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Draft Plan for Offshore Wind Energy In Scottish Territorial Waters - Covering Letter

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DRAFT PLAN FOR OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY IN SCOTTISH TERRITORIAL WATERS

19 May 2010

Responding to this consultation paper

We are inviting written responses to the consultation on the Draft Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in Scottish Territorial Waters by 16 August 2010. As part of the consultation process, a series of stakeholder consultation workshops will be taken forward by Marine Scotland in the coming weeks, to help explain the approach used to develop and assess the plan, and to further explore the environmental and sectoral issues raised in the process.

As well as considering the Draft Plan, consultees are invited to consider the proposals in the light of the environmental information set out in the SEA Environmental Report.

Please send your response to: offshorewindconsultation@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or to

Offshore Wind Consultation,
Marine Scotland,
Area 1-A (South)
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh
EH6 6QQ

Tel: 0131 244 1617

Consultees may wish to focus their responses on the following questions:

1. Does the mapping of exclusion zones, environmental issues, and technical issues provide a reasonable basis for modelling the options?

2. Do you have any further technical or environmental information you think we should take into account as we refine the Draft Plan?

3. Do you consider that the Draft Plan presents a set of practical options?

4. Should any options be removed from the Draft Plan?

5. Are there other options we should consider in the medium or long term?

6. How can the Draft Plan be improved? What should be taken forward differently and why?

7. Do you have views on the scale and pace of development that could be sustainably accommodated in STW, taking into account the findings from the SEA and the technical assessment?

8. Have we got the balance right in the Draft Plan, between tackling climate change, maximising opportunities for economic development and dealing with environmental and commercial impacts?

9. The Plan, once implemented, will be reviewed to take account of actual development and increasing knowledge of development factors. How often should this be done and why?

10. The SEA has identified that there could be significant adverse effects, from the Draft Plan as a whole, on Scotland's landscapes and seascapes. Measures for the mitigation of these effects have been identified in the SEA environmental report.

Do you have a view on these findings? Do you think that the proposed mitigation measures will be effective? Do you have any additional suggestions?

11. Do you have any other views on the findings of the SEA? do you think that all the environmental effects (positive and negative) have been identified? Are there other issues that we should be taking into account in the preparation of the Draft Plan?

12. The Draft Plan has identified environmental and technical issues in the north and north west regions of Scotland, in particular. It may therefore be reasonable to give further consideration to these regions.

Do you think that development in these or other regions, or individual options within them, should be given lower priority or perhaps deferred to the longer term?

More general responses are also welcome. Please indicate in your response which questions or part of the Draft Plan or Environmental Report you are responding to as this will aid our analysis of the responses received.

If you have any queries on the content of the Draft Plan or its SEA Environmental Report, or the consultation process more generally please contact the offshore wind consultation inbox at the address above.

Handling your response

We need to know how you wish your response to be handled and whether you are happy for your response to be made public. Please complete and return the Respondent Information Form included with this consultation paper as this will ensure that we treat your response appropriately. If you ask for your response not to be published we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

Publishing responses

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, these will be made available to the public in the Scottish Government Library and on the SEconsult web pages within 6 weeks of the close of the consultation time period.

Where agreement to publish has been given, we will check all responses for any potentially defamatory material before logging them in the library or placing them on the website. You can make arrangements to view responses by contacting the Scottish Government Library on 0131 244 4556. Responses can be copied and sent to you, but a charge may be made for this service.

What happens next?

At the end of the consultation period, the Draft Plan will be reviewed by The Scottish Government, taking account of submissions received, and revised as appropriate, prior to formal adoption by Scottish Ministers.

Following this, a post-adoption SEA statement will be prepared to reflect on the plan preparation process and demonstrate how issues raised during consultation and the environmental assessment have been addressed by the final Plan.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to us at the address above.