Wind Turbines: Environmental Assessments

House of Lords written question – answered on 8th September 2003.

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Photo of Lord Hardy of Wath Lord Hardy of Wath Labour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What studies and assessments have been made on the likely effect of the recently proposed wind turbines upon both residents and migrating bird species.

Photo of Lord Sainsbury of Turville Lord Sainsbury of Turville Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Science and Innovation), Department of Trade and Industry, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Trade and Industry) (Science and Innovation)

A strategic environmental assessment has been completed for the second round of offshore windfarm development. The environment report covers the full range of environmental impacts including economic impacts and visual sensitivity. It also identifies additional studies that need to be carried out. These include further work on the distribution and main flight paths of seabirds including migratory, feeding and roosting patterns and their behavioural response to windfarms. The environmental report is available on the web at http://www.og.dti.gov.uk/offshore-wind-sea/process/envreport.htm.

Recent data on the distribution of seabirds in the Greater Wash Strategic Area are available on the web at http://www..wwt.org..uk/publications/default. asp?PubID=50. The University of Wales Bangor has commenced a project on the displacement of birds (especially Common Scoter) from benthic feeding areas due to wind turbines.

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