Coastal Concordat for England

The coastal concordat, which sets out key principles for coordinating the consenting process for coastal development in England, has been launched.

The coastal concordat is an agreement between DEFRA, the Department for Transport, CLG, the Marine Management Organisation, the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Local Government Association’s Coastal Special Interest Group, representing authorities in estuarine and coastal areas, and National Parks England.

The coastal concordat sets out key principles for coordinating the consenting process for coastal development in England. These principles have been developed by representatives of all those organisations who are directly involved. The concordat approach aims to offer benefits to applicants, regulators and advisors by reducing unnecessary regulatory duplication, providing better sign-posting, streamlining assessments and increasing transparency and consistency of advice. Once adopted, the concordat approach can apply to any applications for coastal development as defined in the agreement. It will not apply where coordination mechanisms are already in place e.g. for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

The concordat is based on five high level principles, as set out below:

  1. Applicants seeking regulatory approval should be provided with a single point of entry into the regulatory system for consenting coastal development, guiding them to the organisations responsible for the range of consents, permissions and licences that may be required for their development.
  2. Regulators should agree a single lead authority for coordinating the requirements of Environmental Impact Assessment Directive or Habitats Regulations Assessments.
  3. Where opportunities for dispensing or deferring regulatory responsibilities are legally possible and appropriate, they should be taken.
  4. Where possible, at the pre-application stage, competent authorities and statutory advisors should agree the likely environmental and habitats assessment evidence requirements of all authorities at all stages of the consenting process.
  5. Where possible regulators and statutory advisors should each provide coordinated advice to applicants from across their respective organisations.

Date: 11/11/2013 Date of publication

Author: Defra

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 4.257

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