My Department is consulting the shipping and ports industries on the potential cumulative impact on navigational safety of wind farms being developed on the sites for which The Crown Estate has offered leases. In the light of the outcome of this exercise, developers are able to apply to The Crown Estate, between 1 September to 31 December 2004, to adjust the location of their proposed wind farm. In addition, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is consulting on a revised publication giving guidance on the navigational safety issues which developers shall need to take into account in seeking consent for their projects. This consultation is closing on 7 June 2004 with a view to publishing the revised guidance later this summer.
Officials from my Department together with officials from the Department of Trade and Industry met representatives of the shipping and ports industries on 28 January 2004. Also one of my officials was present when they met the Energy Minister on 16 March 2004 where they were given an assurance that offshore wind farms would not be sited where they present a danger to navigation.