Sectoral marine plan for offshore wind energy: strategic habitat regulations appraisal pre-screening report

Results of the pre-screening stages of the habitat regulations appraisal.




3. An impact pathway in this context is the mechanism by which an activity arising from the plan could affect a relevant habitat or species.

4. In Scotland it is also a matter of policy as set out in the February 2010 Scottish Planning Policy document ( SG, 2010) that international Ramsar sites are “ also Natura sites…and are protected under the relevant statutory regimes”.

5. Sites that have been adopted by the European Commission but not yet formally designated by the government of each country.

6. An impact pathway in this context is the mechanism by which an activity arising from the Plan could affect a relevant habitat or species.

7. This assessment will focus on addressing qualifying interest features of European/Ramsar sites but it should also be noted that it is also an offence to deliberately capture, injure, kill or disturb any wild animal of a European Protected Species ( EPS) such as Harbour Porpoise and other cetaceans under the Habitats Regulations. Such offences are not considered within the HRA process but it is noted that guidance on the protection of marine EPS in their natural range from injury and disturbance has been developed by JNCC et al. (2010) as required by Article 12 of the Habitats Directive.

8. Some habitats will have ‘typical’ species associated with them that are mobile but not ‘highly’ mobile, (for example, certain fish or larvae).

9. This is the analysed outputs of a 3D tidal computer model previously used to inform the UK Atlas of Renewable Energy Resource ( The underlying model is the ‘High Resolution Continental Shelf’ ( HRCS) model, owned and operated by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory ( POL, now part of the National Oceanography Centre). The model results describe flow speed and direction at a relatively high spatial resolution and over a long time period. The same model has been applied for many previous marine plan-level HRAs (e.g. ABPmer, 2014; 2017; AECOM and ABPmer, 2015; MMO, 2015.).

10. A bird that is most active in low light conditions, typically at dusk and dawn.

11. Vulnerability is a function of an interest feature’s sensitivity to impact pathway and its exposure to a given impact via a source-impact pathway. Where there is sufficient understanding regarding the exposure to change (i.e. the magnitude and likelihood of change) resulting from the Plan then it may be possible to assess vulnerability. However, where this is unknown, it will only be possible to determine the interest feature’s sensitivity.


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