Draft Sectoral Marine Plans for Offshore Renewable Energy in Scottish Waters- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report and Appendix A

This Environmental Report documents the results of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) which is an assessment of the effects of the plans on relevant environmental receptors. In

this assessment the effects of the plan on the following have been

8 Next Steps

8.1 Timescale for the Assessment

8.1.1 This Environmental Report has informed the conclusions of the Sustainability Appraisal Report, and both of these alongside the draft plans are subject to a 16 week statutory consultation period. At the end of the consultation process, the views of stakeholders and the public on the plans and assessment work will be analysed. In light of these comments, the Plans will be reviewed, updated and finalised. If significant changes are made to the Draft Plan Options, the SEA will be reviewed in order to consider whether any further work will be required.

8.1.2 After consultation and analysis has been concluded an SEA Post Adoption Statement will be produced, detailing:

  • How sustainability considerations have been integrated into the plans;
  • How the sustainability appraisal and technical reports have been taken into account;
  • How consultee opinions have been taken into account;
  • The reasons for choosing the plan or programme as adopted, in the light of the other reasonable alternatives considered; and
  • Measures to be used to monitor the significant effects of the plan.

8.1.3 The production of a Post Adoption Statement fulfils the requirements of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 and will be available alongside the final plans. At this stage, the plans are anticipated for adoption in early 2014.

8.2 Details of the Consultations

8.2.1 Consultation on the Environmental Report, draft plans, the Sustainability Appraisal, is now open and will run for a period of 16 weeks closing on the 13 th November 2013. Consultees are able to view the key documents:

  • On the Scottish Government website;
  • At the Scottish Government office at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh; and
  • At the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

8.2.2 Only written representations to the documents can be considered, however there are three ways consultees will be able to respond:

8.2.3 Throughout the 16 week consultation period, Marine Scotland will be holding a series of open meetings for stakeholders and members of the public to raise awareness of, and encourage further discussion on the Draft Plans and the Sustainability Appraisal. The locations and timings will be made available on the Scottish Government website.

8.2.4 While Marine Scotland will seek to capture all views expressed during the workshops, formal representations will not be accepted verbally. These will only be accepted in writing, as outlined above.

Stakeholder events

8.2.5 Marine Scotland will engage with key national stakeholders in a series of sectoral workshops, focusing on the key sectoral interests including:

  • Environment;
  • Shipping and Navigation;
  • Ports and Harbours;
  • Recreation and tourism;
  • Renewables and grid industry; and
  • Fishing, fisheries management and aquaculture.

8.2.6 Marine Scotland will contact key stakeholders in the coming months regarding the arrangements for these workshops.

Public events

8.2.7 Marine Scotland will hold a series of open events to engage with members of the public throughout August and September 2013. These will take the form of an afternoon drop in session, followed by an evening presentation to provide more in-depth information for those who are interested in the detailed aspects of the Plans and their assessments. These events will:

  • Outline the consultation process and how to provide a response;
  • Raise awareness of the Draft Plans that have been developed;
  • Set out how the Initial Plan Options, RLG and consultation have been used to identity options for the planning process;
  • Explain how we have assessed the economic, social and environmental impact of these options; and
  • Outline how the Draft plans will be used.

8.2.8 The events will be advertised nationally (online and in the press) and locally using local press and existing networks and organisations, where possible. Consultees will not be required to sign up in advance or sign in on the day.

8.3 Questions for Consultees

8.3.1 Consultees may find the following questions helpful to provide a focus for their responses:

1. To what extent does the Environmental Report set out an accurate description of the current environmental baseline (Please give details of additional relevant sources)?

2. Do you agree with the predicted environmental effects of the plans as set out in the Environmental Report?

3. Do you agree with the recommendations and proposals for mitigation of the environmental effects set out in the Environmental Report?

4. Are you aware of any additional ongoing research or monitoring that may help to fill gaps in the evidence base, particularly relating to the marine environment and its interactions with renewable energy devices (Please give details of additional relevant sources)?

5. Are you aware of any further environmental information that will help to inform the environmental assessment findings (Please give details of additional relevant sources)?

8.3.2 Responses need not be confined to these questions. More general comments on the Environmental Report and relevant documents are also invited.


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