HC Deb 28 April 2004 vol 420 cc1121-2W
Mr. Trimble

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what he will make a decision with regard to proposals to generate electricity from wind power off the north coast of Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on these proposals. [164056]

Mr. Pearson

A private sector consortium, with consent from the Crown Estate, is currently investigating the technical, environmental and financial feasibility of the Tunes Plateau site. It is only on completion of this work that the exact size, configuration and location of any potential wind farm can be determined.

If, having completed the feasibility studies, the consortium wishes to proceed with a project, it will be required to apply to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment for consent as required by Article 39 of the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 and support this application with a detailed description of the project and a full statement on the impact which their proposals will have on the environment.

If an Article 39 consent is sought for this project, the Department will consult widely on the application and the environmental statement provided. This process is likely to take a considerable time and it is only after it has been completed that a decision would be made.

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