4 Assessment Findings and Recommendations
4.1.1 This section sets out the likely significant environmental effects that are expected as a result of the draft Plan. The assessment findings reflect the high-level nature of the Plan and focus on the scoped in themes as detailed in section 2.3 of this report.
4.2 Technical issues, uncertainties and assumptions
4.2.1 The 2005 Act requires a description of how the assessment was undertaken including any difficulties encountered in compiling the required information. These uncertainties and assumptions are outlined below.
4.2.2 Some of the difficulties encountered in compiling the baseline information reflect the challenge of measuring current status of the environment and identifying trends. These include data sets changing over time, for example by using different criteria and baselines. This means that it can be difficult to accurately assess trends.
4.2.3 The very high-level and broad nature of the Plan means that specific delivery actions are not included and therefore there is an inherent degree of uncertainty regarding the environmental impacts that may arise from the implementation of the draft plan. However, as set out in the following sections, existing regulatory frameworks will manage impacts of the Plan as it is taken forward, and the potential for environmental effects arising from individual management and investment proposals will continue to be assessed and mitigated, where appropriate through existing mechanisms, including through statutory consenting and environmental assessment regimes where relevant.
4.2.4 The assessment of each themed outcome therefore assumes that the management of existing estate will be subject to and meet the requirements of all existing regulatory regimes, where applicable.
4.2.5 It is assumed that increased investment as a result of this Plan will lead to new development on the ground and this assumption is fundamental to the assessment findings that follow. There is however considerable uncertainty around the nature and location of development that might occur and consequently, as indicated above, the range of potential environmental effects for many of the topics is ultimately uncertain.
4.3 Environmental protection objectives
4.3.1 Many established environmental protection objectives form the context for the assessment. A summary of established and relevant objectives and commitments is set out in the following sections.
4.3.2 International and national level policies and strategies aim to protect and enhance the environment. Objectives for water, soil and air seek to reduce pollution, and to reverse the effects of past emissions. Environmental protection objectives for biodiversity, flora and fauna are aimed at protecting habitats and species from damage and disturbance, and the contribution they make to mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change; meeting Scotland's national and international targets; and reflecting the importance that Ministers and communities place upon conserving and, where appropriate, restoring Scotland's natural assets and the value that they embody for the economy, culture and national identity.
4.3.3 Landscape objectives protect Scotland's most scenic areas, reflect the importance of the interaction between people and the land, and aim to enhance areas where landscape qualities have deteriorated over time. Cultural heritage objectives range from protection of internationally important World Heritage Sites to the recognition and management of more locally important buildings and archaeology, and their wider setting.
4.3.4 Alongside all of these objectives, international and national climate change objectives are expressed both in policy, and in targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and also in supporting adaptation to changing weather patterns.
4.4 Assessment of themes
4.4.1 The predicted likely significant effects are set out in section 4.5 by SEA topic and include a discussion on natural capital and the ecosystem services that the implementation of the Plan could affect. The two themes which form the focus of the assessment are:
- Theme 1: Delivering Benefits and Realising Opportunities, and
- Theme 2: How Scottish Crown Estate Assets are Managed
4.4.2 The full description of the objectives, priorities and policies is provided in the draft Strategic Management Plan.
4.5 The likely effects of the Strategic Management Plan
4.5.1 The two themes 'Delivering Benefits and Realising Opportunities' and 'How Scottish Crown Estate Assets Are Managed', are cross cutting. However, individually for both themes the level of predicted likely significant effects differ based on the nature of the theme and the likely resulting changes on the ground.
4.5.2 It is assumed that increasing investment will lead to new development and infrastructure on the ground, and therefore has the potential to give rise to significant effects across the SEA topics. Potential benefits over and above monetary value can be considered which support positive effects on population and human health and the material assets themselves. Although the direct effects on environmental receptors to which the principle of equivalent scale is applied are likely to be positive, these and the indirect impacts on other topics are currently uncertain reflecting the unknown future actions on the ground.
4.5.3 Changing the management has the potential to give rise to benefits for population and human health and the assets themselves. However, the predicted impact over the other SEA topics is uncertain, reflecting the unknown locality of the asset in question, future management aims and future uses.
4.5.4 The sections below provide more detail on the associated predicted effects across each individual topic.
4.6 Material Assets
4.6.1 The management of assets and benefits themes are likely to have positive effects on material assets as local knowledge is used to manage the assets appropriately for the benefit of the community. This could happen through measures that support, for example, safety and community empowerment.
4.6.2 A focus on regeneration over the development of new commercial land or properties has the potential to result in positive effects of preserving material assets although the specific actions involved are uncertain. In addition there is wider potential for positive effects where investment is made to deliver benefits to areas associated with SCE assets (but not under their management), when investment can be expected to directly or indirectly benefit the management of, or future opportunities for, existing assets.
4.6.3 Increased investment facilitating offshore renewable energy development has the potential to result in mixed effects on material assets beyond but including SCE assets through increasing domestic capacity for renewable energy generation and reducing reliance on fossil fuels. For example, leasing for offshore wind has the potential to impact on SCE marine assets and non-SCE terrestrial assets. Construction and decommissioning activities may interact with ports and harbours and terrestrial transport routes; operational activities such as energy distribution may require new substations and supply lines in coastal areas in order to connect into the national grid.
4.6.4 Prioritising investment differently may mean some potential developments are not realised and could impact positively or negatively on the potential environmental and community public benefits to be generated from land and property assets.
4.6.5 Under the asset management theme there is potential for negative effects where a local community body as new manager of an asset lose interest or resources to manage that asset. It is understood that these circumstances would however be mitigated by the due diligence process to be undertaken by Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) prior to hand over of any asset and also via the powers in the Scottish Crown Estate Act which allow monitoring of the manager's performance and subsequent transfer of an asset to another manager if required. There is potential to bring assets back under Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) management/alternate management if an asset was deemed to be managed poorly or if maintenance became an issue. It is recommended that the Scottish Government or Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) include provision to mitigate these risks via a monitoring framework, to monitor on a regular basis those assets subject to local control.
4.6.6 Some managers may only want to manage one asset or part of one of the asset types, such as management of a stretch of foreshore in a part of Scotland. Any potential for fragmentation of the seabed ownership from this kind of transfer would potentially be mitigated by the requirements for consent from Scottish Ministers and Scottish Parliament. There is potential for shared supporting arrangements to reduce duplication and fragmentation. Therefore any residual negative effects are likely to be minor. Future decisions on the transfer and delegation process will also be informed by the experience of the local asset management pilot schemes.
4.6.7 Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) awards and manages leases for telecommunication and electricity cables, some of which are lain across borders. However, the likelihood of the management of these leases being transferred is low and national level management would be retained and therefore no changes to their management are predicted and no subsequent transboundary environmental effects are foreseen as a result of the draft Plan.
4.6.8 In terms of the sale of assets for less than market value, the realisation of financial benefits or wider environmental or social benefits may not be immediate for example, any environmental benefits may, in some cases, take longer to manifest than the financial revenue of short-term commercial interests. It is recommended that the length of time that any wider benefits will take to develop is considered but does not prejudice the assessment of whether there is potential to sell assets for less than market value.
4.6.9 A study has found that other indirect positive effects could arise for material assets and local communities such as the potential for investment in offshore renewable energy deployment in coastal and island communities supporting the development of key industries including whisky and salmon farming in coastal locations.
4.7 Biodiversity, flora and fauna
4.7.1 Environmental effects on biodiversity from increased investment could arise from building improvements, repairs and maintenance of infrastructure assets. For example, indirect adverse effects could arise on marine life and habitats from impacts during construction of development including, for example, offshore wind turbines and tidal energy as well as future carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure. This could lead to potentially negative impacts on biodiversity and seabed strata and/or bottom sediments and indirect negative effects on other local receptors (such as impacts on ecological status).
4.7.2 Construction in support of the Tourism Strategy has the potential to cause indirect adverse effects for example, risking the loss of in-channel habitats due to dredging. These impacts could continue through to the operation of the asset. Expansion of the finfish industry also has the potential to adversely affect the environment particularly in the vicinity of the structures themselves. However, the effects in comparison to Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) retaining management are uncertain (asset management theme) but due to the role of Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) as a facilitator rather than the developer of the renewable energy, effects are likely to be negligible.
4.7.3 Similarly negative effects on species and habitats in the terrestrial environment could arise from investment related works related to rural assets such as habitat loss and soil sealing. These can be mitigated via consenting and licensing regimes. Biodiversity, flora and fauna may also experience a positive effect from woodland creation.
4.7.4 Turning to the management of the assets, the difference between management by Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) and a local community body is difficult to define and therefore any environmental effects are uncertain as ultimately both bodies would be subject to all relevant regulatory controls. The aims of any community bodies managing the assets are also unknown.
4.7.5 Nevertheless, and taking into account the relevant statutory controls, the residual effects for biodiversity, flora and fauna, across all of the themes are likely to be low reflecting the role of regulatory controls such as building regulations, the planning process and legal protection for habitats and species and the existing regulatory controls such as those within the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
4.7.6 Under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004), as a public body, Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) has a duty to further the conservation of biodiversity when carrying out their duties. As this may not be the case for all community bodies which take over management, when the decision is made to transfer management of an asset to a local body, it is recommended that appropriate environmental management practices are put in place.
4.8 Population and Human Health
4.8.1 Changes in the management of Scottish Crown Estate assets have the potential for positive effects at a local level on population and human health in terms of local communities using local knowledge to manage the assets appropriately for the benefit of the community. The transfer of management could for example lead to landscape improvements or the provision of amenities following acquisition by the community body. This could provide a sense of place and support community cohesion and empowerment.
4.8.2 The proposed transfers of management have the potential to deliver indirect positive effects for public health. The quality of the external environment has been shown to play an important role in supporting health and wellbeing and meaningful social interaction. If the tailored management were to support the creation of places that encourage walking and cycling, this can positively influence the options available to act in healthy, sustainable ways. As well as encouraging physical activity and cardiovascular fitness, the quality of the environment can also help to provide communities and individuals with a sense of understanding and control over their circumstances. Lack of a proper sense of control and influence on our environment has been linked to poor health outcomes. Approaches that better involve local communities in decision-making can create co-production models, providing positive influence and control for individuals. In this way, creating better places where communities can input positively to future changes can help to create and enhance social capital and cohesion, with resulting benefits for population health.
4.8.3 Managing the assets to benefit Scotland into the long term both nationally and locally also implies long term (and some more short term) indirect positive effects on population and human health, however the significance and nature of the effects are uncertain depending on the future management, the aims of the community body and the use of the assets in question.
4.8.4 The draft Plan signals that by 2025, Scottish Ministers expect Crown Estate Scotland to have contributed significantly to the delivery of the National Tourism Strategy by investing in small community ports and facilitating the investment of harbour authorities to improve the ports and harbours infrastructure of Scotland. This has the potential for positive effects into the long term for the local community and livelihoods although there is potential for indirect negative effects arising where this leads to increasing visitors via cruise boats and increased crossings could have consequences across several topics.
4.8.5 In connection, the potential effects on public access in relation to land and coastal/intertidal assets (in promoting human health) are uncertain depending on the actual changes that will happen on the ground as a result of additional investment and the aims of the future managers. This is an opportunity to ensure good/improved public access via inclusion as a consideration in the transfer or sale.
4.9 Soil and Geodiversity
4.9.1 It is assumed that more investment will give rise to increased development and activity on the ground. In the rural estate, this could take the form of a range of impacts on soil from, for example, farm diversification. Building works can result in the negative effects of soil sealing and erosion with permanent effects. Construction could also result in positive and negative effects on geological features. Forest restocking can impact on high carbon soils with long term implications for soil quality, or localised impacts on sedimentation. Changes in land management practices from new community management could result in mixed effects on soil characteristics.
4.9.2 Where appropriate, impacts on soils from forestry would be managed through the forestry grants process or long term forest plans and through the relevant statutory consenting and environmental assessment regimes. Relevant provisions under the Town and Country Planning regime would apply where relevant to farm diversification development, although long term localised impacts such as soil sealing could still occur. Ultimately any residual effects are judged as minor due to the existing regulatory controls in place. Mitigation could include, for example, the avoidance of sensitive areas via micro siting and careful site design.
4.10.1 Impacts on the water environment from increased development could include those from for example, forest restocking with positive long term effects but negative effects of pollution from the release of phosphate. Building and construction can have negative effects on water quality and quantity and cause soil compaction and sealing. Agricultural activities such rearing of livestock, cultivation for crops, processing, storage and transport of products as well as waste generation, disposal and storage can all result in the negative effects of diffuse pollution. Agricultural activities can also place a variety of physical pressures on the water environment such as construction of flood protection, realignment of watercourses, removal of vegetation, run-off, drainage and riparian damage by livestock.
4.10.2 Relevant regulatory and other controls include the provision of long term forest plans, the forestry grant scheme, the CAR regulations and town and country planning regime. Any residual effects are judged as low in scale reflecting the role of the regulatory controls in place.
4.10.3 With a focus on investment in marine and coastal areas and an indirect effect of investment in and contribution to the delivery of the National Tourism Strategy; potential negative effects can arise via pollution from increased sea and coastal transport and construction of associated infrastructure (such as dredging and land reclamation for ports and harbours).
4.10.4 Development such as the expansion of marine finfish production has the potential to result in adverse impacts on water quality. However, Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) have no statutory function in relation to the fish farming industry and applications for planning permission are considered by local authorities and CAR licences by SEPA. Similarly, there is potential for indirect negative effects in the form of pollution risk from facilitating CCS and renewable energy projects. These activities are mitigated by existing consenting regimes including marine licensing and Environmental Impact Assessment. Overall the residual effects are likely to be minor considering the role of Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) as facilitator, the focus on regeneration rather than new build and the existing regulatory regimes under which the various assets operate.
4.11.1 As the investment is focussed on meeting the Climate Change Plan, the draft Plan has the potential to contribute to positive effects on air quality, in cognisance of the inherent relationship between air and climatic factors.
4.11.2 Any potential adverse effects on air quality and indirect effects to population and human health would likely be limited to the short term from maintenance and construction. For example reduced air quality could come from forestry operations due to emissions from forest machinery and timber transportation vehicles. However, the planting of trees can improve air quality locally due to removal of certain air pollutants (e.g. NO2, particulates) by trees.
4.11.3 For the marine and coastal assets, longer term, indirect, local adverse effects from increased tourism could cause poor air quality locally and cumulatively over sites.
4.12 Climatic Factors
4.12.1 Investment will grow in the marine and coastal areas with the aim to contribute to the Climate Change Plan and Energy Strategy. The associated facilitation of offshore renewable energy development can contribute to reducing GHG and have an indirect positive effect on climatic factors. Similarly, enabling the development of CCS could have an indirect positive effect on climate change through helping to mitigate the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. However, the development of both could have short term negative effects from construction. Again, mitigation is inherent in relevant existing regimes such as the CAR regulations and marine licensing, therefore any short term effects are predicted to be minor.
4.12.2 The general focus on regeneration rather than new build has the potential to minimise the negative effects from construction although the specific actions involved are uncertain.
4.12.3 The management practices deployed in relation to the four estates can have a significant impact on the capacity of forests to serve as carbon stores and contribute to climate change mitigation. In addition to forestry, other land management practices in relation to the four estates have the potential to significantly impact the level of GHG resulting from the current and future activities on these estates.
4.12.4 In terms of the rural and urban assets, further investment could result in positive effects on climatic factors by potentially improving the quality and energy efficiency of properties as part of wider development. However, impacts of potential construction of access tracks, traffic movements and construction related works and equipment are likely to increase emissions of GHG (climate change) and air pollutants albeit in the short term. Activities such as forest restocking, agroforestry and new forest planting support carbon sequestration provided that planting does not involve high carbon soils. Conversely, farm diversification may generate additional vehicle journeys and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
4.12.5 Forestry is regulated by long term forest plans, forestry grants scheme, the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) and the principles of Sustainable Forestry Management (SFM). Building regulations apply to building improvements where relevant.
4.12.6 Effects on climatic factors are uncertain but overall positive with any residual adverse effects likely low in scale reflecting the regulatory requirements in place.
4.12.7 There is an opportunity to consider actions which support measures for the adaptation of marine and terrestrial SCE assets to climate change and which support the Scottish Government's statutory GHG emissions reduction targets.
4.13 Cultural Heritage
4.13.1 A number of investment activities in the rural estate could lead to work to buildings, replacement farm buildings, diversification, agroforestry and new forestry planting which have the potential for direct adverse effects on known and unknown archaeology and built heritage assets through development and planting activities. Building maintenance and improvements could result in adverse effects on built heritage through alterations to buildings and on buried archaeology from construction works but can also support the quality of the built assets and maintaining these in viable use.
4.13.2 Focussing investment on regeneration rather than new build could have positive effects by helping to preserve the historic environment.
4.13.3 Impacts on listed buildings and scheduled monuments are managed through the relevant consenting processes and the planning process influences the potential impacts of development. The forestry grant scheme and long term forest plans as well as regulatory controls such as listed building consent require consideration of impacts on cultural heritage. Therefore, any residual negative effects would be judged as minor.
4.13.4 Investment and maintenance works at the coast could also impact on unknown archaeology. In addition, the facilitation of offshore renewable energy and CCS installations through the leasing process could indirectly result in physical impacts on marine archaeology such as shipwrecks and registered battlefields through dredging and pile driving. Also, changes in sedimentation caused by dredging and pile driving are likely to result in heritage assets being uncovered and exposed to damage. Reflecting the role of regulatory requirements, the residual effects on cultural heritage are judged to be low in scale.
4.13.5 Careful consideration would be required such that a need for regeneration of rural assets is not ignored in favour of investment in the marine and coastal assets linked to the vision of the draft plan.
4.13.6 Overall, the potential effects on the historic environment would need to be considered by the managers of the asset in relation to the specific work being undertaken and an appropriate environmental assessment and environmental management practices should be put in place to mitigate or avoid damage, where applicable to, in particular, any unknown cultural heritage in the vicinity of the works.
4.14 Landscape and Visual
4.14.1 Where the draft plan leads to changes in the types of farming, grazing regimes, woodland cover, energy transport infrastructure and increased fishing activity, these are some of the changes which can alter the character of landscape and its visual amenity, and are relevant to SCE assets.
4.14.2 Activities resulting from investment such as forest restocking can have both positive effects in terms of landscape character and negative effects which may result from species choice, design, fencing or access tracks. Building improvements can bring both positive and negative landscape impacts. Farm diversification, agroforestry and planting of new forestry could all result in positive and negative effects on landscape. Nevertheless the residual effects are likely to be low and mixed reflecting the role of the regulatory requirements.
4.14.3 Activities may also potentially impact on the nation's wider portfolio of material assets. For example, leasing for offshore wind has the potential to not only impact on SCE marine assets but also to impact on non-SCE terrestrial assets via, for example, construction and decommissioning activities interacting with ports and harbours and terrestrial transport routes; operational activities such as energy distribution may require the location of new sub-stations and supply lines in coastal areas in order to connect into the national grid. Negative effects could result on landscape and visual receptors, some more short term (e.g. construction) with longer term effects requiring mitigation such as screening and appropriate siting.
4.14.4 The general preference for investing in regeneration (both terrestrial and marine) rather than new build goes some way to mitigating these effects by potentially minimising land take, construction and waste and not building on pristine land although the scale of effects in uncertain due to the unknown action that would happen on the ground.
4.14.5 The transfer of management to community bodies could support positive landscape management. However, the significance and nature of these effects are uncertain depending on the future use of the individual assets and the differing management aims of Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) and a community body.
4.14.6 Facilitating development of offshore renewable energy is likely to have potential indirect visual impacts on the character and qualities of coastal areas and seascapes particularly from offshore wind turbine development.
4.14.7 With the proposed increased investment at the coast, there is potential for indirect positive effects on the landscape and visual topic (and population and human health and material assets) where local communities involvement in development proposals helps to influence the design for community benefit.
4.15 Natural Capital
4.15.1 Investment and management changes related to Crown Estate assets have the potential to alter the balance of ecosystem services provided by an asset, with some increasing and some reducing.
4.15.2 Increasing investment for community or national benefit and contribution to Scotland's Climate Change Plan could protect assets by making them more resilient to climate change. This should help to protect ecosystem services by contributing to the prevention and management of flood risk. Investing in ports and harbours for the purposes of tourism has the potential to contribute to increasing cultural services although there is potential for a shorter term reduction in regulating services such as air and water quality, supporting services such as habitat creation and cultural services such as landscape and cultural heritage to be affected by construction of and the new developments and the facilities themselves.
4.15.3 The transfer of management of certain assets including areas of foreshore, occupied seabed and coastal infrastructure would reduce the stock of some natural capital assets managed by Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management). However, this should not directly result in the loss of natural capital assets or the services they provide as these would be transferred to the local community. Meeting obligations agreed in the transfer of the assets should ensure that ecosystem services such as the provision of food and timber are maintained and natural hazards such as flood risk are mitigated.
4.15.4 Managing assets for the benefit of Scotland's communities has the potential to support and enhance cultural services in terms of the potential for community empowerment and ownership.
4.16 Cumulative and In-Combination Effects
4.16.1 With increased investment there is likely to be more development on the ground. Whilst the Strategic Management Plan places a focus on regeneration, this may still lead to construction works which cumulatively across many different types of assets could have a negative effect for example linked to, air and water pollution resulting from impacts of individual projects at local level, albeit potentially limited to the short term. Nevertheless the improvement to existing assets and focus on tailored management for the benefit of Scotland and communities has the potential to create major positive effects for population and human heath as well as material assets. The assessment identifies the potential for mixed effects arising from future actions at a local level, across the majority of the SEA topics. However, there is an inherent uncertainty in the action that will be taken and therefore in the resultant assessment.
4.16.2 The potential for effects in combination with other plans, programmes and strategies has also been considered. The draft Plan has the potential to positively and cumulatively contribute across a wide range of Scottish Government policy areas within the context in which it sits (including the Climate Change Plan and the National Tourism Strategy). This is captured across the breadth of a range of national plans, policies and programmes that have been identified in the assessment. Taking into account the high-level nature of the draft Plan there is however an inherent degree of uncertainty regarding the environmental impacts that may arise as a result of future actions undertaken.
4.17 Conclusion and Mitigation/Enhancement Measures
4.17.1 The SEA has concluded that the draft Plan, with its core purpose of promoting and supporting the implementation of tailored management for the benefit of Scotland and communities will have overall positive effects for the SEA topics of population and human health, material assets and climatic factors, with the potential for some short term local negative effects for the latter arising from development on the ground. Mixed effects are anticipated for biodiversity, soil, water, air, cultural heritage and landscape and visual topics. Investment and management changes related to Crown Estate assets have the potential to alter the balance of ecosystem services provided by an asset, with some increasing and some reducing.
4.17.2 The draft Plan has the potential to positively and cumulatively contribute across a wide range of Scottish Government policy areas. However, there is an inherent uncertainty in the actions that will be taken and therefore in the resultant assessment findings.
4.17.3 Where appropriate, the requirements of existing statutory consenting and licensing regimes and environmental assessment requirements are taken into account as 'assumed mitigation' and factored into the assessment of the significance of effects. Finally, the report makes a number of recommendations for mitigation and / or enhancement measures, where appropriate. These are:
- Where the management of an asset is transferred, the draft management plan allows for assets to be brought back under Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) management/alternate management if the asset was deemed to be managed poorly or if maintenance became an issue. It is recommended that the Scottish Government or Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) monitor on a regular basis those assets subject to local control. (material assets)
- In terms of provisions for the sale of assets for less than market value, it is recognised that realisation of financial benefits or wider environmental or social benefits may not be immediate. It is therefore recommended that the length of time that any wider benefits will take to develop is considered, but does not prejudice the assessment of whether there is potential to sell assets for less than market value. (material assets)
- Consideration should be given to exploring opportunities through lower tier Plans, Programmes and Strategies as well as in the consenting and licensing of individual projects at local level where appropriate, to mitigating the environmental effects of increased tourism. (population and human health, air and water)
- Consideration should be given to opportunities to maximise provision of public access to recreation facilities, green infrastructure and green spaces. (population and human health)
- It is recommended that consideration is given to opportunities for building capacity and understanding on all aspects of environmental management and protection in community organisations when taking on asset management responsibilities through the provision of guidance and advice. (all SEA topics including biodiversity, flora and fauna and cultural heritage)
- Asset Managers should give consideration at the earliest stages to appropriate siting and design of new infrastructure in collaboration with community bodies where appropriate. (soil and geodiversity)
- The assessment findings support the draft plan's focus on increased investment activity for community or national benefit and which contributes to Scotland's Climate Change Plan. (climatic factors)
- Investment decisions at asset level should consider opportunities for enhancing the environment for the wider community benefit. (landscape and visual)
4.18 The influence that the SEA has had on the Plan
4.18.1 The SEA process aligned with the development of the draft Strategic Management Plan and helped to refine the objectives, priorities and policies into broader themes. It has allowed further consideration of environmental topics that may be affected by the implementation of the Plan and has offered recommendations on how these can be mitigated, or enhanced further.
4.18.2 Following the assessment of the consultation responses, the way that the SEA has influenced the development of the Strategic Management Plan will be further set out in the Post Adoption Statement.