On June 6, 2019, in the seat of the Ministry of Enterprise and Technology, the fourth national consultation meeting took place – the final conference within the framework of the preparation of the Project of the spatial development plan of Polish maritime areas in the scale 1 : 200 000 and the forecast of the impact on the environment (hereinafter: „Project of the plan”).

Katarzyna Krzywda, Director of the Maritime Economy Department of the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, reported on the progress of work on the Planning Project so far, informing that this version is the last one being worked on by the Directors of Maritime Offices and may still be slightly modified.

Anna Stelmaszyk – Świerczyńska, Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia for Technical Affairs, informed that work is currently underway to ensure that the Draft Plan is adopted by way of an ordinance as a draft of the Council of Ministers. According to the current procedure, the draft plan should be adopted by way of a regulation by the minister in charge of water management in consultation with other ministries, which may prolong the process. In addition, it will also be submitted to the minister responsible for regional development for compliance with the country’s development strategies.

The final version of the draft plan, the final version of which will be published at the end of July this year, is currently being finalised and the draft regulation will most likely be consulted and agreed again in the legislative procedure in the third quarter.

Prof. Jacek Zaucha, discussing the detailed changes that have been introduced in the latest version, declared that there were no changes in the size of areas designated for renewable energy. However, the provisions concerning bird corridors were modified with regard to areas designated for the acquisition of renewable energy, which were transferred to the general arrangements without determining their final shape, which will be decided within the environmental impact assessment.

Director Krzywda informed that the space currently reserved for the development of offshore wind energy significantly exceeds the assumptions of the draft Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 and the possible expansion of the areas in this respect can only take place on the occasion of the update after ten years, on the basis of analyses conducted previously.

In the room, attention was drawn to an additional change introduced to the Project plan, which is the introduction of the power of the Minister of National Defence to agree on the investment in offshore wind energy, which was previously provided for at an earlier stage of the proceedings, when applying for a permit to erect artificial islands. Director Krzywda informed that the provision in question was introduced by the planners at the request of the Minister of National Defence and is to be limited to issues related to the agreement on the construction of artificial islands, inter alia, in terms of establishing an obstacle to the propagation of radio waves. At the same time, the Director of the Fine ensured that the existing permits would remain in force and that the principle of the durability of acquired rights in this respect would be respected.