Story 3: Scotland (Offshore Wind and Fisheries)
Scotland’s National Marine Plan was developed in 2015 building on sectoral plans. Sectoral Marine Plans reflect Scottish Government policies, and are used to steer the commercial scale of offshore wind development in more detail. A comprehensive process was put in place to ensure minimal conflicts in the locations suitable for OWF developments. Sectoral plans had originally identified twelve areas for offshore wind farm development. The national marine planning process helped to narrow this down to five. It also provided advice on consenting and all other aspects that need to be looked into during OWF project planning. The five areas suitable for offshore wind were identified through a multi-stage process involving:
- A scientific scoping exercise to identify areas of resource and constraint;
- Regional Locational Guidance to detail this information;
- Early-stage consultation to re-define Draft Plan Options;
The Draft Plan Options are then subject to a Sustainability Appraisal (SA), which includes
- Habitats Regulation Appraisal
- Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA);
- Statutory consultation prior to adoption.
While the broad spatial areas for OWF are identified within the national marine plan, project proposals are still subject to the licensing process and each application is considered on its own merits.