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FEATURE SPONSOR


CULTURAL HERITAGE


RISK MANAGEMENT AND POST- CONSENT SUPPORT PERSPECTIVES OF A MARINE CULTURAL HERITAGE PROVIDER


With the continuing development of the regulatory framework the marine historic environment is increasingly regarded as one of the key considerations when managing potential risks to a development.


LEADING CULTURAL HERITAGE PROVIDER


Wessex Archaeology Coastal and Marine are a leading cultural heritage provider, offering pre and post consent support to offshore renewables developments since 2001.


Their experience has shown that effective management of the key risks associated with the marine historic environment (such as the remains of ships, aircraft and submerged prehistory) is dependent on early identification in the pre-consent phases of a development which will provide a sound basis for effective mitigation and support into the post-consent construction phase.


SOME OF THE KEY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT INCLUDE… • The severity of potential direct and indirect impacts of the development


• Financial and time risks associated with the uncertainties of the consenting process – will a development gain consent based on the full understanding of the regulatory systems in place?


• Financial risk associated with balance of expenditure during both the pre and post- consent phases – will the quality and quantity of data gathered satisfy the requirements of the regulator, industry guidance and best practice?


• Physical risk to a development post- consent – will the location of infrastructure take account of not only the identified archaeological remains, but also the more nebulous anomalies, including sub- seabed features and deposits?


Taking these risks into account and once consent has been granted, how can developers and the regulator be confident that a potential crisis has been effectively identified and mitigated?


SOME OF THE KEY CONSIDERATIONS INCLUDE… • The importance that advice to clients is given as early as possible and is well argued, consistent, in line with the regulatory framework and project-specific issues identified in the Environmental Statement.


• Direct discussion with the development design team to ensure a full understanding of the key cultural heritage risks and how best to mitigate them.


• Ensuring there is a robust Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI) and protocols developed through consultation with the regulator and the developer.


• Ensuring the historic environment has been fully considered through the provision for archaeological specialists to engage in surveys – during the design, deployment, and assessment phase.


AVOIDING PITFALLS


In this way potential pitfalls can be avoided and support can be provided to developers at every stage of the post-consent process. Of note is the guidance for the development of effective WSI’s for offshore development and the Offshore Renewables Protocol for Archaeological Discoveries (ORPAD) which is funded by the Crown Estate and administered by WA Coastal and Marine. This includes the provision of free awareness training for developers and their sub-contractors.


EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIP WORKING Lastly, it is important to stress that these aims are best achieved through effective partnership working ensuring consensus is achieved throughout the life of a project.


Wessex Archaeology Coastal and Marine


Thanet wind farm under construction © Wessex Archaeology www.windenergynetwork.co.uk 59


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