Publication - Impact assessment
Pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan. Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment.
A Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA)
Annex A: Baseline Policies in the pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan
|Policy Title||Policy Text|
|General Policy 1A: Sustainable Development||Development(s) and/or activities will be supported by this Plan when it can be demonstrated that:
Public authorities should adhere to the following sustainable development principles in the determination of any authorisation or enforcement decision:
|General Policy 3: Climate Change||Development(s) and/or activities will be supported by the Plan where the proposal can demonstrate appropriate:
|General Policy 4A: Nature Conservation Designations||The Plan will support development(s) and/or activities where due regard is given to the importance of international, national and locally designated nature conservation sites.
Internationally designated sites
Development(s) and/or activities likely to have a significant effect on a site designated or proposed to be designated as a SPA or SAC (collectively known as Natura 2000 sites) alone or in combination and not directly connected with, or necessary to the conservation management of that site, must be subject to an Appropriate Assessment in order to assess the implications for the site's conservation objectives.
Development(s) and/or activities will only be permitted in circumstances where the assessment ascertains that:
The international importance of Ramsar sites should also be appropriately protected.
Nationally designated sites
Development(s) and/or activities capable of affecting a Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area ( NC MPA) will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the relevant public authority that there is no significant risk of hindering the achievement of the conservation objectives of the NC MPA. Where this cannot be satisfactorily demonstrated authorisation can only be granted if the relevant public authority is satisfied that:
Locally designated sites
Development(s) and/or activities that affect a Local Nature Conservation Site ( LNCS) or Local Nature Reserve ( LNR) will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the consenting authority that any significant adverse impact on the integrity of the site, or the qualities for which it has been designated, have been appropriately addressed or mitigated or any such impact is clearly outweighed by social, environmental or economic benefits and there is no satisfactory alternative.
In addition, in all cases where development(s) and/or activities affecting a nature conservation site can be consented, satisfactory mitigation measures will be required to minimise any potential adverse impacts during the construction, lifetime and decommissioning of the development(s) and/or activities.
Where the impact of development(s) and/or activities on an international, national or local natural heritage resource are uncertain, but there are good scientific grounds that significant irreversible damage could occur, the precautionary principle will apply.
|General Policy 4B: Protected Species||The Plan will not support development(s) and/or activities that would be likely to have an adverse effect on a European Protected Species unless the relevant consenting or planning authority is satisfied:
Where the impacts of development(s) and/or activities on an internationally or nationally protected species are uncertain, but there are good scientific grounds that significant irreversible damage could occur, the precautionary principle will apply.
Development(s) and/or activities will only be permitted where they comply with any licence granted by the appropriate authority required for the purpose of species protection.
Development(s) and/or activities likely to have an adverse effect on other species protected under current wildlife legislation, individually and/or cumulatively will only be permitted if those effects can be mitigated to the satisfaction of the relevant consenting or planning authority, or if they are satisfied that legislative requirements to proceed can be met.
|General Policy 4D: Landscape and Seascape||The siting and design of any proposed development(s) and/or activities should demonstrate how the proposal takes into account visual impact and existing character and quality of landscape and seascape.
Development(s) and/or activities that affect National Scenic Areas ( NSAs) and Special Landscape Areas ( SLAs) should only be permitted where:
Scottish Planning Policy should be considered in both the planning and decision-making stages.
|General Policy 4E: Geodiversity||Development and/or activities will only be supported by this Plan where they:
|General Policy 5B: Coastal Processes and Flooding||The Plan will support proposals for development and/or activities, including any linked shore-base requirements, that demonstrate, potentially by way of a flood risk assessment:
Any development must not compromise the objectives of the Flood Risk Management Act.
|General Policy 6: Historic Environment||Development(s) and/or activities with potential to have an adverse effect on the archaeological, architectural, artistic or historic significance of heritage assets, including their settings, will be expected to demonstrate that all reasonable measures will be taken to mitigate any loss of significance, and that any lost significance which cannot be mitigated is outweighed by social, economic, environmental, navigation or safety benefits.
Preservation in situ will always be the preferred form of mitigation. The results of any mitigation measures must be published in an agreed format, and all supplementary material lodged with an agreed publicly accessible archive.
Heritage assets of very high significance should be protected from all but minor adverse effects to their significance unless there are overwhelming social, economic or environmental benefits from the development(s) and/or activities. For these sites the highest levels of mitigation will be required. This includes sites where there is a substantial likelihood of the survival of human remains, and protected sites identified in Table 3.
For those sites which are designated, licences or consents are likely to be required from the relevant authority before the commencement of development(s) and/or activities. Receiving these consents may be a condition of marine licence approval. Proposals for development(s) and/or activities that may affect the historic environment should provide information on the significance of known heritage assets and the potential for new discoveries to arise. They should demonstrate how any adverse impacts will be avoided, or if not possible minimised and mitigated. Where it is not possible to minimise or mitigate impacts, the benefits of proceeding with the proposal should be clearly set out.
|General Policy 8A: Noise||This Plan will support development(s) and/or activities in the marine environment where:
|General Policy 8B: Waste and Marine Litter||All developers and users of the marine environment should seek to minimise waste and discard all litter responsibly, recycling where possible.
Proposals for new development(s) or modifications to existing activities shall ensure that waste is reduced to a minimum and they do not add to marine litter.
Large developments may require a waste management plan, which shall be adhered to as a condition of the development, where appropriate. Where this is the case, a draft plan should be included in the application.
Where unavoidable litter is created, e.g. due to storms, a means of recovery, where reasonably practical, should be deployed.
Where appropriate, a decommissioning plan should be provided to ensure removal of redundant infrastructure.
|Sectoral Policy 2: Aquaculture||Aquaculture developments will be supported by the Plan where they are in compliance with:
The Plan will support the sustainable growth of seaweed cultivation where it complies with any licensing or subsequent planning requirements.
|Sectoral Policy 3: Oil and Gas||Exploration and production of oil and gas will be supported by this Plan, working with DECC, the Oil and Gas Authority and Competent Authority when:
|Sectoral Policy 6: Marine Transport||Development(s) and/or activities will be supported by this Plan when it can be demonstrated that:
Proposed development(s) and/or activities which would have an adverse impact on efficient and safe movement of shipping between ports, harbours and other recognised anchorages should be refused.
|Sectoral Policy 7: Ports, Harbours and Dredging||The sustainable growth of the ports and harbours within the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters area, particularly within existing facilities, will be supported by the Plan where:
Dredging within the PFOW area will be supported by the Plan where:
|Sectoral Policy 8: Pipelines, Electricity and Telecommunications Infrastructure|| Safeguarding existing pipelines, electricity and telecommunications cables
Development(s) and/or activities that could potentially damage cables or pipelines should comply with relevant industry requirements with regard to any proposed works and safety considerations. Information sources such as KIS- ORCA can be used to ensure the location of cables are known and taken account of when carrying out such activities.
Electricity and telecommunications infrastructure
When laying or replacing electricity and telecommunications infrastructure the following considerations should be taken into account on a case-by-case basis:
Developers should ensure that they have engaged with other developers and decision makers at an early planning stage and taken a joined-up approach to minimise impacts on the marine historic and natural environment, the assets, infrastructures and other marine users. Appropriate and proportionate environmental consideration and risk assessments should be provided which may include cable protection measures and mitigation plans.
Any deposit, removal or dredging carried out for the purpose of executing emergency inspection or repair works to any cable is exempt 14 from the marine licensing regime with approval by Scottish Ministers. However, cable replacement requires a marine licence and is subject to the marine licensing process. Marine licensing guidance should be followed when considering any cable development and activity.
Cables should be suitably routed to provide sufficient requirements for installation and cable protection. New cables should implement methods to minimise impacts on the marine historic and natural environment, the assets, infrastructures and other marine users where operationally possible and in accordance with relevant industry practice.
Cables should be buried to maximise protection where there are safety or seabed stability risks to reduce conflict with other marine users and to protect the assets and infrastructure. However, it should be noted that not all cables will, or can, be buried depending on project requirements and circumstances.
Where burial is demonstrated not to be feasible, cables may be suitably protected through recognised and approved measures (such as rock or mattress placement, cable armouring, shore end marker beacons and admiralty chart updates) where practicable and cost-effective and as risk assessment direct.
The need to reinstate the seabed, undertake post-lay surveys and monitoring and carry out remedial action where required.
The proposed land fall of power and telecommunications equipment and cabling will be considered against the appropriate policies in the relevant Local Development Plan(s).
A risk-based approach should be applied by network owners and decision-makers to the removal of redundant cables, with consideration given to cables being left in situ where this would minimise impacts on the marine, historic and natural environment and other marine users.
14 The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Scottish Inshore Region) Order
2011 (Amended 2012)
|Sectoral Policy 10: Defence||Development proposals in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters area that are in, or affect, Ministry of Defence exercise areas, firing ranges or firing danger areas must ensure that agreement for such use of the area has been agreed with the Ministry of Defence.|
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