BSH

Maritime Spatial Plans 2009

Maritime spatial plans for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

Background

The BSH carries out the task of maritime spatial planning of the German EEZ in the North Sea and Baltic Sea on behalf of the responsible Federal Ministry.

Legal basis

The legal basis for the establishment of maritime spatial plans in the German EEZ is the Federal Regional Planning Act, which was extended to the EEZ in 2004, and last amended in 2017 to implement the EU Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning. In contrast to the territorial sea, the EEZ does not belong to the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. Maritime spatial planning must therefore respect the freedoms of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, such as the freedoms of navigation, overflight and to lay cables and pipelines. It is therefore a matter of "limited spatial planning".

The legal regulations for spatial planning in the German EEZ apply to
• economic and scientific usage,
• ensuring the safety and ease of maritime navigation, and
• the protection of the marine environment.

Preparation procedure

The maritime spatial plans were established in a broad-based consultation process, in which submissions of authorities, associations and private individuals were obtained and evaluated at various stages of the planning process. In 2009, the plans entered into force as ordinances.

Current procedures

Application of Ørsted Wind Power Germany GmbH for the deviation from planning objective concerning the height limitation in the priority area of wind energy "Nördlich Borkum" according to Section 25 Paragraph 3 of the Administrative Procedure Act

The Maritime Spatial Plan for the German Exclusive Economic Zone in the North Sea contains provisions for the use and protection of the North Sea. As one of many spatial planning objectives, the plan stipulates that offshore wind turbines shall have a maximum hub height of 125 m above sea level if they are installed within sight of the coasts or islands. According to the reasons of the objective, the aim is to minimise as far as possible any adverse effects on the landscape or on tourism.

Ørsted Wind Power Germany GmbH plans to install offshore wind turbines with a hub height of up to 175 m above sea level approx. 54 km north of Borkum in the priority area of wind energy "Nördlich Borkum" of the Spatial Development Plan for the Exclusive Economic Zone of the North Sea. This concerns the wind farm projects "Borkum Riffgrund West I", "Borkum Riffgrund West II" and "OWP West".

In the event of a deviation from a planning objective, a so-called deviation procedure in accordance with Sections 19, 6 Paragraph 2 of the Spatial Planning Act can be carried out, so that this objective of spatial planning does not represent an obstacle to the approval procedure.

Ørsted Wind Power Germany GmbH has submitted applications to the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) as the competent authority for the implementation of deviation from the planning objective concerning the higher hub height of the planned wind turbines for the wind farm projects "Borkum Riffgrund West", "Borkum Riffgrund West II" and "OWP West". Ørsted Wind Power Germany GmbH had already carried out an early public participation pursuant to Section 25 Paragraph 3 of the Administrative Procedure Act prior to submitting the application.

More information in German can be found here