2. PROPOSED FURTHER CHANGES TO THE SCOTTISH PLANNING POLICY
2.1 The proposed further changes to the SPP are summarised in the accompanying statement of proposed policy changes, which has been published for consultation alongside this Environmental Report addendum.
2.2 In summary, the following changes to the SPP are proposed at this stage:
1. Enhancement of the section on planning and climate change. Since the draft SPP was published, the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 has been passed by the Scottish Parliament and received Royal Assent. Many consultees who commented on the draft SPP felt that this part of the policy should be updated and strengthened to reflect the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation, in the light of the new legislation.
2. Adjustment on of the section on sustainable development in response to the high volume of consultation responses, which requested more detailed explanation of the policy.
3. Additions to the policy on flooding, reflecting the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 and the duties it infers. The proposed changes are relatively minor in character but have been considered further within the SEA as, together, they have the potential to generate significant environmental effects.
4. Changes to the policy on coastal planning, again in response to consultee views and also taking into account the emerging provisions within the Marine (Scotland) Bill to ensure that land-use and marine planning are better linked.
5. A new section on onshore oil and gas operations has been added. This updates the policy set out in Circular 12/1986, and reflects the support provided within the National Planning Framework 2 for local authorities to consider the potential for coal bed methane extraction within development plans.
6. Clarification of the policy on high amenity business sites.
2.3 The next section sets out the likely environmental effects arising from each of these proposed changes to the SPP.