A study, commissioned by the Countryside Council for Wales, to assess the sensitivity of coastal landscapes and seascapes to tidal stream developments has won the Landscape Institute’s Strategic Landscape Planning Award for 2011.
The study forms a key part of the evidence which CCW will use to advise Government and marine planners to help ensure that tidal stream energy devices are sited in the right place, where they cause the least damage to Wales’ coastal landscapes and seascapes.
Elinor Gwynn, Countryside Council for Wales’ Head of People and Places said: “Renewable energy developments are likely to play a key role in the UK’s current shift towards a low-carbon future. CCW is committed to working with developers and regulators to support the development of marine renewable energy in locations, and using technologies, that avoid significant impacts on Wales’ natural heritage, including our seascapes and coastal landscapes. It is vital that the advice we provide is based on the best possible information and this Award reflects the importance we attach to this work.”
The study, commissioned from Land Use Consultants (LUC), has provided CCW with a pioneering GIS-based tool which identifies the levels of sensitivity of Wales’ coastal landscapes and seascapes to impacts from tidal stream developments. The study focussed on areas around Wales where the tidal stream energy resource is greatest (North West Anglesey, the Llyn Peninsula, Pembrokeshire and the Glamorgan coast) and covers the coastline as well as areas out to sea.
“This work will help to steer developments to the least damaging areas – this will help everyone work together to find sustainable solutions,” added Elinor Gwynn.