Adverse Effect on Integrity


Apparently Occupied Burrows


Apparently Occupied Nests


Apparently Occupied Sites


Apparently Occupied Territories


Colony Compensation Measures


Crown Estate Scotland


Contract for Difference


Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use


Dunbar Harbour Trust


Environmental Impact Assessment


Environmental Impact Assessment Report


East Lothian Council


East Lothian Council Archaeological Service


Fisheries Compensatory Measures


Forth Islands Heritage Group


Historic Environment Scotland


Habitat Regulations Appraisal


Implementation and Monitoring Plan


Invasive Non-Native Species


Likely Significant Effect


Maximum Design Scenario


Mean High Water Spring


Marine Scotland – Licensing Operations Team


Management Unit


Non-Target Species Management Plan


Operation and Maintenance


Report to Inform Appropriate Assessment


Royal Society for the Protection of Birds


Special Committee


Statutory Nature Conservation Body


SSE Renewables


Site of Special Scientific Interest


Special Protection Area


Total Allowable Catch


Waste Management Plan

1. Introduction

1.1. Project Background

  1. Berwick Bank Wind Farm Limited (the Applicant) is proposing to develop the Berwick Bank Wind Farm (The Project), in the outer Firth of Forth and Firth of Tay within the former Round 3 Firth of Forth Zone. The Project will include offshore and onshore infrastructure including an offshore generating station (array), offshore export cables to landfall and onshore transmission cables leading to an onshore substation with electrical balancing infrastructure, and connection to the electricity transmission network. The offshore components of the Project seaward of MHWS are referred to as the Proposed Development.
  2. The array comprises 307 wind turbines, with an estimated capacity of 4.1 gigawatt (GW). The array will be approximately 47.6 km offshore of the East Lothian coastline and 37.8 km from the Scottish Borders coastline at St, Abbs. It lies to the south of the offshore wind farms known as Seagreen and Seagreen 1A, south-east of Inch Cape and east of Neart Na Goaithe.
  3. The most precautionary conclusions of the Report to Inform Appropriate Assessment (RIAA) of the Proposed Development has identified the potential for an adverse effect on the integrity of the following eight SPAs from the impacts of the Proposed Development (alone and/or in-combination):
  • Forth Islands SPA
  • St Abbs Head to Fast Castle SPA
  • Fowlsheugh SPA
  • Farne Islands SPA
  • East Caithness Cliffs SPA
  • Troup, Pennan & Lion's Heads SPA
  • Buchan Ness to Collieston Coast SPA
  • Flamborough and Filey Coast SPA
  1. As such, the Applicant has proposed a derogation case including identifying compensatory measures which could be delivered to secure the overall coherence of the national site network, if necessary.  The compensatory measures selection process, as set out within the Derogation Case, together with stakeholder consultation resulted in one fisheries management measure and two colony measures being selected from a long list. The chosen measures, as illustrated in Figure 1   Open ▸ , comprise of the following:
  • Management of SA4 sandeel fishery (either under a “full closure of SA4” or an “ecosystem-based management” option);
  • Rat Eradication: Handa; and
  • Dunbar Castle Wardening Role.
    1. These measures are substantial, and justification with evidence has been provided within the Derogation Case that provide sufficient information to allow the Scottish Ministers to conclude that the national site network will be maintained and enhanced. This evidence is supported, and should be read alongside the accompanying technical appendices (the Fisheries Compensatory Measures (FCM) Evidence Report and the Colony Compensatory Measures (CCM) Evidence Report).
    2. Information on how each of the measures will be implemented and monitored is provided in the Implementation and Monitoring Plan (IMP). This includes a range of built-in adaptive management measures specific to each measure and a number of secondary measures, that could also be implemented as part of an adaptive management response.  Rat eradication at Inchcolm Island is included as a secondary adaptive management compensatory measure that may be implemented for adaptive management purposes. A complete account of this measure is included within this document however it should be noted that further stakeholder consultation would be required before this specific measure could be secured and the intention is not to take this measure forward as compensation at this stage.

Figure 1:
A map of the proposed locations for the proposed compensatory measures including the SA4 fishery, Handa island, Dunbar Castle, and Inchcolm island (included as a secondary measure for adaptive management purposes).

Figure 1: A map of the proposed locations for the proposed compensatory measures including the SA4 fishery, Handa island, Dunbar Castle, and Inchcolm island (included as a secondary measure for adaptive management purposes).

1.2. Purpose of this Document

  1. This document presents an assessment of the likely significant environmental effects of the compensatory measures being developed as part of the Derogation Case for the Proposed Development. The compensatory measures are being brought forward, as a consequence of the Proposed Development’s potential effects on the national site network. Any effects arising from the compensatory measures are, on a precautionary basis, considered to be indirect or secondary to the effects of the Proposed Development, and for consideration under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations[1]. The purpose of this document is to assess the likely significant effects of the proposed compensatory measures on the environment. For full context regarding the policy and legislative context for EIA please see Volume 1, Chapter 2: Policy and Legislation of the EIA Report.

1.3. Structure of this Document

  1. This Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) is set out in a number of stages as follows:
  • Consideration of alternative compensatory measures (Section 2);
  • Brief description of the proposed compensatory measures for the Proposed Development (Section 3);
  • Consultation (Section 4);
  • A brief summary of the EIA Methodology used for the assessment (Section 5);
  • An EIA section for each compensatory measure (Section 6 to 9), with each section containing the following sections:

      Baseline – a summary of the baseline environment for each area considered; and

      Assessment – identification of impacts and associated assessment.

  • Conclusions (Section 10); and
  • References (Section 11).

2. Consideration of Alternative Compensatory Measures

  1. An important part of the development process for the Proposed Development has been the consideration of potential options, selection and the subsequent refinement of compensatory measures and their delivery.  Well informed decisions on the selection and consideration of alternatives are critical and the Applicant recognises the need to ensure consultees and stakeholders understand how such decisions have been made. The process undertaken by the Applicant for selection and consideration of alternative compensatory measures and alternative site/locations for their delivery is detailed within Part D of the Derogation Case. and the CCM Evidence Report and FCM Evidence Report.
  2. The Applicant used a five-step process to select the proposed compensatory measures:
  • Step 1 - Risk to conservation objectives

      Quantify the nature and extent of potential adverse effects and the conservation objectives which may be undermined

      Show how these effects might affect overall network coherence,

  • Step 2 – Aims and Objectives

      Specify the aims and objectives of compensatory measures

  • Step 3 - Feasibility of potential compensatory measure options

      Assessing the feasibility of potential compensatory measure options (technical, legal and financial)

      Identify a final list of proposed compensatory measures and carry out a detailed feasibility assessment

      The Applicant’s detailed feasibility assessment has been carried out to ensure each of the measures selected meets the key criteria for compensation. The list of key criteria was developed in view of the suite of guidance documents available on compensation (see section 2.2 of the Derogation Case). The assessment demonstrates to Scottish Ministers that each of the chosen measures is feasible in respect of all criteria assessed. 

  • Step 4 - Assess the extent of the proposed compensatory measures and the sufficiency of each measure in ensuring the overall coherence of the National Site Network
  • Step 5 - Implementation and monitoring plan


  1. To avoid repetition the approach to selection and consideration of alternatives is not discussed further here however, as outlined within the Derogation Case and supporting documents, the Applicant has proposed a suite of compensatory measures which has been selected through a rigorous iterative process involving careful consideration and testing of options, stakeholder consultation and refinement. There is sufficient evidence to support the rationale for the final selection.

3. Proposed Compensatory Measures

3.1. Introduction

  1. A full description of each proposed compensatory measure can be found within the Implementation and Monitoring Plan (IMP).
  2. In order to facilitate an environmental assessment of the measures, a Maximum Design Scenario (MDS) has been defined for each measure, which is presented in Table 1   Open ▸ and Table 2   Open ▸ . The MDS represents the scenario(s) that would have the greatest impact and has been defined so that the “worst case” scenario can be assessed. As a result, the reader can be confident that any other (lesser) scenario(s) will have an impact that is no greater than that assessed.
  3. The proposed compensatory measures are categorised into two groups, ‘Fisheries Based’ and ‘Colony Based’ measures as follows:
  • Fisheries Based measures:

      Management of SA4 sandeel fishery (considering two options: closure of SA4 sandeel fishery and ecosystem-based management).

  • Colony Based measures:

      Rat eradication: Handa;

      Dunbar Castle wardening role; and

      Rat eradication: Inchcolm (secondary measure)[2].

3.2. Maximum Design Scenario

  1. A Rochdale Envelope approach has been adopted which allows meaningful EIA to take place by defining a ’realistic worst case’ scenario that decision makers can consider in determining the acceptability, or otherwise, of the environmental impacts of a project. As long as a project’s parameters fall within the limits of the envelope and the EIA process has considered the impacts of that envelope and provides robust and justifiable conclusions, then flexibility within those parameters is deemed to be permissible within the terms of any consent granted, i.e., if consent is granted on the assessed maximum parameters of a development, any parameters equal to or less than those assessed is permitted to be constructed. The principle of Rochdale permits the developer or applicant to provide broad or alternative project parameters, of which one or a selection of the scenarios or parameters will ultimately be implemented.
  2. The ‘realistic worst case’ scenario assumes that one or other of the parameters will have a more significant adverse effect than the alternative. Where a range is provided, i.e., different fisheries management scenarios, the most detrimental is assessed in each case.
  3. The design of the compensatory measure that could result in the most significant effect may be different for each receptor type. Understanding the cause and effect specific to each receptor leads to the definition of the appropriate Rochdale parameter for that receptor and, therefore, identifies the ‘realistic worst case’. Taking the ‘realistic worst case’ scenario, it can be assumed if no significant impact is demonstrated at the ‘realistic worst case’, then no significant impact is likely for any scenario.
  4. Table 1   Open ▸ and Table 2   Open ▸ present a summary of the MDS identified for the compensatory measures. Due to the nature of the compensatory measure for sandeel fishing, this measure has been presented with a different MDS per receptor ( Table 1   Open ▸ ).  The MDS’s have been identified by examination of the Implementation and Monitoring Plan combined with knowledge of similar compensation projects, and applying expert judgement on the variables which may result in greater impacts.

Table 1:
Maximum design scenario for the management of SA4 sandeel fishery compensatory measure

Table 1: Maximum design scenario for the management of SA4 sandeel fishery compensatory measure

Table 2:
Maximum design scenario for the colony based compensatory measures

Table 2: Maximum design scenario for the colony based compensatory measures

3.3. Compensatory Measures Commitments

  1. The approach taken to EIAR for the compensatory measures is detailed in section 5. Where there is potential for an adverse effect, the primary measure applied to avoid a significant adverse effect is mitigation. For the Proposed Development, these mitigation measures are identified below in Table 3Table 3.
  2. The commitments described in Table 3 are incorporated within the IMP. As part of the process of discharging suspensive requirements of consent conditions, it is anticipated that the Applicant will produce a Colony Measures Implementation Plan and Sandeel Measures Implementation Plan for submission to Scottish Ministers. Each plan will be informed by stakeholder feedback and the commitments made in the IMP. Section 6 of the IMP details the Applicant’s recommendation to Scottish Ministers on how this process should be secured within the consent. 
Table 3:
Commitments relating to the proposed compensatory measures

Table 3: Commitments relating to the proposed compensatory measures

5. EIAR Methodology

5.1. Introduction

  1. Volume 1, Chapter 6: Environmental Impact Assessment Methodology of the EIA Report sets out the EIA methodology followed for the offshore stages of the Proposed Development. It describes the approach used to identify, evaluate and mitigate potential likely significant effects in and evaluate whether they are significant in EIA terms. The requirement for EIA and the proposed temporal, spatial and technical scope of the assessments are described with the detail being equally relevant to the derogation case EIA and as such, most of this detail is not repeated within this document. To enhance the readability of this derogation case EIAR, some elements of EIA methodology are repeated below to allow this document to be read and understood without extensive cross-referencing to other documents required.

5.2. Overview of Process

5.2.1.    Overview

  1. EIA is a systematic, iterative, and prescribed process framed by statutory requirements as well as the relevant planning and policy context (see Volume 1, Chapter 2: Policy and Legislation). Furthermore, consideration of best, good and advised EIA practice and adoption of a proportionate EIA approach (see Volume 1, Chapter 6: Environmental Impact Assessment Methodology) has guided the specific approach followed by the Applicant in relation to this derogation case EIA.
  2. The key elements of the derogation case EIAR process and the identification of significant effects are described in the following sections. While these provide a general framework for identifying impacts and assessing the significance of their effect(s), in practice the approaches and criteria applied across different EIA topics vary.
  3. An overview of the approach to assessment of the derogation case EIAR is provided in Figure 2   Open ▸ .

Figure 2:
Compensatory measures EIA Process

Figure 2: Compensatory measures EIA Process

5.3. Impacts, Effects Mitigation, and Significance

  1. ‘Impacts’ are defined as the physical (or chemical) changes that will be caused by the Proposed Development activities. ‘Effects’ are defined as the consequences of these impacts to biological populations, ecosystems, and humans (including their physical and cultural assets). The impacts of the various compensation measures presented in this document have been identified based on knowledge of impact pathways from examining similar projects plus a consideration of the existing baseline environment and subsequent potential for impact. 
  2. For many technical topics, the likely significance of an effect is established by combining the magnitude of an impact with the sensitivity of the receptor to that impact (noting that sensitivity is not considered as an inherent characteristic but how something specifically responds to an external factor). The magnitude of an impact is the consideration of the extent, duration, frequency, and reversibility of an impact. In defining the sensitivity for each receptor/receptor group, the vulnerability, recoverability, and value/importance of that receptor will be taken into consideration. The conclusion of significance of effect is determined through a significance matrix as presented in Table 4   Open ▸ .
  3. A level of effect of moderate or more will be considered a ‘significant’ effect for the purposes of the EIAR. A level of effect of minor or less will be considered ‘not significant’. Effects of moderate significance or above are therefore considered important in the decision-making process, whilst effects of minor significance are afforded less weight in the decision-making process.
Table 4:
Matrix used for the assessment of the significance of the effect

Table 4: Matrix used for the assessment of the significance of the effect

  1. For more information on the methodology for assessing the likely significance of effects, including the significance matrix utilised in this assessment, see Volume 1, Chapter 6: Environmental Impact Assessment Methodology.

5.4. Scoping of impacts

  1. In order to facilitate a proportionate level of environmental assessment, an informal scoping stage was undertaken to identify what potential impacts exist for each of the compensatory measures.  The results of the scoping stage are presented in Table 5   Open ▸ . Scoping was undertaken based on knowledge of the proposed locations of each measure and the baseline environment, and potential impacts of the measures from other similar projects undertaken (such as rat eradication projects already undertaken elsewhere in the UK).Where no pathway for impact exists or all impacts on a particular receptor have been scoped out, that receptor is scoped out and not examined further in this EIAR. Justification for scoping out is presented in Table 5   Open ▸ . 
Table 5:
Results of scoping of environmental impacts of the compensatory measures

Table 5: Results of scoping of environmental impacts of the compensatory measures


5.5. Cumulative, Inter-Relationships and Transboundary Effects

  1. For consideration of cumulative effects, where it is considered that a potential likely significant effect exists cumulatively with other plans and projects this has been assessed within the section for each individual compensation measure.
  2. Inter-relationships refer to a situation where several impacts may combine on a particular receptor.  This EIAR has given due consideration using expert judgement to the potential for different residual impacts to have a combined impact on key sensitive receptors, however, within the context of this assessment it has been considered that there is no potential for inter-relationships
  3. Transboundary effects (likely significant effects on another country or countries) have been considered during the assessment process where appropriate. The only adverse transboundary impact identified was associated with the management of SA4 sandeel fishery compensatory measure and no transboundary impacts have been identified associated with the other compensatory measures.