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Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of Draft Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in Scottish Territorial Waters: Volume 1: Environmental Report

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10 Next steps: questions for consultees

A strategic Habitats Regulations Appraisal will be carried out of the draft Plan. This may result in further changes to the Plan prior to its finalisation.

The draft Plan and SEA environmental report will undergo 12 weeks statutory consultation, which is scheduled to be complete in summer 2010. The Plan, the SEA environmental report and other relevant documents are available on the Scottish Government's website at www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations/current and in hard copy at:

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


Tel: 0131 244 1617

Responses to the consultation should be sent to: offshorewindconsultation@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Submissions regarding the draft Plan and accompanying SEAER are invited from the public. Following the completion of the consultation period, the draft Plan will be reviewed by Marine Scotland (taking account of submissions received), finalised and formally adopted. A Post-Adoption SEA Statement will be prepared to document the process and demonstrate how issues raised during the environmental assessment and the associated consultation have been addressed in the final version of the Plan.

Once the Plan has been finalised and published, the monitoring framework set out within the SEAER will be used to assess the impacts of the implementation of the Plan.

To help facilitate the consultation process, those wishing to respond are kindly requested to focus their responses on the following questions. Note responses are not limited to these questions and additional comments are welcome.

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?