Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Annex 1 Small Hydro Planning Issues: Ecological Considerations
The effect of water abstraction on the riverine ecology can be a concern, particularly in areas that are valued or designated for their ecological resource. However, the long-term impacts of ‘run of river’ schemes on rivers are largely unknown. Where ecological issues are considered to be important, liaison between the developer, EHS Natural Heritage and Water Management Unit, and the Department for Culture Arts and Leisure will help to establish the required environmental information to be provided at the planning application stage, and the potential impacts that are to be considered. This may include surveys of river corridor and river beds habitats, bryophytes, fish, invertebrates, amphibians, birds and mammals. The effects of changed flow regimes and water quality may need to be assessed. It is possible that impacts can be ‘designed out’ of the scheme with measures such as pulsed flow or seasonal operating of the plant.