THE Isle of Man Government has welcomed the decision by Celtic Array to defer a decision regarding further development of the North East block of their Round 3 Irish Sea zone. This will allow time for Celtic Array to further investigate options to remove or, at least, minimise the impact on shipping, particularly services to the Isle of Man, of any future proposals.
The Isle of Man’s territorial waters have a significant impact on transport, business and leisure activities and the Isle of Man Government, led by the Department of Infrastructure, recently completed a public consultation on the Manx Marine Environmental Assessment (MMEA) as part of its overall Marine Plan. The MMEA will assist with any future potential offshore developments that may be progressed in the Isle of Man’s territorial waters.
John Shimmin MHK, Minister for the Department of Economic Development, the department which has responsibility for energy policy in the Isle of Man, said:
‘The recent valuable public consultation by Celtic Array conducted in the Island clearly identified concerns expressed regarding the proposed development. I am grateful to Celtic Array for showing consideration to these concerns and look forward to seeing their revised proposals.’
David Cretney MHK, Minister for Infrastructure said:
‘The ability of the Steam Packet, in particular, to continue to provide the Isle of Man’s residents and businesses with safe, reliable and frequent shipping services is of paramount importance. The announced postponement and the continuing commitment by Celtic Array to discuss options are to be welcomed.’
Phil Gawne MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture said:
‘Clearly it is important to ensure that disruption to our main sea routes is minimised and I’m quite sure that the Steam Packet Company and Celtic Array can resolve amicably the concerns we all share. In view of the urgency to address climate change and access sustainable energy sources, the Department is keen to see wind energy developments progressed.’