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1 Introduction 1.1


Background


1 The proposed East Anglia ONE Offshore Windfarm is located approximately 43km from the Suffolk coast and covers an area of around 300 km2. Once built, it would comprise up to 325 offshore wind turbines and their foundations, up to three collector stations and up to two converter stations with a network of array cables connecting them. Power from the windfarm will be brought to a landfall point at Bawdsey using up to four buried export cables.


2 During pre-consent phase discussions with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), Natural England (NE) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), concerns have been raised regarding the extent to which Annex I habitat (biogenic reef protected under Annex I of the EC Habitats Directive (1992)) would be accounted for during the operations and maintenance (O&M) phase of the project, particularly during any cable laying activities.


3 The Statement of Common Ground (SoCG) agreed between East Anglia ONE Ltd (EAOL) and NE/JNCC states that


“NE/JNCC are concerned that the worst case scenario only considers impacts of maintenance works within the array (paragraph 227) and does not consider the potential need for re-burial or general maintenance to the export cable throughout the operational phase. NE/JNCC wish to raise the point that there is no consideration given to the life cycles of Sabellaria in paragraph 229 of the Environmental Statement where it is assumed that no S. spinulosa will be present due to the embedded mitigation in the form of micro-siting. As this species can develop and form reefs within 12-18 months, it should not be assumed that this species would not be impacted by ongoing maintenance works throughout the project lifetime”.


4


It has therefore been agreed that an appropriate clause to ensure the consideration of Annex I habitat, in particular S. Spinulosa reefs, for activities during the maintenance phase should be included in the Deemed Marine Licence (DML).


5 This clause is included in the DML as Schedules I and J, Part 2, Condition 9(j) and states:


9 (j) An operations and maintenance and monitoring plan, in accordance with the outline operations and maintenance and monitoring plan, to be submitted to the MMO at least four months prior to commencement of operation of the licensed activities.


Outline Operations and Maintenance Monitoring Plan Offshore


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