Our strength in SEA is based on its large staff base of environmental scientists and planners working in the UK and in worldwide offices, allowing us to combine local expertise and knowledge of regional environments with the breadth needed for SEAs provided by recognised international experts. For example, our strategic study of biodiversity of the Iraq oilfields area was conducted by a team that included Iraqi experts and staff from our offices elsewhere in the Gulf, and experts from the UK.
We conduct SEAs using teams of experts comprising SEA specialists, environmental scientists and planners. Our pilot SEA of the North East Shellfish Fishery on behalf of the UK’s North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee, the first of its kind in the UK, was carried out by a small team that included a SEA specialists, a marine environmental scientist, a development planner and additional inputs from environmental scientists.
Services specific to the EU Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive
The SEA Directive requires local government to carry out an environmental assessment during the preparation of planning and land use strategies. Other plans must be considered and significant environmental effects must be addressed. In the UK, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 introduced a duty to integrate SEA into the wider sustainability assessment (SA) process for a range of plans.
Mott MacDonald offers a half-day introductory training workshop to all organisations that prepare plans subject to the SEA directive. It shares experiences in practice, and helps prepare plans and policies that deliver compliance with the directive and sustainable development. We have run training workshops for more than 60 local authorities in the UK, and have received positive feedback.
Other EU Directive-compliant SEAs that we have prepared:
- SEA and SA for the Newcastle Great Park Supplementary Planning Document on behalf of the Regeneration Directorate of Newcastle City Council and a consortium of house builders. The plan included a mixed use development of 2,500 dwellings, an 80ha business park, ancillary land uses including education, retail, recreation, and community uses alongside public transport infrastructure, highway works and landscaping.
- Stage A of the SA process for the Minerals and Waste Development Plan for Norfolk County Council. We identified relevant plans and programmes, developed sustainability objectives and indicators, and worked with council officers to identify baseline information.
- SEAs for the Norfolk Area Transport Strategy and for the Local Transport Plan (LTP). We produced scoping reports describing the baseline environment and links between the transport strategy and LTP and other relevant plans and environmental objectives.
- SEA of the LTP for the Tyne and Wear LTP Partnership, including a scoping exercise, collection of baseline information on socio-economic conditions, and a public consultation to identify realistic and viable transport policy options.
- SEA/SA of the LTP for Merseyside LTP Partners. The work included the collection, analysis and presentation of environmental data and the production of an environmental report and habitats regulations assessment.