Marine Licensing and Planning

Under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 ('MCCA') the Marine Management Organisation ('MMO') is responsible for Marine Planning and Licensing in the English inshore and offshore areas and for marine licensing in Welsh and Northern Ireland offshore areas.  Natural Resources Wales ('NRW') has similar responsibilities in Wales in relation to the Welsh inshore areas.

Under MCAA, a marine licence is required for 'licensable activities' taking place up to the mean high water spring tide mark (including tidal estuaries, rivers and channels) unless an exemption applies.  In addition the scope of activities requiring a marine licence has been significantly widened and now includes:

  • Construction, alteration or improvement of any works in or over the sea or on or under the sea bed (this description can encompass the maintenance of existing works)
  • Dredging
  • Deposit, removal or incineration of any substance or object
  • Scuttling of any vessel or floating container

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy retains responsibility for some licensing and planning decisions in relation to oil, gas and larger offshore renewables projects.

Lara Moore is nationally recognised as a preeminent marine licensing solicitor.  Lara along with our experienced marine team, is able to advise on all aspects of marine planning and licensing.

Relevant Experience
  • Advising  in respect of marine licences and other marine consents (including Wildlife Licensing, the Public Right of Navigation, the EIA Regulation 10 Exception and MCZs) required for multi-million pound coastal developments.
  • Advising in respect of the Harbour Empowerment/Revision Order, marine licensing and other marine consents required for a major coastal regeneration project.
  • Advised in respect a ground-breaking regional multi-site marine licence for a major charity.
  • Advising a range of clients (including statutory harbour authorities) in respect of marine licensing, marine licensing exemptions and harbour works licensing.

Key Contact

Lara Moore

Senior Associate

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+44 (0)1392 333861

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