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REF 101 – Seabed and Offshore Wind

Request

1.  provide me with the amount of seabed owned by the Crown Estate for Scotland that is practical to use for wind power.

2.  Would it be possible for you to provide me with the amount of seabed owned by the Crown Estate Scotland in general?

Could I therefore ask you to provide the following facts in kilometres squared

Response

For clarity, the numbering of our response will correspond with the numbering in the request

1.       The Planning Authority for Scotland’s Seas is Marine Scotland. Currently Marine Scotland is developing a new Sectoral Marine Plan which also involves identifying the potential areas of the development of offshore wind. This is an ongoing piece of work lead by Scottish Government, which Crown Estate Scotland is also involved in, under exception 10(4)(d) - ‘the request relates to material which is still in the course of completion’ of Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004, Crown Estate Scotland is not disclosing the information. It is in the public interest that public bodies have the private space to collate and analyse data and stakeholder feedback before it is made public to avoid confusion or expectations based on inaccurate information.

For information relating to the preparation of the Sectoral Marine Plain, please visit:

https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/marine/marineenergy/Planning/smp-scoping-consultation

For information relating to publication of the draft Sectoral Marine Plan, please see Page 49of:

https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/publication/2019/09/protecting-scotlands-future-governments-programme-scotland-2019-20/documents/governments-programme-scotland-2019-20/governments-programme-scotland-2019-20/govscot%3Adocument/governments-programme-scotland-2019-20.pdf

 

2. Crown Estate Scotland does not ‘own’ the seabed, but we manage the leasing of the seabed.

It is estimated that there is approximately 90,404 km² of seabed from mean low water springs out to the 12 nautical mile limit. This area is called Scottish Territorial Waters (STW). Seabed in STW is prima facie vested in the Crown. Crown Estate Scotland manages all rights to Crown seabed.

The area from the 12 nautical mile limit to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is estimated to be around 371,859 km². Crown Estate Scotland manages the following rights in this area:

a) of unloading gas to installations or pipelines,

b) of storing gas for any purpose and recovering stored gas,

c) of exploitation for the production of energy from water or winds,

d) of exploration in connection with any of those rights, and

e) for other purposes connected with the exploitation mentioned in paragraph (c) including, in particular, the transmission, distribution and supply of electricity generated in the course of such exploitation.

f) of exploiting the seabed and its subsoil other than for hydrocarbons.

We consider that your request is a request for information under section 1 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“FOISA”). To the extent that the information contained within the scope of the request is environmental information as defined in regulation 2 of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (“EIRs”), we also consider that your request falls under the EIRs. We have therefore applied the exemption contained in section 39(2) of FOISA and will deal with your request for environmental information under the EIRs alone.