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CONSENTING & ENVIRONMENT

Introduction
Pathway to Growth Group

Overview

Delivering a low-cost energy system with large quantities of offshore wind will require a streamlined approach to planning and consent decision-making. We're working with Government and other key stakeholders to address the potential environmental impacts of offshore wind while benefitting the broader ecosystem. We're helping consent teams build their knowledge of consenting issues and exploring evidence that we and other industries can implement to make better use of the marine space.

The Pathways to Growth workstream

Pathways to Growth (P2G) is the Sector Deal’s workstream focused on identifying and addressing the key environmental and consenting challenges that will be a barrier to the UK meeting its offshore wind 2030 target and playing its full role in delivering net zero. Recognising the scale of the challenge, P2G brings together government representatives, Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs), and industry across the UK’s Devolved Administrations to work together in partnership. 

The P2G Coordination Group

The work is supported by the P2G Coordination Group. This group have prioritised a list of focus areas

- Maintaining an overview of all the work in consents, licencing and the environment relating to P2G; 

- Seeking feedback from their organisations on what is already being done or is needed to provide resolution to the identified barriers;

- Ensuring that these actions complement and enhance the work of existing work programmes and strategic groups;

- Defining a clear road map with commitments to meet the 2030 and net-zero targets; and

- Initiating new work efficiently through existing groups and bodies where gaps emerge or, if this is not possible, identify and drive the relevant means to address the gap.

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Challenges in Consenting

The P2G Coordination Group have identified and prioritised key focus areas that are currently causing delay and uncertainty in the consenting process.  Actions to solve these issues have been identified in roadmaps – high level timelines showing the key actions that are planned that will solve these issues.

Who we are

Challenges in Consenting
Consenting & Environment

Rachael Mills, P2G Delivery Lead

Consenting & Environment

Brian McFarlane, Industry Chair, P2G

Consenting & Environment

Kat Route-Stephens, Strategic Compensation Delivery Lead

Consenting & Environment

Benj Sykes, Industry Sponsor

Consenting & Environment

Juliet Shrimpton, P2G Assistant Manager

Consenting focus areas

The P2G Coordination Group have identified and prioritised key focus areas that are currently causing delay and uncertainty in the consenting process.  Actions to solve these issues have been identified in roadmaps – high level timelines showing the key actions that are planned that will solve these issues. The latest version of these roadmaps can be found below (last updated January 2024)

Strategic Compensation

Implementing an approach to delivering compensation strategically will provide a solution that is ecologically sound and can be scaled to deliver the Government’s 2030 and net zero targets.

Underwater Noise

Providing clear guidance on how underwater noise should be managed around and within marine mammal UK Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) will provide greater certainty for marine developers and operators and streamline coordination to ensure published noise thresholds are not breached.

Proportionate Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Implementing a more proportionate approach to EIA, will help to reduce the scale of offshore wind application documentation, and help to streamline consent application and preconstruction discharge of consent conditions.

Strategic Planning

Setting out a clear plan for how offshore wind can support Government’s net zero ambitions will provide clarity on how the marine space should be used, to ensure there is adequate area available and the necessary policy and legislation is in place to support that vision.
2023

Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) in seabirds

A clear, consistent approach that sets out how models and data are used to predict potential cumulative impacts on seabirds during the construction and operational phase will help to support more streamlined consent application discussions and consent decisions.

Adaptive Management

Implementing a clear adaptive management process will support delivery of 2030 and net zero targets via continuous assessment of new research and evidence to inform the latest understanding, the need for more data and evidence to inform mitigation solutions.

Biodiversity

Providing clarity on the frameworks and measures through which biodiversity targets are to be delivered will provide greater certainty for developers and ensure that offshore wind farm sites can deliver biodiversity benefits.

Publicaions & Resources

Publications & Resources

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