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Region:    UK and Ireland

Provision of Strategic Environmental Assessment, Appropriate Assessment and Marine Planning Services and Advice to Support Sustainable Economic Development in Scottish Marine Waters  UK

Marine Scotland - Project Dates:
March 2013 - December 2013

Description of Project:
Scottish Ministers have a duty to undertake an Appropriate Assessment in cases where an aquaculture site may impact on the interests of a Natura site and ascertain whether it will or will not adversely affect the sites integrity.

Prior to 1 April 2007, all marine fish and shellfish farms were consented by the Crown Estate (CE) (through a non-statutory scheme of development consent) or, in Shetland and Orkney, through a system of works licences issued by the local authority. On 1st April 2007, the Town and Country Planning (Marine Fish Farming) (Scotland) Order 2007 came into force. This gave planning authorities full planning responsibility for all aquaculture developments in marine waters. Where sites were consented prior to April 2007, operators that wish to continue farming after 31st March 2014 must seek planning permission through the Scottish Government Audit and Review process. If the site has not been awarded planning permission by this date or the expiry date of the Crown Estate lease (or SIC/OIC works licence) they will be operating unlawfully.

Services Provided:

The main purpose of this contract was to:

a) Identify and collate existing information in the AA template provided (document 3)
b) Remedy the existing but unsatisfactory CE AAs (as per SNH comments) and transfer the relevant sections to the AA template provided
c) Identify any further information which is required for the AA to be concluded based on the maximum consent
d) Identify any modifications to the consent which would allow the development to proceed without further information
e) Initiate contact with the operators (via Marine Scotland in the first instance) to obtain the additional information identified at c) or alternatively to inform that consent can be issued without further information based on finding at d) and seek confirmation if they wish to proceed on this basis
f) If relevant, use information as identified at c) to conclude the scientific appraisal for each AA. This will involve identifying any enforceable mitigation which is required for the AA to be concluded based on maximum consent