Offshore Renewable Energy – achieving the right result

Demand for offshore renewables is growing. Wind, wave and tidal energy schemes require Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) including specialist seascape, landscape and visual impact assessment (SLVIA). Onshore components may also require EIA and can face planning challenges.

LUC is an expert in EIA, SLVIA and the preparation of Local Impact Reports (LIRs) for nationally significant infrastructure projects. We bridge the communications gap between terrestrial and marine zones, developers, local authorities and statutory agencies. Our clients rely on us to prepare comprehensive assessments as well as to review Environmental Statements prepared by others, to ensure the most environmentally sound developments possible, and to reduce the hurdles to planning consent.

Our work includes the SLVIA for Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm, potentially the largest in the world, extensive LVIA work for the onshore connections, as well as SLVIA for other wave and offshore wind proposals. We also advised Natural Resources Wales on the landscape, seascape and visual effects of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

Case study: Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind Farm

We provided a range of environmental services for Neart na Gaoithe Wind Farm, off the Fife coast. We were engaged by Mainstream Renewable Power to carry out the SLVIA for the wind farm, including seascape characterisation and the development of a cumulative assessment methodology. We also undertook the EIA for the onshore works including the landfall, underground cable, and substation.

Our involvement contributed to consent being granted by the Scottish Ministers for the offshore works, and to the onshore works receiving detailed planning consent from the local authority. We provided post-consent support, including the discharge of planning conditions for both the onshore and offshore projects. These covered offshore wind farm layout design, onshore ecological surveys, and landscape and habitat management plans.

For expert guidance on any aspect of offshore renewables planning please contact Joanna Wright (Head of EIA), Sam Oxley, Rebecca Knight or Diana Manson.