SMart Wind Ltd (the applicant) has applied to the Secretary of State for a development consent order (DCO) under section 37 of the Planning Act 2008 (as amended) for the proposed Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm (Zone 4) – Project One which comprises of up to 332 wind turbine generators with capacities ranging from 3.6 MW up to 8 MW, together with on and offshore infrastructure. It is intended that there will be three development zones. The Secretary of State has appointed an Examining Authority (ExA) to conduct an examination of the application, to report its findings and conclusions, and to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State as to the decision to be made on the application.
The Hornsea Zone is located in the southern region of the North Sea, covering an area of 4,735 km2. The western boundary of the Hornsea Zone is 31 km from the coastline of the East Riding of Yorkshire and the eastern boundary is 1 km from the median line between United Kingdom (UK) and Dutch waters.
Subzone 1 is situated within the centre of the Hornsea Zone with a total area of 407 km2. The term Subzone 1 is used to describe the area within the Hornsea Zone containing the offshore array, comprising wind turbine generators and foundations, inter-array cabling, offshore converter stations, offshore collector stations, offshore accommodation platforms, and all associated infrastructure.
Project One consists of the infrastructure contained in Subzone 1, offshore export cable route, offshore reactive compensation substation, and landfall as well as the onshore cabling, onshore HVAC substation or HVDC converter station, and associated infrastructure and works.
The western boundary of Subzone 1 lies 103 km off the East Riding of Yorkshire coast and the eastern boundary of Subzone 1 is 43.6 km from the median line between UK and Dutch waters.
The relevant Secretary of State is the competent authority for the purposes of the Habitats Directive and the 2010 Habitats Regulations for applications submitted under the Planning Act regime (as amended). The findings and conclusions on nature conservation issues reported by the ExA will assist the Secretary of State in performing their duties under the Habitats Regulations.
This report compiles, documents and signposts information provided within the DCO application, and the information submitted throughout the examination by both the applicant and interested parties. It is issued to ensure that interested parties including the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCB’s): Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and Natural England (NE) are consulted formally on habitats regulations matters. This process may be relied on by the Secretary of State for the purposes of Regulation 61(3) of the Habitats Regulations.