3. Strategic Environmental Assessment
3.1 The Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 puts a statutory obligation of undertaking a Strategic Environmental Assessment ( SEA) on all public plans, programmes and strategies. It is for each `responsible authority' to make a judgement on whether a plan, programme or strategy is likely to have any significant environmental effects and therefore requires an SEA.
3.2 Given the LHS relationship with the Local Development Plan, it is the informal view of the SEA Gateway, that generally only a pre-screening notification would be required for an LHS. This is based on the assumption that decisions and options surrounding housing would be assessed through the Local Development Plan process and so avoid assessment duplication. Advice on pre-screening can be found in the Scottish Government's latest guidance on SEA, available at: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Environment/environmental-assessment/sea/guidance/SEAGuidance
3.3 The judgement of whether an SEA is required or not, is however, for the responsible authority to make, and so we would encourage local authorities, if in doubt, to seek independent legal advice or contact the SEA Gateway at: SEA.Gateway@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.