Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm

Received 16 July 2018
From Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Representation

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT), has more than 35,000 members and has been taking a lead role on action for wildlife in Norfolk, since its foundation in 1926. NWT is one of a network of 46 Wildlife Trusts (TWT), which with more than 800,000 members is the largest UK voluntary organisation dedicated to conserving the full range of the UK’s habitats and species. NWT representation focuses on onshore biodiversity impacts of Hornsea 3. However, we also support The Wildlife Trust’s submissions regarding offshore marine mammal and benthic impacts. NWT & TWT were members of the MCZ Assessment Group and NWT was a member of the Onshore Ecology Working Group.

Impacts relating to the width of the cable route: We have not taken a view on the merits of using AC or DC, rather that ecological impacts should be minimised, whatever method is adopted. However, it is clear that habitat disturbance will be less if DC option is used, even if designated sites and the majority of areas of Priority Habitat are avoided. This is particularly relevant in relation to loss of hedgerow and foraging habitat for species such as great-crested newt.

Impacts on Booton Common SSSI: NWT manages Booton Common SSSI. We are pleased to see that HDD will be used with regard to the Blackwater Drain, in order to avoid impacts on Booton Common. There is however, potential for impacts on hydrology of the SSSI resulting from a cable buried in close vicinity to this wetland site. We would like to see further information to make clear that this issue has been fully addressed and may wish to make a representation.

Impacts on great-crested newt: Although, we accept that the survey methodology used to assess cable routes and impacts is in line with that from similar projects, we do have some concerns in relation to impacts on great-crested newt meta-populations, particularly in the Bodham and Heydon areas. This is because there is detailed information available on presence of great-crested newt in these areas as a result of surveys carried out by University College London. We understand that this evidence has been presented to Orsted. It appears that great-crested newt may be present in ponds that were not visited, or assessed as unsuitable by the project ecologists. Where meta-populations are divided by the cable route, non-priority terrestrial habitats linking ponds should be considered important for movement of GCN and mitigation should be at an appropriate level. In this context, consideration of whether AC or DC is used, may be of relevance.