The information in this study has been provided to support Vattenfall’s formal request for a scoping opinion in relation to the potential impacts of the Kentish Flats Extension and the scope of the forthcoming EIA.
Vattenfall believe that knowledge of the impacts associated with the construction, operation and decommissioning of offshore wind farms has progressed throughout both Round 1 and Round 2. As described in Sections 1.4 and 1.7, it is to be expected that for a number of parameters the Kentish Flats Extension EIA process need not be as onerous as it was for early projects. Furthermore, due to the exhaustive and extensive amount of data already collected for the existing Kentish Flats project, a number of potential impacts do not need to be considered in the amount of detail that would normally be expected of a new development site,. As such, it is Vattenfall’s belief that the use of relevant existing data will enable effective comparisons to be made with the Kentish Flats ES and firm conclusions to drawn based upon observed impacts.
The identification of impacts throughout this report has been undertaken based upon the extensive data sets which exist for Kentish Flats, in a manner not possible on previously undeveloped sites. The small size of the Kentish Flats Extension will result in any identified impacts being limited in scale and magnitude and therefore in a large number of cases (particularly where supported by evidence from monitoring data), the predictions and conclusions made in the original ES will still remain valid.
The Kentish Flats Extension benefits from the fact that a much larger project has already been constructed at the site and which has been subject to an extensive program of environmental monitoring. This allows a much greater degree of confidence in the predictions of effects and the success of recommended mitigation given that the baseline environment and the response to the existing wind farm is well documented and understood.
Vattenfall has already undertaken discussions with statutory consultees regarding the development of the Kentish Flats Extension, especially with regards to the key issues and how these should be addressed. Of particular importance to the Kentish Flats Extension EIA, these discussions have enabled Vattenfall to understand where gaps exist in the extensive data sets already collected for Kentish Flats and to develop an approach to both this scoping report and the EIA which will streamline the process.
This scoping report has identified the key issues associated with the construction, operation and decommissioning of the Kentish Flats Extension, with no impacts identified which have the potential to limit the scale of, or prevent the development of the Kentish Flats Extension. Vattenfall believes, therefore, that the Kentish Flats Extension project is viable, deliverable and of a scale appropriate for the location and existing project.