Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of Draft Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in Scottish Territorial Waters: Volume 2: Appendices

Listen

Appendix 8.2 Short Term Options Assessment

Table 1: Comparison of Potentially Significant Effects associated with 'Do Nothing' and 'Short-term Options' (see Figure 7.1)

SEA Objectives

SEA Sub-Objectives

Indicators

Do Nothing

Short-term Options (see Figure 7.1)

Narrative

Beatrice

Inch Cape

Bell Rock

Neart na Gaoithe

Forth Array

Solway Firth

Wigtown Bay

Kintyre

Islay

Argyll Array

Climatic Factors

To incorporate measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change

To efficiently generate clean energy, working towards Scotland's energy targets

Provision of a renewable source of energy

Positive contributions to reducing Scotland's 'carbon footprint'.

Extent to which climate change predictions raise the risk to infrastructure over the long term

Moderate to Major NegativeModerate to Major PositiveModerate to Major PositiveModerate to Major PositiveModerate to Major PositiveModerate to Major PositiveModerate to Major PositiveModerate to Major PositiveModerate to Major PositiveModerate to Major PositiveModerate to Major Positive

Life Cycle Assessments for offshore wind turbines (Elsam 2004 as cited in DECC 2009) have indicated that the life cycle impacts of wind power are lower than those of fossil power plants and, although there is energy input required in the manufacture, construction, installation and decommissioning phases, this is earned back in a relatively short period i.e. months not years. Consequently, all of the short-term options will ultimately play a major beneficial role in reducing Scotland's carbon footprint.

Argyll Array would provide the greatest area (361km 2) for wind generation out of the short-term options.

Water

To protect surface and aquifer water quality within STW

To maintain chemical, biological and physical water quality of surface and ground waters

Potential changes to surface and groundwater quality with respect to chemistry, biology or physical characteristics - e.g. EU Directives (shellfish growing waters, WFD etc)

NeutralUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertain

All options have the potential to affect water quality in parts of the STW and in shellfish growing waters through changes in the water column from sediment dispersion and increased turbidity. However, the impacts are considered uncertain. Further hydrodynamic modelling is required (see Table 9.1 in the Environmental Report) to fully understand the nature of the impacts.

Geology, sediments and coastal processes

To protect the geology, seabed sediments and sedimentary processes within STW

To protect the large scale quality of the seabed and sediments and avoid large scale changes to seabed morphology and sediment transport

Likelihood of large scale changes in geochemistry, bathymetry, sediment grain size distribution and sediment transport budgets

NeutralUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertain

Without further investigation and modelling of changes in the sediment regime, sea level rise (associated with climate change), coastal processes and morphology, the likelihood of large scale changes remains uncertain.

Geomorphological features that could be affected by changes in coastal processes include shingle beaches (e.g. from offshore wind farms at Wigtown Bay and Solway Firth) and sand dunes (e.g. from offshore wind farms at Argyll Array, Islay, Kintyre, Wigtown Bay and Solway Firth) etc

To avoid significant damage to designated geological sites

Significant physical damage or exclusion to designated geological conservation site

NeutralUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertain

There are 64 geological SSSIs around the coastline of Scotland. All options have the potential to affect these geological SSSIs due to changes in sedimentation and coastal processes. Modelling of changes to coastal processes would be required to ascertain whether significant impacts are likely.

Biodiversity, Flora and Fauna

To protect and if appropriate enhance biodiversity, fauna and flora

Avoid significant impact to international and nationally designated conservation sites including draft, proposed, candidate and designated Natura 2000 sites

Presence of conservation site within the 'footprint' of the options - e.g. - SPA, Ramsar, SAC, SSSI (including proposed, draft and candidate sites) and likelihood of potential adverse impacts on conservation site.

Note the footprint is determined by the range of the potential impact (e.g. extent of noise envelope, sediment plume size).

NeutralModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major Negative

All options were identified in the Screening Habitat Regulations Appraisal ( HRA) (Halcrow 2009) as having the potential for indirect significant effects on some Natura 2000 sites and their qualifying interest features; however the level of significance of the impact is uncertain at this stage - a HRA will be carried out to determine whether an adverse effect on the integrity of one or more Natura 2000 sites is likely as a result of the Plan. The findings of the HRA may lead to further refinement of the short-term options.

No options are likely to result in the direct loss or damage of internationally designated habitat. However, designated habitats within the international conservation sites have the potential to be indirectly affected by changes in sediment circulation, erosion and accretion (see requirement for hydrodynamic/sediment modelling study in Table 9.1 of Environmental Report).

All short-term options have the potential to indirectly affect interest features of the European sites e.g. by affecting the migratory route or foraging grounds etc of internationally important breeding seabirds, and/or potentially modifying established migratory routes.

To avoid significant impact to, or disturbance of European protected species

Presence of EPS (notably bats, otters, dolphins, porpoises, whales and marine turtles) within 'footprint' of the options and likelihood of potential adverse impact on protected species.

Note the footprint is determined by the range of the potential impact (e.g. extent of noise envelope, sediment plume size).

NeutralUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertainUncertain

All options (except 'do nothing') have the potential for direct disturbance/injury to European Protected Species - further consideration of the presence and distribution of species is required at scheme level (see Table 9.1 of the Environmental Report) to determine level of significance.

Contribute to conservation of the wildlife and wildlife habitats of the United Kingdom

For selected 'valued ecosystem components' no significant loss of diversity, distribution or population. Promotion of conservation where possible and appropriate.

NeutralModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeMinor NegativeMinor NegativeModerate to Major NegativeMinor NegativeModerate to Major Negative

All short-term options lie within a spawning ground for BAP fish species or lie within 40km of an Important Bird Area.

All short-term options with the exception of Solway Firth, Wigtown Bay and Islay lie offshore from SPAs designated for breeding seabirds.

Landscape, Seascape and Visual Amenity

To protect and conserve landscape and seascape character / visual amenity within STWs.

To protect the diversity and local distinctiveness of high sensitivity landscapes/seascapes

Likely adverse effect on areas of high landscape/seascape character

NeutralMinor NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major Negative

The short-term options in the Solway Firth or in the western areas of Scotland lie within medium or high sensitivity seascape/landscapes, which are fragile and sensitive to offshore windfarm developments.

To avoid significantly affecting the special qualities of internationally and nationally designated landscape and historic areas

Proximity to World Heritage Sites, National Scenic Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coasts

NeutralNeutralNeutralNeutralNeutralMinor NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeMinor NegativeMinor NegativeMinor Negative

The Solway Firth and Wigtown Bay options lie within 8km of a NSA.

The sites shown to have minor adverse impacts on landscape designations lie between 13 and 35km from an AONB (a high sensitivity landscape) or a NSA.

To maintain visual amenity from the coast

Distance of the wind farm from the coastline.

NeutralMinor NegativeMinor NegativeMinor NegativeMinor NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeModerate to Major NegativeMinor NegativeModerate to Major Negative

Due to the distance of Bell Rock, Forth Array, Solway Firth, Wigtown Bay, Kintyre and Argyll Array to the coastline (i.e. within 8km of the nearest occupied land), these options could have a potentially major adverse impact on visual receptors along the coastline.

Windfarms within 35km may still be visually significant and would require further assessment at scheme level (taking into consideration turbine design e.g. height and other external influences e.g. climatic factors).

Population and Human Health

To avoid negative effects on human health and population and seek opportunities for enhancement

To avoid significantly affecting recreational users

Disruption to key recreational areas for boating

Neutral

Minor NegativeNeutralMinor NegativeMinor NegativeMinor NegativeMinor NegativeMinor NegativeMinor NegativeNeutralNeutral

Only Inch Cape, Islay and Argyll Array lie outside of RYA cruising routes or sailing areas.

No sites are located across only RYA cruising/sailing routes of low recreational use.

No heavy use RYA cruising routes cross any of the short-term options.

Disruption to areas of 'greatest' importance for recreation (as identified in 'A Review of Marine & Coastal Recreation' SNH 2007)

Neutral

Neutral

Minor Negative

Minor Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Neutral

Moderate to Major Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Beatrice and Forth Array lie outside of areas identified by SNH (2007) to be of great importance for recreation.

Cultural Heritage

To protect and, where appropriate, enhance the historic environment and cultural heritage in STW

To avoid damage to known archaeological heritage sites

Likely impact on designated site or features (and setting), military remains and/or designated wreck (not charted wreck) attributable to wind farm development

NeutralNeutralNeutralModerate to Major NegativeNeutralNeutralNeutralNeutralNeutralNeutralModerate to Major Negative

Only Bell Rock and Argyll Array are known to have designated archaeological assets or heritage features within their footprint.

However, there may be unknown, submerged or non-designated archaeological assets (including 36 non-designated wrecks), features or palaeo-landscapes within the footprint of all short-term options, which will be considered at project level.

Material Assets

To avoid significant conflicts with navigation and shipping

To maintain existing standard of safety of navigation, anchorage and shipping.

Likely interference with a defined navigation routes and/or associated anchorage area potentially resulting in increased collision risk and restrictions on pollution- prevention methods.

Neutral

Minor Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Minor Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

Moderate to Major Negative

All options lie partially or wholly within or close to areas of moderate or high AIS Tracking.

Option

BEATRICE: Located 13.4km offshore on the Smith Bank in the outer Moray Firth, off the north-east coast of Scotland

Environmental Receptors

Key receptors potentially at risk from offshore wind development at the site comprise:

  • Shellfish waters at Dornoch Firth and Cromarty Bay. At the former site, the waters are classified for mussel production and at the latter site, there is commercial interest in harvesting cockles.
  • Geological SSSIs (though none lie on the coastline immediately adjacent to Beatrice)
  • Moray Firth SAC, Inner Moray Forth SPA/Ramsar, Moray and Naim Coast SPA/Ramsar, Cromarty Firth SPA/Ramsar, Troup, Pennan and Lion's Head SPA, East Caithness Cliffs SPA, Berriedale & Langwell Waters SAC, North Caithness Cliffs SPA, Caithness & Sutherland Peatlands SAC/ SPA/Ramsar, Caithness Lochs SPA/Ramsar, Dornoch Firth & Morrich More SAC, Dornoch Firth and Loch Fleet SPA/Ramsar, River Oykel SAC, Faray and Holm of Faray SAC, Sanday SAC, River Spey SAC, River Moriston SAC, and national conservation sites
  • Sites of ecological interest, particularly for nesting seabirds and seals along adjacent coasts of Morayshire and Caithness
  • All Annex II species of the EU Habitats Directive in addition to the following species of marine mammal have been observed in the area of the Beatrice field: common seal, bottlenose dolphin (small resident population), grey seal, harbour porpoise, Risso's dolphin, white-beaked dolphin, Atlantic white-sided dolphin, striped dolphin, common dolphin, pilot whale, killer whale, sei whale, humpback whale and minke whale
  • Seabed fauna
  • Internationally important resident and migrant birds. Divers, seaduck (scoter and eider), gannets, swans and geese are considered to be of greatest sensitivity along the east coast of Scotland ( DECC 2009).
  • Spawning grounds for fish (e.g. lemon sole; further afield sprat and herring) and shellfish species (e.g. Nephrops, scallops, pink shrimp, European lobster, edible crab, velvet crab and shore crab).
  • Low sensitivity seascape of East Caithness and Sutherland; this is a mainland rocky coastline with open sea views.
  • Land based visual receptors (site lies between 13 and 24km of the coast); also marine recreational users though this would require further consideration at scheme level
  • Two RYA Cruising Routes; one light recreational route (known to be in common use but does not qualify for medium or heavy classification) and one medium recreational use (popular route on which some recreational craft will be seen at most times during summer daylight hours)

Potentially Significant Effects Prior to Mitigation

SEA Objectives

Potentially Significant Impacts
(based on generic impacts in Chapter 4)

Potential Significance 45

Likelihood

Permanence

Reversibility

Spatial scale

Mitigation required?
Y = Yes,
N = No

Mitigation

Residual Effects

Climatic factors

  • potential to provide 920 MW for offshore wind generation
Moderate to Major Positive

High

P

I

I

N

N/A

Moderate to Major Positive

Water

  • potential for indirect changes in quality of designated shellfish waters at Dornoch Firth and Cromarty Bay through changes in the water column from sediment dispersion and increased turbidity.
  • temporary increase in suspended sediment in water column during installation and decommissioning may have indirect adverse impacts on water and flora, fauna and biodiversity.
Uncertain

Low

R

R

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on water quality (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for hydrodynamic and water quality modelling at project level)
  • Potential to reduce impacts through the use of appropriate construction and decommissioning methods.
Uncertain

Geology, sediments and coastal processes

  • potential for impacts on geological SSSIs through changes in coastal processes, resulting in increased erosion/accretion.
Uncertain

Low

I

N

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on coastal processes (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for sediment dynamic modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Biodiversity, flora and fauna

  • potential for significant indirect temporary and permanent impacts on international and national nature conservation sites - uncertain impacts
  • direct adverse impacts on spawning grounds for fish species in footprint of works
  • potential for adverse impacts on sites of ecological interest, protected species and other important species including breeding seabirds
Moderate to Major Negative

High

I

I

Y

Y

  • Avoid key areas for species and habitats of nature conservation and fisheries value where known
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and construction methods (e.g. timing to avoid key seasons)
  • Further work required to determine impacts on international nature conservation sites to be assessed through the HRA process
Uncertain

Landscape and seascape

  • as the site lies between 13km and 24km from the coastline (a high sensitivity visual receptor but low visual impact over that distance), there is the potential for minor visual impacts for land-based receptors through changes in the physical elements of the seascape; however the visibility of the windfarm would be dependent on turbine design (e.g. height) and external influences (e.g. weather) and the visual significance is subjective.
  • the seascape of East Caithness and Sutherland is robust to development and only a minor negative impact is anticipated as the seascape character is unlikely to significantly change as a result of offshore wind development.
Minor Negative

High

R

R

Y

N

  • Reduce impacts on land-based visual receptors through appropriate design and positioning of development within the Beatrice site
  • No mitigation possible for impacts on seascape character - design to be optimised to minimise physical footprint
Minor Negative

Population and human health

  • potential permanent loss of existing RYA cruising routes and potential displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes with associated disturbance to navigational safety for recreational craft and increased distance of travel for recreational craft. This has the potential to result in adverse impacts on health and well-being of local recreational users.
Minor Negative

High

R

R

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing RYA cruising routes and areas of known high recreational activity/importance where possible.
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and positioning of development within the Beatrice site
Minor Negative

Cultural heritage

  • No known impacts on cultural heritage
Neutral

N/A

-

-

N

N

N/A

Neutral

Material assets

  • potential for adverse impacts on navigation through the introduction of wind turbines and associated increased vessel movements during construction and decommissioning
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

N

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing navigation, shipping and aviation routes where possible (it is assumed that wind farms would not be consented where they would pose unacceptable risks to navigational safety).
Minor Negative

Potential for cumulative/in-combination effects?

With proposals for other locations/groups of offshore wind development

Round 3 Offshore Wind Zone 1 - Moray Firth: this Round 3 zone borders the eastern edge of Beatrice.

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period noise, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Landscape/seascape - potential for cumulative effects on seascape character of east Fife/Firth of Tay, as development may be concentrated within this medium sensitivity seascape.

Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Beatrice demonstrator project

Round 3 Offshore Wind Zone 2 - Firth of Forth

Potential short-term options of Bell Rock, Neart na Gaoithe

In-combination with other plans, programmes and strategies?

Oil and gas licence blocks

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Increased vessel activity from all existing sources (no specific plan), including motorised water sports, fishing vessels, research and wildlife-watching vessels, vessels associated with known on and offshore development, shipping and other ports

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential cumulative disturbance to seabed (e.g. scouring) with other activities including increased vessel activity/anchoring and demersal fishing (e.g. trawling).

Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing, and navigation, and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Edinburgh Harbour - waterfront regeneration project at Granton

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential for adverse effects associated with increased sediment and turbidity as a result of works
  • biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • multiple noise and vibration sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during piling for construction, may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals

potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.

Bo'ness Foreshore Re-development

Dundee Waterfront Regeneration

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period noise, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.

Proposed new Forth replacement crossing

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential for adverse effects associated with
    • increased suspended and deposited sediment and turbidity in the Firth of Forth as a result of construction works
    • morphological change of subtidal beds and shoreline due to new runoff outfalls and relocation of Scottish Water treated sewage outfall relating to the new crossing
  • Water - potential impacts on water quality as a result of spillages of harmful materials during construction - this is a project level impact
  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)

multiple noise and vibration sources audible to marine mammals, from piling activity during construction and the excavation of Beamer Rock, may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals

Middle Bank, Firth of Forth - licensed aggregate extraction area

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential cumulative disturbance to seabed (e.g. from scouring)

Option

INCHCAPE: Located 13.6km offshore in the outer Firth of Tay, off the east coast of Scotland

Environmental Receptors

Receptors potentially at risk from offshore wind development at the site comprise:

  • Shellfish growing waters at Arbroath, St Andrews to Fife Ness, Fife Ness to Elie and North Berwick to Dunbar. None of these shellfish waters have been classified for commercial shellfish production.
  • Geological Sites of Special Scientific Interest e.g. Tayport-Tentsmuir Coast (including offshore sandbanks and mudflats) and Barry Links (beach dune and links landforms).
  • Barry Links SAC, Firth of Tay & Eden Estuay SAC/ SPA/Ramsar, River Tay SAC, Cameron Reservoir SPA/Ramsar, Forth Islands SPA, Isle of May SAC, Montrose Basin SPA/Ramsar, Forth of Forth SPA/Ramsar, St Abb's Head to Fast Castle SPA, River South Esk SAC, River Tweed SAC, Foulsheugh SPA, Loch Leven SPA/Ramsar, Slammanan Plateau SPA, Fala Flow SPA/Ramsar, Greenlaw Moor SPA, Din Moss/Hoselaw Loch SPA/Ramsar, Westwater SPA/Ramsar, Gladhouse Reservoir SPA/Ramsar, Loch of Skene SPA/Ramsar, Muir of Dinnet SAC/ SPA/Ramsar, South Tayside Goose Roosts SPA/Ramsar, Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast SAC, River Teith SAC, additional overseas Natura 2000 sites and national conservation sites
  • Marine mammals including a small population of bottlenose dolphins resident in the Moray Firth, which range off the east coast
  • Resident and migrant birds (including breeding seabirds within nearby SPAs). Divers, seaduck (scoter and eider), gannets, swans and geese are considered to be of greatest sensitivity along the east coast of Scotland ( DECC 2009).
  • Nursery ground for sandeel, whiting, nephrops, lemon sole, cod and saithe
  • Spawning grounds for fish species: sandeel, plaice and lemon sole
  • Low-medium sensitivity seascapes of Fife /Firth of Tay (deposition coastline with open views, Outer Firths and less developed Inner Firths) and north east coast (mainland rocky coastline with open sea views)
  • Land based visual receptors (site lies within 13 - 24km off coast); also marine recreational users though this would require further consideration at scheme level
  • Recreational users: shoreline important for anglers (angling is identified as an important specialist activity in this area)
  • Adjacent RYA Cruising Route of medium recreation use (popular route on which some recreational craft will be seen at most times during summer daylight hours)
  • Sea vessels: the majority of shipping is associated with access to ports in the Firth of Forth and Tay, and consists mainly of cargo vessels and tankers. There are no traffic separation schemes or anchorages in the area

Potentially Significant Effects Prior to Mitigation

SEA Objectives

Potentially Significant Impacts
(based on generic impacts in Chapter 4)

Potential Significance 46

Likelihood

Permanence

Reversibility

Spatial scale

Mitigation required?
Y = Yes,
N = No

Mitigation

Residual Effects

Climatic Factors

  • potential to provide 905 MW for offshore wind generation
Moderate to Major Positive

High

P

I

I

N

N/A

Moderate to Major Positive

Water

  • potential for indirect changes in quality of adjacent shellfish waters at St Andrews to Fife Ness, Fife Ness to Elie, North Berwick to Dunbar and Arbroath through changes in the water column from sediment dispersion and increased turbidity.
Uncertain

Low

R

R

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on water quality and Shellfish Waters (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for hydrodynamic and water quality modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Geology, sediments and coastal processes

  • potential impact on Tayport-Tentsmuir Coast and Barry Links geological SSSIs through changes in coastal processes, resulting in increased erosion/accretion.
Uncertain

Low

I

N

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on coastal processes (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for sediment dynamic modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Biodiversity, Flora and Fauna

  • potential for significant indirect impact on international and national nature conservation sites and protected species including breeding seabirds
  • direct adverse impacts on nursery and spawning grounds for fish species in footprint of works
Moderate to Major Negative

High

I

I

Y

Y

  • Avoid key areas for species and habitats of nature conservation and fisheries value where known
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and construction methods (e.g. timing to avoid key seasons)
  • Further work required to determine impacts on international nature conservation sites to be assessed through HRA
Uncertain

Landscape and seascape

  • potential for minor adverse impact on low-medium sensitivity seascape of north east coast and moderate adverse impact on medium sensitivity seascape of east Fife/Firth of Tay.
  • As the site lies between 13km and 24km off the coastline (a high sensitivity visual receptor but low visual impact over that distance), there is the potential for minor adverse visual impacts for land-based receptors through changes in the physical elements of the seascape; however the visibility of the windfarm would be dependent on turbine design (e.g. height) and external influences (e.g. climatic factors) and the visual significance is subjective

High

R

R

Y

N

  • Reduce impacts on land-based visual receptors through appropriate design and positioning of development within the Inch Cape site
  • No mitigation possible for impacts on seascape character - design to be optimised to minimise physical footprint
Minor Negative

Population and human health

  • potential adverse impact on shoreline anglers
  • potential permanent loss of existing RYA cruising route of medium recreational importance and potential displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes with associated disturbance to navigational safety for recreational craft and increased distance of travel for recreational craft. This has the potential to result in adverse impacts on health and well-being of local recreational users.
Minor Negative

High

R

R

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing RYA cruising routes and areas of known high recreational activity/importance where possible.
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and positioning of development within the Inch Cape site and associated onshore development
Minor Negative

Cultural heritage

  • No known impacts on cultural heritage
Neutral

High

-

-

N

N

N/A

Neutral

Material assets

  • potential for adverse impacts on navigation through the introduction of wind turbines and associated increased vessel movements during construction and decommissioning
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

N

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing navigation, shipping and aviation routes where possible (it is assumed that wind farms would not be consented where they would pose unacceptable risks to navigational safety).
Minor Negative

Potential for cumulative/in-combination effects?

With proposals for other locations/groups of offshore wind development

Round 3 Offshore Wind Zone 2 - Firth of Forth

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period noise, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Landscape/seascape - potential for cumulative effects on seascape character of east Fife/Firth of Tay, as development may be concentrated within this medium sensitivity seascape.

Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Potential short-term options of Bell Rock, Neart na Gaoithe

In-combination with other plans, programmes and strategies?

Increased vessel activity from all existing sources (no specific plan), including motorised water sports, fishing vessels, research and wildlife-watching vessels, vessels associated with known on and offshore development, shipping and other ports

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential cumulative disturbance to seabed (e.g. scouring) with other activities including increased vessel activity/anchoring and demersal fishing (e.g. trawling).

Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing, and navigation, and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Edinburgh Harbour - waterfront regeneration project at Granton and Leith

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential for adverse effects associated with increased sediment and turbidity as a result of works
  • biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • multiple noise and vibration sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during piling for construction, may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals

potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.

Bo'ness Foreshore Re-development

Dundee Waterfront Regeneration

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period noise, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.

Proposed new Forth replacement crossing

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential for adverse effects associated with
    • increased suspended and deposited sediment and turbidity in the Firth of Forth as a result of construction works
    • morphological change of subtidal beds and shoreline due to new runoff outfalls and relocation of Scottish Water treated sewage outfall relating to the new crossing
  • Water - potential impacts on water quality as a result of spillages of harmful materials during construction - this is a project level impact
  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)

multiple noise and vibration sources audible to marine mammals, from piling activity during construction and the excavation of Beamer Rock, may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals

Middle Bank, Firth of Forth - licensed aggregate extraction area

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential cumulative disturbance to seabed (e.g. from scouring)

Option

BELLROCK: located 9.6km offshore, off the East Coast of Angus on the Fife coastline, Scotland

Environmental Receptors

Receptors potentially at risk from offshore wind development at the site comprise:

  • Shellfish growing waters at Arbroath, St Andrews to Fife Ness, Fife Ness to Elie and North Berwick to Dunbar. None of these shellfish waters have been classified for commercial shellfish production.
  • Geological SSSIs of Tayport-Tentsmuir Coast (including offshore sandbanks and mudflats) and Barry Links (beach dune and links landforms)
  • Barry Links SAC, Firth of Tay & Eden Estuay SAC/ SPA/Ramsar, River Tay SAC, Cameron Reservoir SPA/Ramsar, Forth Islands SPA, Isle of May SAC, Montrose Basin SPA/Ramsar, Forth of Forth SPA/Ramsar, St Abb's Head to Fast Castle SPA, River South Esk SAC, River Tweed SAC, Foulsheugh SPA, Loch Leven SPA/Ramsar, Slammanan Plateau SPA, Fala Flow SPA/Ramsar, Greenlaw Moor SPA, Din Moss/Hoselaw Loch SPA/Ramsar, Westwater SPA/Ramsar, Gladhouse Reservoir SPA/Ramsar, Loch of Skene SPA/Ramsar, Muir of Dinnet SAC/ SPA/Ramsar, South Tayside Goose Roosts SPA/Ramsar, Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast SAC, River Teith SAC, additional overseas Natura 2000 sites and national conservation sites
  • Important Bird Area at Eden Estuary, Tentsmuir Point and Abertay Sands to the west of the site, supporting large numbers of wintering waders and wildfowl. Divers, seaduck (scoter and eider), gannets, swans and geese are considered to be of greatest sensitivity along the east coast of Scotland ( DECC 2009). Breeding seabirds within nearby SPAs.
  • Marine mammals including a small population of bottlenose dolphins resident in the Moray Firth, which range off the east coast
  • Nursery ground for sandeel, whiting, nephrops, lemon sole, cod, plaice and saithe
  • Spawning grounds for fish species: sandeel, plaice and lemon sole
  • Medium sensitivity seascape of Fife /Firth of Tay Seascape Unit, characterised by a deposition coastline with open views, Outer Firths and less developed Inner Firths
  • Land based visual receptors as site lies within 13km of coast; also marine recreational users though this would require further consideration at scheme level
  • Recreational users: shoreline important for anglers
  • RYA Cruising Route of medium recreational use (popular route on which some recreational craft will be seen at most times during summer daylight hours) and RYA Sailing Area (area in extensive use for general day sailing by all types of recreational craft but particularly smaller craft)
  • Bell Rock Lighthouse A-Listed Building; the world's second oldest and automatic lighthouse occupying Bell Rock reef
  • Sea vessels: the majority of shipping is associated with access to ports in the Firths of Forth and Tay, and consists mainly of cargo vessels and tankers. There are no traffic separation schemes or anchorages in the area

Potentially Significant Effects Prior to Mitigation

SEA Objectives

Potentially Significant Impacts
(based on generic impacts in Chapter 4)

Potential Significance 47

Likelihood

Permanence

Reversibility

Spatial scale

Mitigation required?
Y = Yes,
N = No

Mitigation

Residual Effects

Climatic factors

  • Potential to provide 700 MW for offshore wind generation
Moderate to Major Positive

High

P

I

I

N

N/A

Moderate to Major Positive

Water

  • potential for indirect changes in quality of adjacent shellfish waters at St Andrews to Fife Ness, Fife Ness to Elie, North Berwick to Dunbar and Arbroath through changes in the water column from sediment dispersion and increased turbidity.
Uncertain

Low

R

R

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on water quality and Shellfish Waters (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for hydrodynamic and water quality modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Geology, sediments and coastal processes

  • potential for significant indirect impacts on geological SSSIs through changes in coastal processes, resulting in increased erosion/accretion.
Uncertain

Low

I

N

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on coastal processes (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for sediment dynamic modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Biodiversity, Flora and Fauna

  • potential for significant indirect impact on international and national nature conservation sites and protected species
  • potential adverse impacts on wintering waders and wildfowl, particularly in the adjacent Important Bird Area and on breeding seabirds
  • direct adverse impacts on nursery and spawning grounds for fish species in footprint of works
Moderate to Major Negative

High

I

I

Y

Y

  • Avoid key areas for species and habitats of nature conservation and fisheries value where known
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and construction methods (e.g. timing to avoid key seasons)
  • Further work required to determine impacts on international nature conservation sites to be assessed through the HRA process
Uncertain

Landscape and seascape

  • as the site lies within 13km of the coastline (a high sensitivity visual receptor but moderate visual impact over that distance), there is the potential for moderate adverse visual impacts for land-based receptors through changes in the physical elements of the seascape; however the visibility of the windfarm would be dependent on turbine design (e.g. height) and external influences (e.g. climatic factors) and the visual significance is subjective
  • potential for moderate adverse impact on landscape/seascape character of Fife/Firth of Tay as the medium sensitivity seascape is vulnerable, with associated impacts on land-based tourism and recreation.

High

R

R

Y

N

  • Reduce impacts on land-based visual receptors through appropriate design and positioning of development within the Bell Rock site
  • No mitigation possible for impacts on seascape character - design to be optimised to minimise physical footprint
Minor Negative

Population and human health

  • potential loss of existing RYA cruising route and RYA sailing area. Potential displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes with associated disturbance to navigational safety for recreational craft and increased distance of travel for recreational craft. This has the potential to result in adverse impacts on health and well-being of local recreational users.
  • potential for adverse impact on shoreline anglers
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing RYA cruising routes and areas of known high recreational activity/ importance where possible.
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and positioning of development within the Bell Rock site and associated onshore development
Minor Negative

Cultural heritage

  • potential for adverse impacts on the setting of Bell Rock Lighthouse A-Listed Building, if wind farm is not appropriately sited/designed.
Moderate to Major Negative

High

-

-

N

N

  • Seek to avoid development in the vicinity of the listed lighthouse through appropriate design and positioning of turbines within the site
Minor Negative

Material assets

  • potential for adverse impacts on navigation through the introduction of wind turbines and associated increased vessel movements during construction and decommissioning
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

N

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing navigation, shipping and aviation routes where possible (it is assumed that wind farms would not be consented where they would pose unacceptable risks to navigational safety).
Minor Negative

Potential for cumulative/in-combination effects?

With proposals for other locations/groups of offshore wind development

Round 3 Offshore Wind Zone 2 - Firth of Forth

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.
  • Landscape/seascape - potential for cumulative effects on seascape character of East Fife/Firth of Tay, as development may be concentrated within this medium sensitivity seascape.
  • Cultural heritage - potential combined pressures on setting of Bell Rock Listed Lighthouse from various offshore wind zones/developments

Potential short-term options of Inch Cape and Neart na Gaoithe

In-combination with other plans, programmes and strategies?

Increased vessel activity from all existing sources (no specific plan), including motorised water sports, fishing vessels, research and wildlife-watching vessels, vessels associated with known on and offshore development, shipping and other ports

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential cumulative disturbance to seabed (e.g. scouring) with other activities including increased vessel activity/anchoring and demersal fishing (e.g. trawling).
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing, and navigation and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Edinburgh Waterfront - waterfront regeneration project at Granton

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential for adverse effects associated with increased sediment and turbidity as a result of works
  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • multiple noise and vibration sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during piling for construction, may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.

Bo'ness Foreshore Re-development

Dundee Waterfront Regeneration

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.

Proposed new Forth replacement crossing

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential for adverse effects associated with i
    • increased suspended and deposited sediment and turbidity in the Firth of Forth as a result of construction works
    • morphological change of subtidal beds and shoreline due to new runoff outfalls and relocation of Scottish Water treated sewage outfall relating to the new crossing
  • Water - potential impacts on water quality as a result of spillages of harmful materials during construction - this is a project level impact
  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • multiple noise and vibration sources audible to marine mammals, from piling activity during construction and the excavation of Beamer Rock, may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals

Middle Bank, Firth of Forth - licensed aggregate extraction area

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.
  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential cumulative disturbance to seabed (e.g. from scouring)

Option

NEARTNAGAOITHE: Located 15.2km offshore, on the Fife coastline, Scotland

Environmental Receptors

Receptors potentially at risk from offshore wind development at the site comprise:

  • Shellfish growing waters at Arbroath, St Andrews to Fife Ness, Fife Ness to Elie and North Berwick to Dunbar. None of these shellfish waters have been classified for commercial shellfish production.
  • Barry Links SAC, Firth of Tay & Eden Estuary SAC/ SPA/Ramsar, River Tay SAC, Cameron Reservoir SPA/Ramsar, Forth Islands SPA, Isle of May SAC, Montrose Basin SPA/Ramsar, Firth of Forth SPA/Ramsar, St Abb's Head to Fast Castle SPA, River South Esk SAC, River Tweed SAC, Foulsheugh SPA, Loch Leven SPA/Ramsar, Slammanan Plateau SPA, Fala Flow SPA/Ramsar, Greenlaw Moor SPA, Din Moss/Hoselaw Loch SPA/Ramsar, Westwater SPA/Ramsar, Gladhouse Reservoir SPA/Ramsar, Loch of Skene SPA/Ramsar, Muir of Dinnet SAC/ SPA/Ramsar, South Tayside Goose Roosts SPA/Ramsar, Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast SAC, River Teith SAC, additional overseas Natura 2000 sites and national conservation sites
  • Resident and migrant birds (including breeding seabirds). Divers, seaduck (scoter and eider), gannets, swans and geese are considered to be of greatest sensitivity along the east coast of Scotland ( DECC 2009).
  • Marine mammals including a small population of bottlenose dolphins resident in the Moray Firth, which range off the east coast, and protected species
  • Nursery ground for sandeel, whiting, nephrops, lemon sole, cod and saithe and spawning grounds for fish species: sandeel, plaice and lemon sole
  • Medium sensitivity seascapes of East Fife /Firth of Tay (deposition coastline with open views, Outer Firths and less developed Inner Firths) and Firth of Forth (Outer Firths and developed Inner Firths) Seascape Units
  • Land based visual receptors (site lies between 13km and 24km of coast) ; also marine recreational users though this would require further consideration at scheme level
  • Recreational users: area of great importance for informal recreation and popular for walking, hiking over 8km, shoreline angling, bird watching and wildlife watching
  • RYA Cruising Route of medium recreational use (popular route on which some recreational craft will be seen at most times during summer daylight hours);
  • Sea vessels: the majority of shipping is associated with access to ports in the Firth of Forth and Tay, and consists mainly of cargo vessels and tankers. There are no traffic separation schemes or anchorages in the area

Potentially Significant Effects Prior to Mitigation

SEA Objectives

Potentially Significant Impacts
(based on generic impacts in Chapter 4)

Potential Significance 48

Likelihood

Permanence

Reversibility

Spatial scale

Mitigation required?
Y = Yes,
N = No

Mitigation

Residual Effects

Climatic factors

  • potential to provide 360 MW for offshore wind generation
Moderate to Major Positive

High

P

I

I

N

N/A

Moderate to Major Positive

Water

  • potential for indirect changes in quality of adjacent shellfish waters at St Andrews to Fife Ness, Fife Ness to Elie, North Berwick to Dunbar and Arbroath through changes in the water column from sediment dispersion and increased turbidity.
Uncertain

Low

R

R

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on water quality and Shellfish Waters (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for hydrodynamic and water quality modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Geology, sediments and coastal processes

  • potential for significant indirect impacts on geological or geomorphological features through changes in coastal processes
Uncertain

Low

I

N

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on coastal processes (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for sediment dynamic modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Biodiversity, flora and fauna

  • potential for significant indirect impact on up to 38 UK Natura 2000 sites, additional overseas sites, national nature conservation sites, and protected species including breeding seabirds
  • direct adverse impacts on nursery and spawning grounds for fish species in footprint of works
Moderate to Major Negative

High

I

I

Y

Y

  • Avoid key areas for species and habitats of nature conservation and fisheries value where known
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and construction methods (e.g. timing to avoid key seasons)
  • Further work required to determine impacts on international nature conservation sites to be assessed through the HRA process
Uncertain

Landscape and seascape

  • potential for moderate adverse impact on medium sensitivity seascapes of East Fife/Firth of Tay and Firth of Forth, with associated impacts on land-based tourism and recreation.
  • as the site lies between 13km and 24km off the coastline (a high sensitivity visual receptor but low visual impact over that distance), there is the potential for minor adverse visual impacts for land-based receptors through changes in the physical elements of the seascape; however the visibility of the windfarm would be dependent on turbine design (e.g. height) and external influences (e.g. climatic factors) and the visual significance is subjective

High

R

R

Y

N

  • Reduce impacts on land-based visual receptors through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site
  • No mitigation possible for impacts on seascape character - design to be optimised to minimise physical footprint
Minor Negative

Population and human health

  • potential adverse impact on shoreline recreational users
  • potential loss of existing RYA cruising route and potential displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes with associated disturbance to navigational safety for recreational craft and increased distance of travel for recreational craft. This has the potential to result in adverse impacts on health and well-being of local recreational users.
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing RYA cruising routes and areas of known high recreational activity/ importance where possible.
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site and associated onshore development
Minor Negative

Cultural heritage

  • No known impacts on cultural heritage
Neutral

High

-

-

N

N

N/A

Neutral

Material assets

  • potential for adverse impacts on navigation through the introduction of wind turbines and associated increased vessel movements during construction and decommissioning
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

N

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing navigation, shipping and aviation routes where possible (it is assumed that wind farms would not be consented where they would pose unacceptable risks to navigational safety).
Minor Negative

Potential for cumulative/in-combination effects

With proposals for other locations/groups of offshore wind development

Round 3 Offshore Wind Zone 2 - Firth of Forth

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period noise, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Landscape/seascape - potential for cumulative effects on seascape character of East Fife/Firth of Tay and Firth of Forth, as development may be concentrated within these medium sensitivity seascapes.
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Potential short-term options of Bell Rock and Inch Cape

In-combination with other plans, programmes and strategies?

Increased vessel activity from all existing sources (no specific plan), including motorised water sports, fishing vessels, research and wildlife-watching vessels, vessels associated with known on and offshore development, shipping and other ports

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential cumulative disturbance to seabed (e.g. scouring) with other activities including increased vessel activity/anchoring and demersal fishing (e.g. trawling).
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing, and navigation and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Edinburgh Waterfront - waterfront regeneration project at Granton and Leith

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential for adverse effects associated with increased sediment and turbidity as a result of works
  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • multiple noise and vibration sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during piling for construction, may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.

Bo'ness Foreshore Re-development

Dundee Waterfront Regeneration

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period noise, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.

Proposed new Forth replacement crossing

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential for adverse effects associated with
    • increased suspended and deposited sediment and turbidity in the Firth of Forth as a result of construction works
    • morphological change of subtidal beds and shoreline due to new runoff outfalls and relocation of Scottish Water treated sewage outfall relating to the new crossing
  • Water - potential impacts on water quality as a result of spillages of harmful materials during construction - this is a project level impact
  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • multiple noise and vibration sources audible to marine mammals, from piling activity during construction and the excavation of Beamer Rock, may occur at the same time and extend over a long period , adversely affecting marine mammals

Middle Bank, Firth of Forth - licensed aggregate extraction area

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.
  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential cumulative disturbance to seabed (e.g. from scouring)

Option

FORTH ARRAY: Located 15.2km offshore off the east coast of Scotland

Environmental Receptors

Receptors potentially at risk from offshore wind development at the site comprise:

  • Shellfish growing waters at Arbroath, St Andrews to Fife Ness, Fife Ness to Elie and North Berwick to Dunbar. None of these shellfish waters have been classified for commercial shellfish production.
  • Barry Links SAC, Firth of Tay & Eden Estuay SAC/ SPA/Ramsar, River Tay SAC, Cameron Reservoir SPA/Ramsar, Forth Islands SPA, Isle of May SAC, Montrose Basin SPA/Ramsar, Forth of Forth SPA/Ramsar, St Abb's Head to Fast Castle SPA, River South Esk SAC, River Tweed SAC, Foulsheugh SPA, Loch Leven SPA/Ramsar, Slammanan Plateau SPA, Fala Flow SPA/Ramsar, Greenlaw Moor SPA, Din Moss/Hoselaw Loch SPA/Ramsar, Westwater SPA/Ramsar, Gladhouse Reservoir SPA/Ramsar, Loch of Skene SPA/Ramsar, Muir of Dinnet SAC/ SPA/Ramsar, South Tayside Goose Roosts SPA/Ramsar, Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast SAC, River Teith SAC, additional overseas Natura 2000 sites and national conservation sites
  • Resident and migrant birds (including breeding seabirds). Divers, seaduck (scoter and eider), gannets, swans and geese are considered to be of greatest sensitivity along the east coast of Scotland ( DECC 2009).
  • Marine mammals including a small population of bottlenose dolphins resident in the Moray Firth, which range off the east coast, and protected species
  • Nursery ground for sandeel, whiting, nephrops, lemon sole and cod
  • Spawning grounds for fish species: sandeel in the northern part of the site and lemon sole in the southern part of the site, herring and plaice
  • Low - medium sensitivity seascape of Berwick-upon-Tweed Seascape Unit, characterised by a mainland rocky coastline with open sea views although a small area of remote high cliffs encompasses St Abbs Head
  • Land based visual receptors (site lies between 13km and 24km of coast) ; also marine recreational users though this would require further consideration at scheme level
  • Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty ( AONB); a high sensitivity nationally designated landscape lies approximately 18km from the south-eastern section of the site
  • RYA Cruising Route of medium recreational use (popular route on which some recreational craft will be seen at most times during summer daylight hours);
  • Sea vessels: the majority of shipping is associated with access to ports in the Firth of Forth and Tay, and consists mainly of cargo vessels and tankers. There are no traffic separation schemes or anchorages in the area

Potentially Significant Effects Prior to Mitigation

SEA Objectives

Potentially Significant Impacts
(based on generic impacts in Chapter 4)

Potential Significance 49

Likelihood

Permanence

Reversibility

Spatial scale

Mitigation required?
Y = Yes,
N = No

Mitigation

Residual Effects

Climatic factors

  • potential to provide 415 MW for offshore wind generation
Moderate to Major Positive

High

P

I

I

N

N/A

Moderate to Major Positive

Water

  • potential for indirect changes in quality of shellfish waters at St Andrews to Fife Ness, Fife Ness to Elie, Arbroath and North Berwick to Dunbar through changes in the water column from sediment dispersion and increased turbidity.
Uncertain

Low

R

R

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on water quality and Shellfish Waters (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for hydrodynamic and water quality modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Geology, sediments and coastal processes

  • potential for significant indirect impacts on geological or geomorphological features through changes in coastal processes
Uncertain

Low

I

N

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on coastal processes (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for sediment dynamic modelling)
Uncertain

Biodiversity, flora and fauna

  • potential for significant indirect impact on up to 38 Natura 2000 sites, additional overseas sites and national conservation sites, and protected species including breeding seabirds - uncertain impact
  • direct adverse impacts on nursery and spawning grounds for fish species in footprint of works
Moderate to Major Negative

High

I

I

Y

Y

  • Avoid key areas for species and habitats of nature conservation and fisheries value where known
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and construction methods (e.g. timing to avoid key seasons)

Further work required to determine impacts on international nature conservation sites to be assessed through the HRA process

Uncertain

Landscape and seascape

  • potential for minor adverse impact on low-medium sensitivity seascape of Berwick-upon-Tweed
  • as the site lies between 13km and 35km off the coastline (a high sensitivity visual receptor but low visual impact over that distance), there is the potential for minor adverse visual impacts for land-based receptors through changes in the physical elements of the seascape; however the visibility of the windfarm would be dependent on turbine design (e.g. height) and external influences (e.g. climatic factors) and the visual significance is subjective

there is the potential for a minor adverse impact on the Northumberland Coast AONB (considered to be of high sensitivity, lying approximately 18km from the site)

High

R

R

Y

N

  • Reduce impacts on land-based visual receptors through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site
  • No mitigation possible for impacts on seascape character - design to be optimised to minimise physical footprint
  • Seek to avoid development within vicinity of AONB through positioning of development within the site
Minor Negative

Population and human health

  • potential loss of existing RYA cruising route and potential displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes with associated disturbance to navigational safety for recreational craft and increased distance of travel for recreational craft. This has the potential to result in adverse impacts on health and well-being of local recreational users.
Minor Negative

High

R

R

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing RYA cruising routes and areas of known high recreational activity/ importance where possible.
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site and associated onshore development
Minor Negative

Cultural heritage

  • No known impacts on cultural heritage
Neutral

High

-

-

N

N

N/A

Neutral

Material assets

  • potential for adverse impacts on navigation through the introduction of wind turbines and associated increased vessel movements during construction and decommissioning
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

N

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing navigation, shipping and aviation routes where possible (it is assumed that wind farms would not be consented where they would pose risks to navigational safety).
Minor Negative

Potential for cumulative/in-combination effects?

With proposals for other locations/groups of offshore wind development

Round 3 Offshore Wind Zone 2 - Firth of Forth

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Potential short-term options of Bell Rock, Neart na Gaoithe

In-combination with other plans, programmes and strategies?

Increased vessel activity from all existing sources (no specific plan), including motorised water sports, fishing vessels, research and wildlife-watching vessels, vessels associated with known on and offshore development, shipping and other ports

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential cumulative disturbance to seabed (e.g. scouring) with other activities including increased vessel activity/anchoring and demersal fishing (e.g. trawling).
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing, and navigation and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Edinburgh Waterfront - waterfront regeneration project at Granton and Leith

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential for adverse effects associated with increased sediment and turbidity as a result of works
  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • multiple noise and vibration sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during piling for construction, may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.

Bo'ness Foreshore Re-development

Dundee Waterfront Regeneration

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.

Proposed new Forth replacement crossing

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential for adverse effects associated with
    • increased suspended and deposited sediment and turbidity in the Firth of Forth as a result of construction works
    • morphological change of subtidal beds and shoreline due to new runoff outfalls and relocation of Scottish Water treated sewage outfall relating to the new crossing
  • Water - potential impacts on water quality as a result of spillages of harmful materials during construction - this is a project level impact
  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)

multiple noise and vibration sources audible to marine mammals, from piling activity during construction and the excavation of Beamer Rock, may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals

Middle Bank, Firth of Forth - licensed aggregate extraction area

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.
  • Geology, sediments and coastal processes - potential cumulative disturbance to seabed (e.g. from scouring)

Location

SOLWAY FIRTH: located 6.7km offshore in the Solway Firth between Kipford and Maryport

Environmental Receptors

Receptors potentially at risk from offshore wind development at the site comprise:

  • Shellfish growing waters at Mull of Galloway. There is no known commercial shellfish production in this designated water.
  • Geological SSSIs e.g. Torrs to Mason' Walk
  • Solway Firth SAC, Upper Solway Flats and Marshes SPA/Ramsar, Castle Loch, Lochmaben SPA/Ramsar, River Bladnoch SPA, Loch of Inch and Torrs Warren Ramsar, Loch Ken and River Dee Marshes SPA/Ramsar, River Eden SAC, Duddon Estuary SPA/Ramsar, Morecambe Bay SPA/Ramsar.and national conservation sites
  • Important Bird Area at Upper Solway Flats and Marshes to the east of the site, supporting wintering wildfowl and waders and passage birds
  • Diverse mixed fishery; cockle, mussel and winkle fisheries on the Solway shores
  • Nursery grounds for fish species: herring and whiting
  • Landscape character of : -
  • East Stewartry Coast National Scenic Area ( NSA), which lies approximately 8km from the site - an area including Auchencairn Bay, Orchardtown Bay, Rough Firth, Sandyhills Bay, the Mersehead Sands and their intermediate hinterlands. Important landscape character elements comprise the wide tidal flats of Mersehead Sands, saltings, fossil cliffs, raised beaches of Sandyhills Coast, sand dunes, mixed farming and woodland.
  • Nith Estuary NSA - an area including Criffell and Kirkconnel Flow, the mouth of the River Nith south of Islesteps, Carse Sands and Caer laverock. Important landscape character elements comprise the wide tidal estuary of the Solway Firth with extensive sands, mudflats and saltings of an open and horizontal scale, the granite cone of Criffell and woodland/moorland.
  • Solway Coast AONB lying 14km from the site - comprises a variety of landscapes including agricultural land, raised mires, sand and mudflats, sand dunes and saltmarsh.
  • High sensitivity seascape of Outer Solway, characterised by remote high cliffs, mainland disposition coastline, open views and Outer Firths
  • Land based visual receptors (site lies approximately 7km from the coast); also marine recreational users though this would require further consideration at scheme level
  • Recreational users and tourists in and off the Solway Coast:: area of great importance for informal recreation and for specialist recreational activity including walking, hiking over 8km, sea and shoreline angling, bird watching and wildlife watching.
  • Two RYA Cruising Routes of medium recreational use (popular route on which some recreational craft will be seen at most times during summer daylight hours) and RYA General Sailing Area;
  • Robin Rigg Windfarm bordering the north-eastern section of the site

Potentially Significant Effects Prior to Mitigation

SEA Objectives

Potentially Significant Impacts
(based on generic impacts in Chapter 4)

Potential Significance 50

Likelihood

Permanence

Reversibility

Spatial scale

Mitigation required?
Y = Yes,
N = No

Mitigation

Residual Effects

Climatic factors

  • potential to provide 300 MW for offshore wind generation
Moderate to Major Positive

High

P

I

I

N

N/A

Moderate to Major Positive

Water

  • potential for indirect changes in quality of shellfish waters at Mull of Galloway through changes in the water column from sediment dispersion and increased turbidity.
Uncertain

Low

R

R

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on water quality and Shellfish Waters (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for hydrodynamic and water quality modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Geology, sediments and coastal processes

  • potential impact on geological SSSIs e.g. Torrs to Mason' Walk through changes in coastal processes, resulting in increased erosion/accretion.
Uncertain

Low

I

N

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on coastal processes (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for sediment dynamic modelling)
Uncertain

Biodiversity, flora and fauna

  • potential for significant indirect impact on up to 14 Natura 2000 sites (Solway Firth SAC and the Upper Solway Flats and Marshes SPA/Ramsar are the closest Natura 2000 sites to this option), national conservation sites and protected species - uncertain impact
  • potential adverse impacts on wintering waders and wildfowl, particularly in the Important Bird Area on the Upper Solway Flats and Marshes
  • direct adverse impact on nursery grounds for fish species in footprint of option
Moderate to Major Negative

High

I

I

Y

Y

  • Avoid key areas for species and habitats of nature conservation and fisheries value where known
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and construction methods (e.g. timing to avoid key seasons)

Further work required to determine impacts on international nature conservation sites to be assessed through the HRA process

Uncertain

Landscape and seascape

  • potential major adverse impact on Outer Solway seascape/landscape character, which is fragile and potentially unable to accommodate wind farm development without significant character change. Associated impacts on land-based tourism and recreation may also be experienced as a result of a change in seascape character.
  • there is the potential for a potentially major adverse impact on the East Stewartry Coast NSA, lying approximately 8km from the site and minor adverse impact on the Solway Coast AONB (considered to be of high sensitivity, lying 14km from the site)
  • as the site lies between 0km and 8km off the coastline (a high sensitivity visual receptor and high visual impact over that distance), there is the potential for major adverse visual impacts for land-based receptors through changes in the physical elements of the seascape; however the visibility of the windfarm would be dependent on turbine design (e.g. height) and external influences (e.g. climatic factors) and the visual significance is subjective
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

N

  • Reduce impacts on land-based visual receptors through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site
  • No mitigation possible for impacts on seascape character - design to be optimised to minimise physical footprint
  • Seek to avoid development within vicinity of NSA and AONB through positioning of development within the site

Population and human health

  • potential impact on recreational users at sea (particularly anglers) and on the shoreline, and associated impacts on the local economy.
  • potential loss of existing RYA cruising route and RYA sailing area. Potential displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes with associated disturbance to navigational safety for recreational craft and increased distance of travel for recreational craft. This has the potential to result in adverse impacts on health and well-being of local recreational users.
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing RYA cruising routes and areas of known high recreational activity/ importance where possible.
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site and associated onshore development
Minor Negative

Cultural heritage

  • No known impacts on cultural heritage
Neutral

High

-

-

N

N

N/A

Neutral

Material assets

  • potential for direct adverse impacts on IMO routing and navigation aids and cumulative impacts associated with the Robin Rigg Windfarm
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

N

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing navigation, shipping and aviation routes where possible (it is assumed that wind farms would not be consented where they would pose unacceptable risks to navigational safety).
Minor Negative

Potential for cumulative/in-combination effects?

With proposals for other locations/groups of offshore wind development

Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period noise, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.
  • Water - increased sediment disturbance and turbidity during construction
  • Landscape - potential for cumulative adverse impacts on visual amenity from the coastline, and on cumulative effects on the seascape character of the Outer Solway and on the Solway Coast AONB, as development may be concentrated within these high sensitivity seascapes. Indirect impacts on recreation and tourism may also be experienced as a result of a significant change in visual amenity and landscape/seascape character.

Short term option of Wigtown Bay Offshore Wind site

In-combination with other plans, programmes and strategies?

Oil and Gas Licence Blocks - may be occurring or under consideration but not yet approved

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Option

WIGTOWN BAY: located 2.6km offshore in the Solway Firth in outer Wigtown Bay

Environmental Receptors

Receptors potentially at risk from offshore wind development at the site comprise:

  • Shellfish growing waters at Mull of Galloway. Shellfish Harvesting Area in the River Cree Estuary and Kircudbright Bay; there is no known commercial shellfish production within the site.
  • Geological SSSIs e.g. Borgue Coast
  • Solway Firth SAC, Upper Solway Flats and Marshes SPA/Ramsar, Castle Loch, Burrow Head SAC, Lochmaben SPA/Ramsar, River Bladnoch SPA, Loch of Inch and Torrs Warren Ramsar, Loch Ken and River Dee Marshes SPA/Ramsar, River Eden SAC, Duddon Estuary SPA/Ramsar, Morecambe Bay SPA/Ramsar, Luce Bay and Sands SAC and national conservation sites
  • Marine mammals and protected species
  • Diverse mixed fishery, and cockle (Regulated Cockle Fishery Area), mussel and winkle fisheries on the Solway shores.
  • Nursery grounds for fish species: herring, plaice and whiting
  • Resident and migrant birds
  • Landscape character of : -
  • Fleet Valley NSA, lying 8km from the site - an area including Fleet Bay and the landforms on either side together with the valley of the Fleet inland as far as the southern edge of Rig of Drumrock. Important landscape character elements comprise the dominant hill mass of Cairnharrow (456m), woodland and Gatehouse of Fleet.
  • East Stewartry Coast National Scenic Area ( NSA) - East Stewartry Coast National Scenic Area ( NSA) - an area including Auchencairn Bay, Orchardtown Bay, Rough Firth, Sandyhills Bay, the Mersehead Sands and their intermediate hinterlands. Important landscape character elements comprise the wide tidal flats of Mersehead Sands, saltings, fossil cliffs, raised beaches of Sandyhills Coast, sand dunes, mixed farming and woodland.
  • Solway Coast AONB - comprises a variety of landscapes including agricultural land, raised mires, sand and mudflats, sand dunes and saltmarsh.
  • High sensitivity seascape of Outer Solway, characterised by remote high cliffs, mainland disposition coastline, open views and Outer Firths
  • Land based visual receptors (site lies 2.6km from the coast); also marine recreational users though this would require further consideration at scheme level
  • Recreational users: area of great importance for informal recreation and for specialist recreational activity including walking, hiking over 8km, sea and shoreline angling, bird watching and wildlife watching.
  • Two RYA Cruising Routes of light and medium recreational use (popular route on which some recreational craft will be seen at most times during summer daylight hours) and RYA Sailing Area, and an adjacent anchorage point in Wigtown Bay.

Potentially Significant Effects Prior to Mitigation

SEA Objectives

Potentially Significant Impacts
(based on generic impacts in Chapter 4)

Potential Significance 51

Likelihood

Permanence

Reversibility

Spatial scale

Mitigation required?
Y = Yes
N = No

Mitigation

Residual Effects

Climatic factors

  • potential to provide 280 MW for offshore wind generation
Moderate to Major Positive

High

P

I

I

N

N/A

Moderate to Major Positive

Water

  • potential for indirect changes in quality of shellfish waters at Mull of Galloway through changes in the water column from sediment dispersion and increased turbidity.
Uncertain

Low

R

R

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on water quality and Shellfish Waters (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for hydrodynamic and water quality modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Geology, sediments and coastal processes

  • potential for significant indirect impact on Borgue Coast geological SSSI through changes in coastal processes, resulting in increased erosion/accretion.
Uncertain

Low

I

N

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on coastal processes (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for sediment dynamic modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Biodiversity, flora and fauna

  • potential for significant indirect impact on Natura 2000 sites (the closest site is Burrow Head SAC), national nature conservation sites and protected species- uncertain impact
  • direct adverse impact on nursery grounds for fish species in the footprint of the scheme
  • adverse impact on Regulated Cockle Fishery Area, which the site lies within.
Moderate to Major Negative

High

I

I

Y

Y

  • Avoid key areas for species and habitats of nature conservation and fisheries value where known
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and construction methods (e.g. timing to avoid key seasons)
  • Further work required to determine impacts on international nature conservation sites to be assessed through the HRA process
Uncertain

Landscape and seascape

  • potential major adverse impact on Outer Solway seascape/landscape character, which is fragile and potentially unable to accommodate wind farm development without significant character change, particularly at such close proximity from the coast. Potential for associated impacts on land-based tourism and recreation.
  • potential for major adverse impact on Fleet Valley NSA, which lies within 8km of the site.
  • as the site lies between 0km and 8km off the coastline (a high sensitivity visual receptor and high visual impact over that distance), there is the potential for major adverse visual impacts for land-based receptors through changes in the physical elements of the seascape; however the visibility of the windfarm would be dependent on turbine design (e.g. height) and external influences (e.g. climatic factors) and the visual significance is subjective
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

N

  • Reduce impacts on land-based visual receptors through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site
  • No mitigation possible for impacts on seascape character - design to be optimised to minimise physical footprint
  • Seek to avoid development within vicinity of NSA through positioning of development within the site

Population and human health

  • potential impacts on recreational users, particularly anglers at sea and on the shoreline with associated impacts on the local economy.
  • potential loss of existing RYA cruising route and RYA sailing area. Potential displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes with associated disturbance to navigational safety for recreational craft and increased distance of travel for recreational craft. This has the potential to result in adverse impacts on health and well-being of local recreational users.
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing RYA cruising routes and areas of known high recreational activity/ importance where possible.
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site and associated onshore development
Minor Negative

Cultural heritage

  • No known impacts on cultural heritage
Neutral

High

-

-

N

N

N/A

Neutral

Material assets

  • potential for adverse impacts on navigation through the introduction of wind turbines and associated increased vessel movements during construction and decommissioning
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

N

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing navigation, shipping and aviation routes where possible (it is assumed that wind farms would not be consented where they would pose unacceptable risks to navigational safety).
Minor Negative

Potential for cumulative/in-combination effects?

With proposals for other locations/groups of offshore wind development

Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.
  • Water - increased sediment disturbance and turbidity during construction
  • Landscape - potential for cumulative adverse impacts on visual amenity from the coastline, on the seascape character of the Outer Solway and on the Solway Coast AONB, as development may be concentrated within these high sensitivity seascapes. Potential for associated cumulative impacts on land-based tourism and recreation.

Short term option of Solway Firth Offshore Wind site

In-combination with other plans, programmes and strategies?

Oil and Gas Licence Blocks - may be occurring or under consideration but not yet approved

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

Option

KINTYRE: located 0.9km offshore from the West coast of Scotland

Environmental Receptors

Receptors potentially at risk from offshore wind development at the site comprise:

  • Shellfish growing waters at Loch Stornoway, West Loch Tarbert. Lowlandmans Bay, Lealt, Keills, Linne Mhuirich and Small Isles Bay. There are commercial shellfish production areas within some of the first three designated waters listed above.
  • South-East Islay Skerries SAC, Eilean na Muice Duibhe SPA/Ramsar, Rinns of Islay SPA/Ramsar, Kintyre Goose Roosts SPA/Ramsar, Ailsa Craig SPA and national conservation sites
  • Important Bird Area at Machrihanish to the east of the site, supporting wintering birds including Greater White-Front Goose. Storm petrel, auks and tern are present throughout area. Breeding seabirds in nearby SPA on the Irish coastline.
  • Marine mammals and protected species. Harbour porpoise and white-beaked dolphin are widespread and numerous and grey and harbour seals are abundant.
  • Nursery ground for nephrops, saithe, whiting and cod with a small area in the eastern part of site also lying within a plaice nursery ground
  • Spawning grounds for commercial fish species: sprat and nephrops
  • High sensitivity seascape of West Kintyre Seascape Unit, characterised by sounds, narrows and islands with a small area of remote high cliffs
  • Land based visual receptors (part of site lies within 8km of coast) ; also marine recreational users though this would require further consideration at scheme level
  • Landscape character of three National Scenic Areas lying between 13 and 35km from the site (North Arran, Jura and Knapdale) and Antrim Coast and Glens AONB lying 20km from the site, the Causeway Coast AONB lying 30km from the site
  • Recreational users: area of great importance for informal recreation; most frequently promoted for marine and coastal recreation and of great importance for specialist recreational activity including walking, hiking over 8km and sea and shoreline angling
  • RYA Cruising Route of medium recreational use (popular route on which some recreational craft will be seen at most times during summer daylight hours);

Potentially Significant Effects Prior to Mitigation

SEA Objectives

Potentially Significant Impacts
(based on generic impacts in Chapter 4)

Potential Significance 52

Likelihood

Permanence

Reversibility

Spatial scale

Mitigation required?
Y = Yes,
N = No

Mitigation

Residual Effects

Climatic factors

  • potential to provide 378 MW for offshore wind generation
Moderate to Major Positive

High

P

I

I

N

N/A

Moderate to Major Positive

Water

  • potential for indirect changes in quality of shellfish waters through changes in the water column from sediment dispersion and increased turbidity.
Uncertain

Low

R

R

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on water quality and Shellfish Waters (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for hydrodynamic and water quality modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Geology, sediments and coastal processes

  • potential for significant indirect impacts on geological or geomorphological features through changes in coastal processes
Uncertain

Low

I

N

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on coastal processes (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for sediment dynamic modelling)
Uncertain

Biodiversity, flora and fauna

  • potential for significant indirect impact on up to 8 Natura 2000 sites, national conservation sites and protected species including breeding seabirds- uncertain impacts
  • potential adverse impacts on wintering waders and wildfowl, particularly associated with the adjacent Important Bird Area
  • direct adverse impacts on nursery and spawning grounds for fish species in footprint of works
Moderate to Major Negative

High

I

I

Y

Y

  • Avoid key areas for species and habitats of nature conservation and fisheries value where known
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and construction methods (e.g. timing to avoid key seasons)

Further work required to determine impacts on international nature conservation sites to be assessed through the HRA process

Uncertain

Landscape and seascape

  • potential major adverse impact on West Kintyre seascape/landscape character, which is fragile and potentially unable to accommodate wind farm development without significant character change, particularly at such close proximity to the coastline. Potential for associated impacts on land-based tourism and recreation.
  • potential for minor adverse impact on three NSAs, Antrim Coast and Glens AONB and the Causeway Coast AONB (high sensitivity landscapes lying between 20 and 30km from the site)
  • as part of the site lies within 8km off the coastline (a high sensitivity visual receptor and high visual impact over that distance), there is the potential for major adverse visual impacts for land-based receptors through changes in the physical elements of the seascape; however the visibility of the windfarm would be dependent on turbine design (e.g. height) and external influences (e.g. climatic factors) and the visual significance is subjective
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

N

  • Reduce impacts on land-based visual receptors through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site
  • No mitigation possible for impacts on seascape character - design to be optimised to minimise physical footprint
  • Seek to avoid development within vicinity of NSA s through positioning of development within the site
Moderate to Major Negative

Population and human health

  • potential impacts on recreational users, particularly anglers at sea and those on the shoreline with associated impacts on the local economy.
  • potential loss of existing RYA cruising route and potential displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes with associated disturbance to navigational safety for recreational craft and increased distance of travel for recreational craft. This has the potential to result in adverse impacts on health and well-being of local recreational users.
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing RYA cruising routes and areas of known high recreational activity/ importance where possible.
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site and associated onshore development
Minor Negative

Cultural heritage

  • No known impacts on cultural heritage
Neutral

High

-

-

N

N

N/A

Neutral

Material assets

  • potential for adverse impacts on navigation through the introduction of wind turbines and associated increased vessel movements during construction and decommissioning
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

N

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing navigation, shipping and aviation routes where possible (it is assumed that wind farms would not be consented where they would pose risks to navigational safety).
Minor Negative

Potential for cumulative/in-combination effects?

With proposals for other locations/groups of offshore wind development

No known proposals for offshore wind that would have apparent in-combination effects

In-combination with other plans, programmes and strategies?

No known PPS that would have apparent in-combination effects

Option

ISLAY, located 11.8km offshore from the West coast of Scotland

Environmental Receptors

Receptors potentially at risk from offshore wind development at the site comprise:

  • Shellfish growing waters at Loch Gruinart; also classified for commercial shellfish production, and at Askinish Bay (no known commercial shellfish production).
  • Geological SSSIs e.g. Rinns of Islay
  • South-East Islay Skerries SAC, Eilean na Muice Duibhe SPA/Ramsar, Rinns of Islay SPA/Ramsar, The Oa SPA, Laggan (Islay) SPA, Bridgend Flats, Islay SPA/Ramsar, Gruinart Flats, Islay SPA/Ramsar, Oronsay SAC, Oronsay and South Colonsay SPA, North Colonsay & Western Cliffs SPA, Murlough SAC, Strangford Lough SAC and national conservation sites
  • Resident and migrant birds. Geese of several species winter in high numbers on Islay ( DECC 2009)
  • Marine mammals and protected species
  • Nursery ground for nephrops, saithe and cod
  • Spawning grounds for fish species: sprat, plaice and nephrops
  • High sensitivity seascape of West Islay Seascape Unit, characterised by low rocky island coasts with areas of deposition coasts of islands
  • Land based visual receptors (site lies between 13km and 24km of coast); also marine recreational users though this would require further consideration at scheme level
  • Landscape/seascape character of Jura and Knapdale National Scenic Areas, which lies between 13 and 35km from the site.
  • Recreational users: area of greatest importance around Scottish coast for informal recreation and of great importance for specialist recreational activity including walking, hiking over 8km, sea and shoreline angling and wildife/bird watching.

Potentially Significant Effects Prior to Mitigation

SEA Objectives

Potentially Significant Impacts
(based on generic impacts in Chapter 4)

Potential Significance 53

Likelihood

Permanence

Reversibility

Spatial scale

Mitigation required?
Y = Yes,
N = No

Mitigation

Residual Effects

Climatic factors

  • potential to provide 680 MW for offshore wind generation.
Moderate to Major Positive

High

P

I

I

N

N/A

Moderate to Major Positive

Water

  • potential for indirect changes in quality of shellfish waters at Loch Gruinart and Askinish Bay through changes in the water column from sediment dispersion and increased turbidity.
Uncertain

Low

R

R

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on water quality and Shellfish Waters (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for hydrodynamic and water quality modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Geology, sediments and coastal processes

  • potential impact on geological SSSIs e.g. Rinns of Islay through changes in coastal processes, resulting in increased erosion/accretion.
Uncertain

Low

I

N

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on coastal processes (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for sediment dynamic modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Biodiversity, flora and fauna

  • potential for significant indirect impact on up to 16 Natura 2000 sites, national nature conservation sites and protected species
  • direct adverse impacts on nursery and spawning grounds for fish species in footprint of works
Moderate to Major Negative

High

I

I

Y

Y

  • Avoid key areas for species and habitats of nature conservation and fisheries value where known
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and construction methods (e.g. timing to avoid key seasons)
  • Further work required to determine impacts on international nature conservation sites to be assessed through the HRA process
Uncertain

Landscape and seascape

  • potential major adverse impact on West Islay seascape/landscape character, which is fragile and potentially unable to accommodate wind farm development without significant character change. Potential for associated impacts on land-based tourism and recreation.
  • potential for minor negative impact on two National Scenic Areas
  • as the site lies between 13 and 24km off the coastline (a high sensitivity visual receptor but low visual impact over that distance), there is the potential for low visual impacts for land-based receptors through changes in the physical elements of the seascape; however the visibility of the windfarm would be dependent on turbine design (e.g. height) and external influences (e.g. climatic factors) and the visual significance is subjective
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

N

  • Reduce impacts on land-based visual receptors through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site
  • No mitigation possible for impacts on seascape character - design to be optimised to minimise physical footprint
  • Seek to avoid development within vicinity of NSA s through positioning of development within the site
Minor Negative

Population and human health

  • potential impacts on recreational users, particularly anglers at sea and those on the shoreline with associated impacts on the local economy.
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing areas of known high recreational activity/ importance where possible.
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site and associated onshore development
Minor Negative

Cultural heritage

  • No known impacts on cultural heritage
Neutral

High

-

-

N

N

N/A

Neutral

Material assets

  • potential for adverse impacts on navigation through the introduction of wind turbines and associated increased vessel movements during construction and decommissioning
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

N

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing navigation, shipping and aviation routes where possible (it is assumed that wind farms would not be consented where they would pose unacceptable risks to navigational safety).
Minor Negative

Potential for cumulative/in-combination effects?

With proposals for other locations/groups of offshore wind development

No known proposals for offshore wind that would have apparent in-combination effects

In-combination with other plans, programmes and strategies?

Civilian airport

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Water - increased sediment disturbance and turbidity during construction
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.

South of Islay Tidal Energy Project - demonstration tidal array of ten 1 MW devices to be placed in the Sound of Islay

Increased vessel activity from all sources (no specific plan), including motorised water sports, fishing vessels, research, wildlife watching vessels.

Option

ARGYLL ARRAY, located 2.7km offshore from the West coast of Scotland

Environmental Receptors

Receptors potentially at risk from offshore wind development at the site comprise:

  • Numerous shellfish growing waters around the coastline; several of which are classified for commercial shellfish production e.g. Loch Scridain, Loch a'Chumhainn, Isle of Ulva and Ardtoe and Loch Ceann Traigh
  • Tiree Machair SAC, Loch a'Phuill SAC, Coll Machair SAC, Canna and Sanday SPA, Tiree SPA, Sleibhtean agus Cladach Thiriodh SPA, Coll SPA/Ramsar, Mingulay & Berneray SPA, South Uist Machair and Lochs Ramsar, Aid and Borve Benbecula SPA, Monach Isles SAC/ SPA, North Uist Machair & Islands SPA/Ramsar, Mointeach Scadabhaigh SPA, Treshnish Isles SAC/ SPA, Rum SAC/ SPA, North Rona SAC, Eileanan agus Sgeiran Lios mor SAC, Ascrib, Isay and Dunvegan SAC and national conservation sites
  • Annex 1 Reef Habitat
  • Resident and migrant birds (including breeding seabirds). Storm petrel, auks and tern are present throughout area.
  • Marine mammals and protected species. Harbour porpoise and white-beaked dolphin are widespread and numerous and grey and harbour seals are abundant.
  • Nursery ground for whiting, nephrops, saithe, Nor pout, haddock and cod
  • Spawning grounds for commercial fish species: sprat, Nor Pout, mackerel, plaice, herring and nephrops
  • High sensitivity seascape of West Mull/East Tiree (low rocky island coasts with small areas of deposition coasts of islands) and West Coll/Tiree (deposition coasts of islands, low rocky island coasts and sounds, narrows and islands) Seascape Units
  • Land based visual receptors (part of site lies within 8km of coast) ; also marine recreational users though this would require further consideration at scheme level
  • Landscape/seascape character of Loch na Keal and Morar, Moidart and Ardnamurchan National Scenic Areas, which lies between 13km and 35km from the site
  • Recreational users: area of greatest importance around Scottish coast for informal recreation and for specialist recreational activity including walking, hiking over 8km, sea and shoreline angling and wildife/bird watching.
  • Skerryvore Lighthouse A-Listed Building
  • IMO routing and navigation aids

Potentially Significant Effects Prior to Mitigation

SEA Objectives

Potentially Significant Impacts
(see generic impacts in Chapter 4)

Potential Significance 54

Likelihood

Permanence

Reversibility

Spatial scale

Mitigation required?
Y = Yes,
N = No

Mitigation

Residual Effects

Climatic factors

  • potential to provide 1500 MW for offshore wind generation

Moderate to Major Positive

High

P

I

I

N

N/A

Moderate to Major Positive

Water

  • potential for indirect changes in quality of shellfish waters at Loch Scridain, Loch a'Chumhainn, Isle of Ulva and Ardtoe and Loch Ceann Traigh through changes in the water column from sediment dispersion and increased turbidity.
Uncertain

Low

R

R

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on water quality and Shellfish Waters (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for hydrodynamic and water quality modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Geology, sediments and coastal processes

  • potential for significant indirect impacts on geological or geomorphological features through changes in coastal processes
Uncertain

Low

I

N

Y

Y

  • Further work required to reduce uncertainty regarding potential impacts on coastal processes (see Table 9.1 of ER - recommendation for sediment dynamic modelling at project level)
Uncertain

Biodiversity, flora and fauna

  • potential for significant indirect impact on up to 13 Natura 2000 sites, national conservation sites and protected species including breeding seabirds.
  • direct adverse impacts on nursery and spawning grounds for fish species in footprint of works
  • direct adverse impact on reef habitat in footprint of the works
Moderate to Major Negative

High

I

I

Y

Y

  • Avoid key areas for species and habitats of nature conservation and fisheries value where known
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and construction methods (e.g. timing to avoid key seasons)
  • Further work required to determine impacts on international nature conservation sites to be assessed through the HRA process
Uncertain

Landscape and seascape

  • potential major adverse impact on West Mull/East Tiree and West Coll/Tiree seascape/landscape character, which is fragile and potentially unable to accommodate wind farm development without substantial character change, particularly considering the close proximity to the coastline. Potential for associated impacts on land-based tourism and recreation.
  • potential for minor adverse impact on two National Scenic Areas
  • as part of the site lies within 8km off the coastline (a high sensitivity visual receptor and high visual impact over that distance), there is the potential for major adverse visual impacts for land-based receptors through changes in the physical elements of the seascape; however the visibility of the windfarm would be dependent on external influences (e.g. climatic factors) and the visual significance is subjective
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

N

  • Reduce impacts on land-based visual receptors through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site
  • No mitigation possible for impacts on seascape character - design to be optimised to minimise physical footprint
  • Seek to avoid development within vicinity of NSA s through positioning of development within the site
Moderate to Major Negative

Population and human health

  • potential impacts on recreational users, particularly anglers at sea and those on the shoreline with associated impacts on the local economy.
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

R

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing areas of known high recreational activity/ importance where possible.
  • Reduce impacts through appropriate design and positioning of development within the site and associated onshore development
Minor Negative

Cultural heritage

  • potential for adverse impact on setting of Skerryvore Lighthouse A-Listed Building if wind farm inappropriately sited/designed.
Moderate to Major Negative

Medium to low

-

-

N

N

  • Seek to avoid development in the vicinity of the listed lighthouse through appropriate design and positioning of development within the option boundary
Minor Negative

Material assets

  • potential for direct adverse impacts on IMO routing and navigation aids
Moderate to Major Negative

High

R

N

Y

Y

  • Avoid existing navigation, shipping and aviation routes where possible (it is assumed that wind farms would not be consented where they would pose unacceptable risks to navigational safety).
Minor Negative

Potential for cumulative/in-combination effects?

With proposals for other locations/groups of offshore wind development

Future on and offshore wind-farms

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • increased number of physical barriers to fish movement/migration
    • multiple noise sources audible to marine mammals, particularly during construction may occur at the same time and extend over a long period, adversely affecting marine mammals
    • birds and fish, increased collision risk with birds.
    • potential for beneficial cumulative impacts of sites through increased structures providing new reef habitat and new substrate and potential to act as fish aggregation devices.
  • Material assets - potential increased conflicts with commercial fishing and potential cumulative impacts of all marine developments on sea-based recreational routes e.g. the displacement of recreational craft into commercial routes.
  • Landscape/seascape - Potential for cumulative effects on seascape character of High sensitivity seascape of West Mull/East Tiree and West Coll/Tiree as development may be concentrated within these high sensitivity seascapes.

In-combination with other plans, programmes and strategies?

Civilian Airport

Potential for in-combination and cumulative impacts on: -

  • Biodiversity, flora and fauna (see Appendix 3 of the AA Screening Report for in-combination effects on Natura 2000 sites)
    • multiple noise sources audible to birds
    • displacement of birds and increased risk of bird strike