HC Deb 07 October 2003 vol 411 cc150-1W
Dr. Cable:

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the Crown Estate's plans to charge rent in respect of offshore wind farms. [131261]

Mr. Timms:

The Crown Estate owns the seabed around the United Kingdom to the limit of the territorial sea. The Crown Estates Act 1961 requires The Crown Estate Commissioners to maintain and enhance the value of the Estate and the return obtained from it, with due regard to the requirements of good estate management. Companies entering into lease agreements for wind farm developments with the Crown Estate will be charged an appropriate rental for the site. Following discussion with industry and the British Wind Energy Association, The Crown Estate has indicated that, up to 2010, the basis for calculating rentals for new wind farm site leases will be unchanged from the current 2 per cent. of gross revenue, with a rent review after 20 years.

The Government have committed themselves to bringing forward legislation as soon as the Parliamentary timetable allows to facilitate the construction of wind farms beyond territorial waters in a Renewable Energy Zone (REZ). Our intention is that The Crown Estate will have powers to licence areas of the seabed in the REZ and will be able to charge a rental for use of the sea bed.

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