Policy Summary - Coastal agreement aims to streamline approval routes

Policy: A Coastal Concordat for England

Coastal development: deal reached
Coastal development: deal reached

Issued by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Issue date 11 November 2013

Background: A deal reached this month between government departments, statutory agencies and local government seeks to improve and simplify regulatory approval, prevent duplication and avoid delays for coastal projects such as ports and marinas. It follows a Department for Business Innovation and Skills review, published in January, focusing on the interaction between the land-use planning and marine licensing regimes and business experiences of them.

Key points: The concordat aims to promote efficient ways of managing coastal projects in situations where several bodies have a regulatory role and multiple consents are needed. The idea is to provide a framework within which the consent process for coastal development can be better coordinated.

Under its terms, applicants would initially contact one of the regulatory or advisory bodies involved in coastal management, such as the local planning authority, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the Environment Agency or Natural England. This initial contact would direct them to other relevant bodies, or could make contact directly with them.

The concordat says regulatory bodies should identify a single lead authority responsible for coordinating any assessment or evidence requirements raised by the scheme, particularly for the purposes of the European environmental impact assessment directive and the Habitat Regulations.

The signatories have agreed that any opportunities for dispensing with or deferring regulatory responsibilities should be taken. The concordat urges applicants to undertake early engagement to identify common evidence needs across all the consent regimes. It also expects regulators and statutory advisers to provide coordinated advice to applicants.

The concordat confirms the consent process should have "due regard" to relevant policy, plans and programmes, including the National Planning Policy Framework, national policy statements, marine plans, local and neighbourhood plans, and management plans for shorelines, river basins and coastal change.

The concordat has been agreed by the Departments for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Communities and Local Government and Transport, the MMO, the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Local Government Association's coastal special interest group and National Parks England. So far, eight councils have expressed an interest in "early adoption" of its principles: Cornwall and Durham County Councils, Portsmouth and Southampton City Councils, and Scarborough, Suffolk Coastal, Tendring and Waveney District Councils.

To read the concordat, go to PlanningResource.co.uk/reference-section

OTHER NEW DOCUMENTS

Night Flight Restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted - Stage 2 Consultation

Issued by Department for Transport. Issue date: 11 November 2013. Closing date: 31 January 2014.

Insurance in Areas of Flood Risk - Response to Consultation

Issued by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Issue date: 18 November.

Electricity Generating Stations (Applications for Variation of Consent) (Scotland) Regulations 2013

Issued by Scottish Government. In force: 1 December 2013

Consultation on Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

Issued by Scottish Government. Issue date: 6 November. Closing date: 24 January 2014.

View these documents at PlanningResource.co.uk/reference-section.


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