Marine licensing and consenting: safety zones

Guidance on the declaration of safety zones for the construction, operation, maintenance, extension or decommissioning of a renewable energy installation.



Scottish Ministers can issue a notice declaring a safety zone in relation to offshore renewable energy installations (OREIs) that are in Scottish territorial waters (0-12 nautical miles (nm)) and waters in the Scottish Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) (12-200 nm). Safety zones can be declared around OREIs and the definition of OREIs can be found in section 104 of the 2004 Act.

Section 95 and schedule 16 of the Energy Act 2004 (hereafter “the 2004 Act”) set out the requirements for applying for a safety zone to be placed around or adjacent to an OREI. The Electricity (Offshore Generating Stations) (Safety Zones) (Application Procedures and Control of Access) Regulations 2007 (hereafter “the 2007 Regulations”) clarify the requirements for application, publication, advertising, consultation and control of safety zones.

Scottish Ministers are the “appropriate Minister” for the declaration of safety zones around OREIs wholly in Scottish waters, or an area of waters in a Scottish part of the REZ which are not being extended or proposed to be extended outwith those areas.

The Marine Directorate – Licensing Operations Team (MD-LOT), administers applications for the declaration of safety zones around OREIs on behalf of Scottish Ministers. The Scottish Ministers can also issue a notice declaring a safety zone on their own initiative.

Purpose of a safety zone

A safety zone notice can put prohibitions on vessels and activities within the safety zone for the purpose of securing the safety of:

  • a renewable energy installation or its construction, extension or decommissioning
  • other installations in the vicinity of the installation or the place where it is to be constructed or extended
  • individuals in or on the installation or other installations in that vicinity
  • vessels in that vicinity or individuals on such vessels

Further information


See MD-LOT's contact details

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