How the impact assessment has shaped the Plan/Policy:
The implementation of duties under the 2018 Act is being undertaken on an iterative basis, as the draft Plan is developed, to allow consideration of the likely impacts to inform the identification of refinement of Plan Options and policies.
Scoping consultation outputs have shaped the refinement of the draft Plan – leading to the reduction and removal of Initial Areas of Search, Scoping Areas of Search and Revised Areas of Search due to potential negative impacts on commercial fishing, shipping, navigational safety, national security and natural heritage which could not be successfully mitigated via project or plan level mitigation measures. Consultation outputs resulted in the introduction of additional Revised Areas of Search located close to island communities (in particular, next to the Isle of Lewis).
The outputs of the partial ICIA helped to shape the arrangements for the consultation on the draft Plan and Sustainability Appraisal. Public consultation took place between 18 December 2019 and 25 March 2020 and events were held at relevant island locations (Shetland, Orkney, Lewis and Islay) during February and March 2020 to support engagement with potentially impacted communities. The findings of the Sustainability Appraisal and partial ICIA were useful in framing the discussions at these events.
The outputs of the consultation process have shaped the selection of final Plan Options for inclusion with the final Plan. Amendments have been made to the boundaries of 3 DPOs included within this ICIA – W1, NE1 and NE2. The boundary amendments have been made to mitigate potential negative impacts on the commercial shipping and commercial fishing sectors. In addition, the boundary of NE1 has been reduced to avoid overlapping the 12 nm boundary with Shetland's works licensing regime, following consultation with Shetland Islands Council, to minimise the potential administrative burden on regulators and developers alike.