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Marine Licensing

This is one of the most important sections of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Many of the activities that take place at sea need an authorisation or consent. In the past the two most common consents required were under the Food and Environmental Protection Act 1985 and the Coastal Protection Act 1949. These consents have been replaced by a Marine licence. Marine licences are a new kind of authorisation for activities such as:

  • coastal and marine developments
  • windfarms
  • wave and tidal power
  • removing and disposing of marine dredged material at sea

Applications for licences must be publicised. This gives anyone who is interested a chance to object. You can find out more about how licence applications are dealt with from the marine authority for your area. These licences are likely to include more active management of the activity by the licensing authority and a greater range of conditions.

  • The Marine Management Organisation deals with licences for the English inshore areas, and all offshore areas apart from Scottish ones.
  • The Welsh Government deals with licences for Welsh inshore waters.
  • The Scottish Government deals with licences for Scottish inshore and offshore waters.
  • The Northern Ireland Executive deals with licences for Northern Ireland's waters.

Not all marine activities will be through Marine licensing. The Department of Energy and Climate Change deals with licences for oil and gas projects in English and Welsh inshore waters and all offshore waters and most windfarms. Nationally significant Infrastructure Projects are the responsibility of the Infrastructure Planning Commission under the Planning Act 2008.


Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, Part 4

Planning Act 2008

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