Halcrow Group Ltd has been instructed to provide Marine Scotland with a high level screening report that describes the need, if any, to undertake an Appropriate Assessment of their emerging offshore wind energy plan for Scottish Territorial Waters. The assessment is based on the information that has been made available at the time of publication. The report is presented as a consultation document. Any subsequent additional information arising during the consultation may allow refinement of the conclusions. It should be noted that:
- The findings of this report represent the professional opinion of experienced environmental scientists, ecologists and other specialists. Halcrow does not provide legal advice and the advice of lawyers may also be required;
- All work carried out in preparing this report has utilised and is based upon Halcrow’s professional knowledge and understanding of current relevant European Union, UK and Scottish standards and codes, technology and legislation. Changes in this legislation and guidance may occur at any time in the future and cause any conclusions to become inappropriate or incorrect. Halcrow does not accept responsibility for advising of the facts or implications of any such changes;
- This report has been prepared using factual information contained in maps and documents prepared by others. No responsibility can be accepted by Halcrow for the accuracy of such information. All maps, illustrations and other sources of data are credited where appropriate;
- Every endeavour has been made to identify data sources, where appropriate. Additional data sources are listed in the baseline for reference;
- This report is by necessity a high level pre-screening. Due to scheduling difficulties, the AA has been undertaken in a reduced timeframe than was originally proposed in the joint Screening/Scoping Report (June 2009). A number of assumptions / associations / species groupings have therefore been made and are clearly stated in the text;
- This report is based upon the assessment of the ten short-term options for possible offshore wind development sites originally included in The Crown Estate’s award of exclusivity agreements in February 2009. Since these options were identified, the Offshore Wind Plan and associated SEA has identified a series of medium and long term development options. As these options form part of the Plan, these will also need to be assessed in AA work subsequent to this report, including further high-level screening for AA; and
- This report represents the independent views and recommendations of the consultants conducting the analysis and may not necessarily reflect the opinions held by the Scottish Government.