Two artificial nesting structures for kittiwake have been approved in Hartlepool after a planning inspector was satisfied that they would not restrict economic activity at Hartlepool Port or adversely affect the character, local amenity or appearance of the area.
Once constructed, Hornsea Three will be the UK’s largest offshore wind farm project. Renewable energy company Orsted are required to construct artificial nesting structures (ANS) for black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa Tridactyla) to compensate against its impact, as part of the Development Consent Order (DCO). The new structures in Hartlepool must be in place for two full breeding seasons (March to September) before Hornsea Three becomes operational.
LDA Design supported Orsted during the DCO process and has since worked on designs and on securing planning consents for the artificial nests. There will be four in total, situated near existing kittiwake colonies, along the eastern coast of England. Shortlisted sites have been appraised and agreed through consultation with an Offshore Ornithology Engagement Group which includes Natural England, the Marine Management Organisation and RSPB.
The kittiwake is the UK’s most oceanic gull and on the red list of threatened species.¹ Kittiwakes return to UK coasts to nest between March and September and live off a diet of fish and shrimp. However, loss of onshore habitats and overfishing has resulted in a steep decline in population over the last twenty years.
Two Marine Licences were approved for ANS off the East Suffolk coast earlier this year, and LDA Design led the design and successful planning appeal² for two onshore ANS at the former Hartlepool Yacht Club.
In allowing the appeal, the Planning Inspector noted the high-quality design of the ANS, and the efforts made to reflect the marine heritage of the area. The decision is a significant step towards delivery of Hornsea Three, which could meet the average daily power needs of more than three million UK homes.
¹ International Union of Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species
² Planning Inspectorate appeal reference APP/H0724/W/22/3309272