Offshore renewable energy developments - good practice principles for community benefits: consultation

Draft version, for the purposes of public consultation, of the Scottish Government's Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits from Offshore renewable Energy Developments.

2 Good Practice Principles

Outlined below are the key principles of designing and providing a community benefit package. While the provision of community benefit is voluntary, the Scottish Government would like to see adherence to the principles below.

Designing a Community Benefit Package (See Chapter 4)

A package should be proposed by the developer and further developed in discussion with the community, and designed to consider appropriate identification of the community and appropriate implementation of community benefit.

A range of factors should be taken into account in designing a package, including:

  • Scale of project
  • Technology
  • Distance of project from shore
  • Nature of project, i.e. research or trial site

A fundamental principle of community benefit is therefore that each package should be tailored to reflect the characteristics of the development.

Identification of Community (See Chapter 5)

In advance of a full public consultation, the developer is recommended to undertake an initial study to determine a proposal for:

1. What might be the geographical area to benefit

2. Within that area, who could be the appropriate contacts and communities of interest for consultation

This process should be undertaken at an early stage to allow communities the opportunity to contribute to discussions.

Contributing to community benefit discussions does not affect an individual or organisation's right to express a view on the development proposals, and objecting to or supporting the development does not affect their right to discuss the community benefit proposals.

Specific principles for communities, local authorities and developers are explored further in chapter 5.

Maximising Impact (See Chapter 6)

In considering effective implementation, the following components should each be optimised:

1. Focus of community benefits

2. Delivery mechanism

The composition, delivery and structure of the package should be designed through dialogue with the local community.

A community benefit fund is considered a fundamental component of a community benefit package, though other components may also be considered. Any decisions on fund spend should be led by the community and informed through identification of local needs, with guidance from the developer as necessary.

Good practice also encourages submission of information to the Scottish Government Community Benefit Register.


Email: Lorne Frew

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