HJA was commissioned to deliver the socio-economic EIA chapter of an Environmental Statement for the Marine Energy Test Area (META) in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
META was one of four projects part of the Pembroke Dock Marine development, which further developed the existing energy cluster around the Milford Haven Waterway. META was designed to create pre-consented and licensed-zones within the Waterway for component and scaled device testing.
The Environmental Statement:
- set out the existing energy infrastructure policy environment for Pembrokeshire and the wider economic region;
- presented the existing environmental baseline established from desk studies, and consultation;
- presented the potential environmental and cumulative effects on socio-economics and tourism arising from the META project, based on the information gathered and the analysis and assessments undertaken; and
- highlighted any necessary mitigation measures which could prevent, minimise, reduce or offset the possible environmental effects identified in the EIA process.
Firstly, an impact area was defined using commuter data. This provided a suitable area to measure potential effects.
The policy context of the development was then identified. This included the national, regional and local legislative and policy provisions that relate to socio-economic and tourism impacts.
Then, a quantitative baseline was established by looking at key socio-economic data for Pembrokeshire. This included reporting and analysis of business counts, business survival rates, and concentration of businesses and jobs by sector and standard occupational classifications. Further analysis on income and wealth, transport and commuting and the economic strength of the tourism and marine energy sector was also carried out.
7 socio-economic impacts were identified and assessed for significance:
- Impact on design and R&D employment and GVA in the renewable energy sector,
- Impact on installation and deployment, operation and maintenance, and decommissioning related employment and GVA,
- Impact on access to installation and deployment, operation and maintenance, and decommissioning related employment opportunities amongst residents
- Impact on demand for housing, accommodation and local services.
- Impact on the performance of the renewable energy sector
- Impact on offshore and coastal tourism and recreation activity and associated economic value, Impact on local tourism and recreational resources.
- Impact on local tourism and recreational resources.
Our work supported the scheme’s application, which was approved in December 2020 and is now operational.