SEA applies to virtually all public sector strategies, programmes and plans likely to have significant environmental effects, regardless of whether they are required by legislative, regulatory or administrative means, or whether they set a framework for future development consents.
SEA applies to the sectors of agriculture, fisheries, forestry, tourism, transportation, telecommunication, waste management, water management, industry, energy and land use.
The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 does not permit adoption or approval of plans, programmes and strategies before a SEA is carried out, if required. The Regulations should be used for plan, programmes whose ‘first formal preparatory act’ was before 20 February 2006. The Act should be used where that preparation commenced on or after 20 February 2006. The Act exceeds the requirements of the Directive in terms of the breadth of plans, programmes and strategies to which it applies.