Sustainability and sustainable development are often used to mean the same thing.  The most commonly used definition of sustainable development is one adopted by the United Nations:  'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'.  Put simply this means looking after the health and well-being of our communities, environment and economy now and for the future.

Sustainability is often viewed as an environmental issue but it is more than that.  It is also about tackling issues such as poverty, ill health and unemployment.  The three aspects of sustainable development - community, environment and economy - should be treated with equal importance and the links between them considered.  It is an internationally recognised principle that environmental, economic and community issues be considered together when plans are drafted and decisions made.  This is important to the Council whether it is planning its service delivery or a land-use plan, and the Council has long recognised its role in contributing towards sustainable development.  This can include its work relating to housing, waste management, protecting vulnerable children, maintaining highways, enabling service provision and governance for example.

Supporting the principles of sustainable development, the Council's aim is that 'Hartlepool will be a thriving, respectful, inclusive, healthy, ambitious and outward looking community, in an attractive and safe environment, where everyone is able to realise their potential'.

The Regeneration and Planning division has the corporate responsibility for championing sustainability across the Council.  Managing the sustainability appraisal of corporate business planning documents is part of this role, as is the management of statutory sustainability appraisals of certain plans and strategies including those relating to land use and infrastructure.  Other aspects of this role include informing and developing Council policy and supporting colleagues to incorporate the principles of sustainability into their policies and work programmes.

Please see below for links to Hartlepool Borough Council strategies and policies which contribute to sustainability, and the websites of organisations which may be useful for further information.