7 Next Steps
7.1 Timescale for the Assessment
7.1.1 Consultation on the Plans, this report and the technical assessments is now open. 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 the comments the Plans will be reviewed, updated and finalised. If significant changes are made to the Draft Plan Options the SEA and socio-economic assessments will be reviewed in order to consider whether any further work will be required.
7.1.2 The HRA will continue throughout the development of the plan and at the point of adoption an updated and final HRA Record will be available. Alongside this a Post Adoption Statement 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.
7.1.3 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 anticipate to be adopted in early 2014.
7.2 Details of the Consultations
7.2.1 Consultation on the draft plans, this Sustainability Appraisal and the technical assessments, is now open and will run for a period of 16 weeks through to the 13 th Novemeber. 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.
7.2.2 Only written representations to the documents can be considered, however there are three ways consultees will be able to respond:
- Follow the 'Consultation Response' button on the consultation web page http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations;
- Email to email@example.com ; or
- Post to Offshore Renewables Team, Marine Scotland, 1A(S), Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH66QQ.
7.2.3 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 this Sustainability Appraisal. Locations and timings are available on the Scottish Government website.
7.2.4 While Marine Scotland will seek to capture all the views expressed during the workshops, formal representations will not be accepted verbally. These will only be accepted in writing, as outlined above.
7.2.5 Marine Scotland will engage with key national stakeholders in a series of sectoral workshops throughout July to October 2013. These will focus on the key sectoral interests including:
- Shipping and Navigation
- Ports and Harbours
- Recreation and tourism
- Renewables and grid industry
- Fishing, fisheries management and aquaculture
7.2.6 Marine Scotland will contact key stakeholders in the coming months regarding the arrangements for these workshops.
7.2.7 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.
7.2.8 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.
7.3 Questions for Consultees
7.3.1 In order to facilitate the consultation process, readers are invited to focus their responses on the following consultation questions. However, responses are not limited to these questions and additional comments are welcomed
1. Do you have any views on the findings and recommendations of the Sustainability Appraisal? Do you think that all the social, economic and environmental effects (positive and negative) have been identified? Are there other issues that we should be taking into account in the preparation of the Final Draft Plans?
2. The SEA has identified a range of potential effects from the Draft Plans. 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?
3. The Socio-economics Report has identified a range of potential impacts on existing sea users. 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?
4. Do you have any further technical or environmental information you think we should take into account as we refine the Draft Plans?
5. The Plans, once implemented, will be reviewed to take account of actual development and increasing knowledge of development factors. It is proposed that a Sectoral Plan Review Group be established to help inform this process. How often should the plans be reviewed and why? Who should sit on the review group and why? How often should this group meet? What should the group focus on?
6. Do you consider that the Draft Plans presents a set of practical options? (Also see other detailed plan related questions listed in the draft plans document).
7. Do you have views on the scale and pace of development that could be sustainably accommodated in Scottish Waters, taking into account the findings from the technical assessments?
8. Have we got the balance right in the Draft Plans, between tackling climate change, maximising opportunities for economic development and dealing with environmental and commercial impacts?