Marine licensing—construction
Produced in partnership with Nicola Canty, Barrister of 9 Hazel Tree Chambers
Marine licensing—construction

The following Environment guidance note Produced in partnership with Nicola Canty, Barrister of 9 Hazel Tree Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Marine licensing—construction
  • Brexit impact
  • Public rights of navigation
  • Harbour works
  • River works licence
  • General considerations for construction methodology
  • Other consents to consider
  • Coastal concordat

Brexit impact

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content.

For further guidance, see: Brexit—impact on environmental law and Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

A marine licence is required to construct, alter or improve any works within the UK marine licensing area either:

  1. in or over the sea bed, or

  2. on or under the sea bed

In addition to works where part or all of the construction takes place on the foreshore or otherwise in the inshore region, works may be located beside marine waters, but their construction may involve elements that are placed in or even overhang the marine area (such as the placement of scaffolding, or even bridges over tidal rivers such as the River Thames which is tidal inland as far as Teddington Lock). This part of the works will fall within the marine licensing scheme of Part 4 to the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (MCAA 2009). For marine licence applications in general, see Practice Note: Marine licensing—licence application procedure.

'Construction' applies to a wide range of activities including:

  1. energy generation

  2. harbour and/or navigation works