Did you know that new information has been added to the planning application and marine licence for the Morlais project? Further Environmental Information for the Transport and Works Act (TWA) application is on the Planning Inspectorate's website here. Menter Môn has also submitted the same information for the marine licence application, on the NRW public register here.

We are in the process of reviewing the new information ourselves and will update you on our findings. Currently Anyone who wants to comment on this new information can do so. This includes people who may not have done so previously. The current deadline for the TWA is the 13 May for you to have your say. The deadline for the marine licence is yet to be announced.

What can you do?

Anyone can object/support and comment on both applications. Below is the contact information for both.

A copy of the application for the Order, and of all plans and other documents submitted with it, may also be viewed at www.morlaisenergy.com Copies of that information may be obtained from Menter Môn by emailing info@morlaisenergy.com or through phoning 01248 725 722. A charge may be payable.

 

 Traffics Work Act:

Any objections to, or other representations about, the proposals in the application should be sent to the Welsh Planning Inspectorate either via email or through the post:

Email: TWA.Morlaistidalarray@planninginspectorate.gov.uk

Post: The Planning Inspectorate Crown Buildings Cathays Park Cardiff CF10 3N

Reference: 3234121 - Transport & Works Act

 An objection or other representation MUST (i) be received by the Welsh Ministers on or before the 13th May 2020, (ii) be made in writing (whether sent by post or e-mail), (iii) state the grounds of the objection or other representation, (iv) indicate who is making the objection or other representation, and (v) give an address to which correspondence relating to the objection or other representation may be sent. (If you are sending your objection or other representation by e-mail, please provide a postal address.) 

Marine Licence: Any person wishing to make representations regarding the application and the environmental statement should do so by writing to NRW to the Permitting Service, Natural Resources Wales, Cambria House, 29 Newport Rd, Cardiff CF24 0TP or by email to marinelicensing@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

  1. Representations should be dated and clearly state the name (in block capitals) and the full return email or postal address of the person making the representation.
  2. Please quote reference number ORML1938 in all correspondence.

In our previous blog we covered what the project is and why we are concerned about it, we do welcome the new information from Menter Môn and have been communicating with them through this process.

The developer, Menter Môn, has applied to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) for a Marine Licence to develop a marine renewable energy project – the West Anglesey Tidal Demonstration Zone - in a sensitive ecosystem off the Anglesey coast.

The planet faces biodiversity collapse and a climate emergency, both these crises need to be tackled together. More renewable energy is a crucial part of tackling climate change, but developments need to be sited and planned in ways that avoid adding to the nature crisis.

The proposal

The project is for a Marine Demonstration Zone for tidal stream energy – this would use turbines that harness tidal currents. If fully developed it could result in the construction and deployment of up to 620 devices over 35 square kilometres of sea to generate around 240MW of renewable electricity. Some of the turbines would be fixed to the seabed and others floating on the surface.   

The MDZ lies off the west coast of Anglesey close to the RSPB South Stack reserve and other important sites for nature, in an area where species including puffin, guillemot, kittiwakes and razorbills can be spotted each summer. More than 180,000 people flock to the area where they can see over 10,000 guillemots and 1,300 razorbills roosting on the sea cliffs. 

This is novel technology and the impacts on marine life are hard to quantify. Modelling shows a range of effects are possible, one estimate (which is not the worst case) is that around 60% of the guillemots and 98% of the razorbills at RSPB South Stack could be lost through collision with the turbines. 

It is therefore highly uncertain what level of tidal stream development might avoid adverse effects on the seabird populations at RSPB South Stack. We are concerned about the scale of the consent that is being sought. Our view is that the application has not adequately addressed the risks to seabirds and that it could have unacceptable impacts on nature. For this reason, we have objected to the application for a Transport and Works Act Order which is needed in addition to a Marine Licence. 

We want to see an approach to development that safeguards our seabirds – this means limiting development to a level that can be demonstrated as safe for nature and researching the effects of novel technology to improve scientific understanding.

Anonymous