The Crown Estate has today launched its Round 3 leasing programme for the delivery of up to 25 GW (gigawatts) of new offshore windfarm sites by 2020.
In reaction to the announcement Mark Brownrigg, Director-General, Chamber of Shipping, said: "The shipping industry supports the Government's objective of increasing the percentage of Britain's energy needs supplied by windpower. However, the Round 3 leasing programme needs to consider carefully both the environment and the existing users of the seaways around the UK.
"Offshore windfarms can pose serious threats to shipping - because of the navigational safety implications when windfarms are located to close to established shipping routes and where they cause interference to ships' radar. And where ships are forced to deviate around windfarm sites, that may negate some of the environmental benefits they were intended to bring.
"To use a land-based analogy: when planning offshore sites, please don't build on the motorway! Or on the hard shoulder. But do build in the fields.
"The Chamber will continue to monitor planning applications to ensure that shipping's safety, efficiency and low environmental impact are not compromised, while engaging positively with developers."
For further information please contact:
John Stevenson, Chamber of Shipping
020 7417 2833
Notes to Editor
. For details of the Round 3 programme and notices, please go to: www.thecrownestate.co.uk/round3
. The Chamber of Shipping is the trade association for the UK shipping industry, working to promote and protect the interests of its members both nationally and internationally. With 140 members and associate members, the Chamber represents over 860 ships of about 23 million gross tonnes and is recognised as the voice of the UK shipping industry.
. For more information on British Shipping, please go to: http://www.british-shipping.org