The UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is seeking to streamline planning applications for offshore wind farm developers by offering a one-stop-shop to sort our the consents, the Energy minister has announced.

Under existing arrangements a developer as to approach up to seven different authorities to obtain consent for an offshore farm. The DTI intends to coordinate applications, distributing them to other bodies where necessary and managing the procedure in order to make it simpler for the developer.

Under the new arrangements the DTI proposes to clarify with a developer the information required for the application, provide a single application form and where difficulties arise, try to seek solutions.

The government has approved roughly $100 million for capital grants for renewable energy demonstration projects including offshore wind. It has set a target of providing 10% of the electricity in England and Wales from renewables by 2010. The first UK offshore wind farm, off Blyth, Northumberland, was officially inaugurated at the end of last year.