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.

Safety zones information

Duration of a safety zone

Safety zones can be declared during any stage of an OREI project, i.e. construction, operation, extension, major maintenance and decommissioning and are temporary in nature (except in exceptional circumstances). As a result, they are short in duration and usually cover construction, major maintenance and decommissioning.

Size of safety zones

Whilst a ‘standard safety zone’ has a radius of 500 metres (the maximum permissible under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)) in the case of proposed or ongoing construction , major maintenance, extension and decommissioning, the 500 metre radius may be reduced subject to other constraints or site-specific conditions.

The standard safety zone while an OREI is operational has a radius of 50 metres.

Safety zones during ‘major maintenance’ works

The carrying out of ‘major maintenance’ at an OREI may require a 500 metre safety zone. ‘Major maintenance works’ is defined in the 2007 Regulations. The safety zones will be triggered when a vessel is undertaking major maintenance work and requires the attachment to, or anchoring next to, the OREI of a self-elevating platform, jack-up barge, crane barge or other maintenance vessel. Functions related to routine maintenance activities carried out by a Service Operations Vessel (SOV) are unlikely to trigger a 500 metre safety zone.

Rolling safety zones for construction, major maintenance works and decommissioning

‘Rolling safety zones' can be applied for, which allows for safe working conditions, whilst minimising impacts on other stakeholders and marine users. Such ‘rolling conditions’, whilst minimising impacts on other stakeholders and marine users. Such ‘rolling safety zones’ will only cover the areas of the total site in which such activities are actually taking place at a given time. Once that activity has been completed in that specific location, the safety zone will then ‘roll on’ to cover the next specific location within the site in which such activity is taking place.

If permitted under the safety zone notice, unrestricted access to the sea will resume once the work on the OREI has been completed.


See MD-LOT's contact details

Back to top