services and
    facilities.
16. To encourage the use of sustainable and high quality design in new
    developments.
Support the Economy
17. To improve access to employment.
18. To diversify the economy of the rural areas.
19. To support and facilitate economic growth and provide opportunities for
    employment.
20. To improve the viability and vitality of town and district centres.


3.      Testing the Draft Green Space Strategy against the SEA/SA objectives

3.1     The SA process was used to test the Draft Green Space Strategy against the
        SA objectives in order to check that it adequately addressed all of the SA
        objectives and to consider whether there was scope for improving it to better
        deliver sustainability.

3.2     SA can be a subjective and judgmental exercise therefore the effectiveness of
        the process is dependent on the expertise and knowledge of the team of
        appraisers. The team of appraisers was made up of the following people, who
        are listed in Table 4 and who between them have a wide range of experience
        in environmental, social and economic matters.

Table 4: Appraisal Team
SA Team Member Position                                            Organisation
Alan Adams          Conservation and Design Manager                RCBC*
Simon Blenkinsop    Recreation Officer                             Tees Forest
Dennis Demoily      Parks Facilities Manager                       RCBC*
Claire Gallagher    Development Manager                            Ground Work South Tees
Leslie Hoyle        Health Inequalities Manager                    Langbaurgh PCT
Rosemary Kidd       Planning Policy Manager                        RCBC*
Rob Lunan           Principal Planning Officer, Conservation and   RCBC*
                    Design
John McCormack      Special Projects Officer, Equality and         RCBC*
                    Diversity
Mark Mein           Principal Planning Officer, Planning Policy    RCBC*
Albert Muckley      Planning Officer, Planning Policy              RCBC*
Brian Nicholson     Principal Economic Development Officer         RCBC*
Paul Taylor         Environmental Management Officer               RCBC*
* Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council




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3.3     Table 5 is a matrix setting out the result of testing the Draft Green Space
        Strategy against the SA objectives. This appraisal process led to a number of
        minor changes to the document, which will help the Draft Green Space
        Strategy to better achieve the sustainability objectives. The points made
        during the appraisal of the Draft Green Space Strategy are set out in Table 6.

Table 5: SA of Draft Green Space Strategy
                   Environmental Objectives                Social Objectives             Economic
                                                                                         Objectives




                                                            10. Social Inclusion




                                                                                                           18. Rural Economy
                    3.Cultural Heritage



                    6. Climate Change




                                                                                                                               Growth Centres
                                                                                          17. Employment



                                                                                                                               19. Economic
                    1.Biodiverstiy




                                                            13 Education
                    2.Landscape

                    4. Air Quality




                                                            15. Services
                                                            11. Housing
                    7. Flooding




                                                            16. Design
                                                            14. Health
                                                            12. Safety




                                                                                                                               20. Town
                    8. Waste
                    5. Water




                      9 PDL                            
Draft Urban                                                                                                         
Design                                                                        
Guidelines
SPD


Significance Criteria:                         XX = The strategy will have a highly significant, negative
= The strategy will have a highly            effect
significant, positive effect                   X = The strategy will have a significant, negative effect
= The strategy will have a significant,       = The effect of the strategy is not significant
positive effect                                - = No effect



Table 6: Comments and Changes Proposed as a Result of the SA
Objectives   Issues Raised
1            Biodiversity
             It was found that objective 1 on biodiversity was addressed through
             Recommendation 8, 14 and 16.

             It was considered important to make adequate reference to the Tree and
             Woodland Strategy as it will be crucial in the future management of
             woodlands in the Borough.




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Objectives   Issues Raised
             Geodiversity
             It was found that objective 1 on geodiversity was inadequately addressed.

             Redcar and Cleveland have the highest number of sites of geodiversity
             interest but these are thought to be outside the audited green spaces.

             Reference could be made to enhancing facilities in green spaces and
             providing greater education on geodiversity issues.

             There’s a need to check through the Borough’s geodiversity and how this
             might overlap with the audited sites.

2            It was found that objective 2 was addressed through Recommendation 5,
             7, 8 and 17.

             The Landscape Character Assessment and the Urban Design Guidelines
             should be referred to.

             There might be opportunity to expand the coverage of the document and
             include more information on trees and hedgerows.

             Reference should be made to designing out crime in green spaces.

             Making green spaces central to development helps combat the fear of
             crime.

             Particular reference should be made to fruit trees and this could tie in with
             reaching the target of 5 a day (fruit and vegetables) and in turn influence
             the allotment strategy.

             Reference should be made to the Green Streets Project, which will be
             running for 2 years.




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Objectives   Issues Raised
3            It was considered that recommendation 14 could be extended to prepare
             management plans for buildings, sites and features mentioned in
             objective 3 such as churchyards.

             Management plans to protect and enhance major sites need to address
             lesser sites and non - public sites.

             From a heritage perspective some green spaces and the buildings in
             them need more sensitive restoration.

             Ensure implementation plans respect the quality of the area.

             Identify the archaeological sites within towns e.g. industrial archaeological
             sites.

             The Historic Environment Record, which has replaced The Sites and
             Monuments Record could be a useful source of information and could be
             referred to.

             Tees Archaeology jointly funded by the four Boroughs has carried out an
             Industrial Archaeological survey.

4            It was found that objective 4 was addressed through Recommendation 8
             and 17.

             It was highlighted that improving vegetation cover can help absorb
             pollution and that green routes encourage people to walk and cycle to
             green spaces.

             It was noted that sustainable transport schemes throughout the Borough
             are not adequately supported.

5            It was found that objective 5 would be addressed through
             Recommendation 7 and 14.

             To help reduce runoff reference should be made to trees, which absorb
             rainfall and SUDS should be promoted.

             Management practices need to be improved to prevent water pollution
             e.g. spraying programmes and reduction of pesticide usage.

             Management practices should be adapted to allow waterways return to a
             more natural state e.g. by letting beck sides grow etc.

             Awareness and training needs to be extended to other the wider public
             and to other organisations.

6            Issues overlap with objective 4.



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Objectives   Issues Raised
7            The shoreline management plan is an important point of reference.

             Water absorption in terms of trees and water collection in terms of SUDS
             were also seen as important.

8            It was noted that there is no mention of recycling bins in the Borough’s
             green spaces.

             Reference could be made to recycling excess green waste for horticultural
             reasons or as biomass for the wood burning power station at Wilton 10.

9            Recommendation 7 indirectly supports objective 9 by seeking to protect
             certain green spaces and by looking at surplus green spaces.

10           It was found that objective 10 was addressed through Recommendation
             17 and 18.

             It was found that disabled access was not adequately addressed.

             It was considered important to:
              Tackle fear of crime by promoting safer design in terms of lighting and
                 surveillance;
              Look closer at paths between settlements;
              Make reference to the ROW improvement plan;
              Prepare access plans within parks;
              Create Alcohol Free Zones;
              Create outdoor natural gyms;
              Look at the way different ethnicities use green spaces; and
              Make reference to the Falls Prevention Agenda.

11           It was found that objective 11 was addressed through Recommendation
             6 and 7.

             It was considered that standards for green spaces on new development
             should be made clearer and that these spaces should be multi functional
             and have a positive effect on housing schemes.




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Objectives   Issues Raised
12           It was found that objective 12 was addressed through Recommendation
             18 and 19.

             It was considered that development of new and improved educational
             facilities should work alongside projects of a similar nature such as:
                 Eco Schools;
                 Worklessness agenda;
                 Greenstart;
                 Surestart Goes Wild;
                 Countryside section projects; and
                 Tees Valley Wildlife Trust projects

             It was also considered important to:
              Include agendas to encourage work skills through allotments; and
              Help create links with Upsall hall.

13           It was found that objective 13 was addressed through Recommendation
             7, 9, 14 and 18.

             It was considered that to help create safer communities reference should
             be made to the falls prevention agenda and to tackling fear of crime.

14           It was found that objective 14 was addressed through Recommendation
             12, 13, 17 and 19.

             It was considered that awareness raising/marketing is strong for events
             held in country parks but needs to be made stronger for those held in
             local parks.

             It was considered that promotion of green routes should be stronger and
             that reference should be made to Tees Valley Leisure.

             It was considered that reference could be made to activity tourism in the
             Borough, which addresses visitors’ use of green spaces.

15           It was considered that the Green Space Strategy as a whole covers
             objective 15.




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Objectives   Issues Raised
16           It was found that objective 16 was addressed through Recommendation
             7.

             It was considered that greater emphasis should be put on design of open
             spaces.

             It was considered that reference should be made to the work being
             undertaken by Development Trusts, Community Enhancement Forums
             and Friends of Groups.

             It was considered that the importance of putting high quality buildings and
             facilities into parks should be identified in the strategy.

17           It was found that objective 17 was addressed through Recommendation
             18.

             It was considered that environment related projects such as gardening
             and maintenance projects could be a means of improving skills.

             It was considered that a similar approach could be taken here as is taken
             in Darlington by encouraging young caretakers (street champions) to
             become more involved with the care of some green spaces.

18           It was considered that reference should be made to part time workers who
             work with community groups.

19           It was considered that reference should be made to groups which, provide
             opportunities for employment such as:
              Wise Group;
              Job Connect;
              Routes to employment;
              The Intermediate Labour Market (ILM); and
              The Local Enterprise Growth Initiative.

20           It was considered that the Green Space Strategy as a whole covered
             objective 20.



4.     Proposals for Monitoring

4.1    An annual review of the Recommendations and the Action Plan will be carried
       out. This will involve monitoring the progress of the strategy against the
       action plan.




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5.    Appropriate Assessment

      Introduction

5.1   Under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 1994, land use
      plans have to be assessed under an Appropriate Assessment (AA) to ensure
      that they do not have a significant effect on Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
      or Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), both designated wildlife areas of
      international importance.

5.2   (The above Regulations translate the European Union Habitats Directive into
      law in Great Britain. This Directive sets out measures to maintain or restore
      natural habitats and species of European interest at ‘favourable conservation
      status’).

5.3   As a land use plan, the Draft Green Space Strategy has been considered in
      an initial scoping exercise to ascertain whether a full Appropriate Assessment
      is needed. This scoping exercise, and its conclusion, is set out below.

      Special Protection Areas

5.4   Within the Borough itself lies the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast SPA, which
      covers Coatham Sands, Bran Sands, Redcar Rocks, Coatham Rocks and
      South Gare Breakwater. This SPA extends outside the Borough; as a whole,
      the SPA is a wetland of international importance for water birds, comprising
      intertidal sand and mudflats, rocky shore, sand dunes, saltmarsh and
      freshwater marsh. There is another SPA in the North York Moors National
      Park adjacent to the boundary of the area of the Borough’s Local
      Development Framework. This SPA covers moorland important for Merlin and
      Golden Plover. There are, however, no Special Areas of Conservation to
      consider.

5.5   The conservation objectives of English Nature are focused on
      maintaining the condition of the habitats. Potential negative effects on the
      SPA may be categorised into: physical damage, non-physical damage, and
      biological disturbance.

      Appropriate Assessment

5.6   The European Commision guidance for AA states that there are four stages in
      producing an assessment of a project or plan:

         o Stage 1, screen for the likely impacts;
         o Stage 2, if there is a significant effect carry out an Appropriate
           Assessment;
         o Stage 3, if there is a significant effect consider alternatives in the Plan;
         o Stage 4, if there is a significant effect consider whether there is an
           overriding public interest.




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       Scoping of the Draft Green Space Strategy

5.7    This exercise considers the Strategy under the topics of location, land use
       and proposals.

5.8    The geographical extent of the audit of the sites in the Strategy falls within
       and on the edges of urban areas. It is evident, therefore, that the sites are
       physically separated from the areas covered by the SPAs.

5.9    The current land uses and characteristics of the audited sites, indicated on
       map 1 in the Draft Green Space Strategy, are in contrast to those of the SPA,
       which are set out above.

5.10   The Draft Strategy includes an Action Plan with twenty broad
       recommendations including, in summary, the following: to protect and improve
       the attributes of the sites, including biodiversity; to improve awareness of their
       benefits; and to improve accessibility. It can be seen from this that there is no
       conflict between these recommendations and the conservation objectives of
       the SPAs, as set out above.

       Conclusion

5.11   After carrying out this scoping exercise, it has been concluded that the
       Strategy, for the reasons set out above, will not have any significant direct or
       indirect effect, either on the SPA within the Borough nor on the adjacent
       SPAs.

5.12   It is deemed that the effect of the Strategy on biodiversity generally will be
       positive. Indicated in table 3 of this document, sustainability objective 1 is ‘to
       protect and enhance biodiversity and geodiversity’. The result of testing this
       objective (set down in table 5) was to find that ‘the strategy will have a highly
       significant, positive effect.’

5.13   It has therefore not been necessary to progress to Stage Two of the process
       (which is to carry out a full Appropriate Assessment).




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