EIAs and HRAs can take many years to complete and APEM consider themselves as experts when it comes to best practice and delivery. In the UK alone we are working with several developers, supporting with their data collection, analysis, and impact assessments for offshore and intertidal ornithology. We deliver through all stages of their EIA and HRA requirements, from defining the baseline to representation through Planning Inspectorate examinations.
Currently the APEM team are working on four significant offshore wind projects including Orsted’s Hornsea Four in the southern North Sea, RWE’s Rampion 2 in the English Channel, RWE’s Awel y Mor in the Irish Sea and Seagreen’s Berwick Bank and Marr Bank in the northern North Sea. The assessments for these offshore wind farms fall under different UK regulatory frameworks in England, Scotland and Wales and require stakeholder communications with each respective statutory nature conservation bodies, including Natural England, Marine Scotland and Natural Resources Wales.
Despite current CV-19 restrictions, the team continue to focus on delivering multiple data collections, desk studies, data analyses, modelling, assessments, and reporting associated with each offshore wind farms requirements, all of which are at differing stages of their development applications.
Rampion 2 is one of the four current projects underway and APEM have been working with RWE and GoBe Consultants since the pre-scoping stage and were appointed the lead provider of aerial digital surveys, collecting offshore ornithology and marine mammal data since early 2019.
More recently, following receipt of the Scoping Opinion and responses to the HRA Screening Report, the team are leading on offshore and intertidal ornithology, whilst currently awaiting the project’s design freeze before completing the work required to undertake all the assessments (including baseline reports, collision risk modelling, displacement and migrant bird modelling) required for the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) chapter and draft Report to Inform Appropriate Assessment (RIAA).
The focus of assessments surrounding seabirds in this region of the English Channel includes breeding gannet, kittiwake and terns and non-breeding migrant seabird and non-seabird species.
Three further current offshore wind projects (Orsted’s Hornsea Four and Awel y Mor projects and Seagreen’s Berwick Bank and Marr Bank) have seen similar approaches with the team are leading in collision risk modelling, population viability analysis, migrant bird modelling and Marine Renewables Strategic environmental assessment analysis.
APEM’s team was further boosted in August 2020, when Gillian Sutherland joined as Director, Marine Wildlife and Ornithology. Gillian has extensive consenting and compliance experience in offshore wind, having previously worked for over 15 years with ScottishPower on developments across Europe.
Gillian advises: “One key to meeting the governments objectives for green growth is proportional EIA and coalition between planning and conservation goals. I am delighted to be driving APEM’s division forward where we will focus on synergies between innovation and science-based evidence, based on sound ecological principals, to continue to offer our clients effective diagnosis and integrated solutions.”
If you would like to discuss how APEM can support your EIA and HRA assessments, please contact Principal Consultant Sean Sweeney or visit our webpage.
If you have any queries, please contact Sean Sweeney , Principal Consultant .
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 07872 836769.