- Can you authorise new activities through a marine licence variation? (Tarian Hafren Severn Shield Cyf v Marine Management Organisation)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Environment analysis: This judicial review considered whether the power to vary a marine licence under the section 72 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (MCAA 2009) could be used to licence new activities not already authorised under the original marine licence. In 2013, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) approved a marine licence authorising dredging for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project. However, the sixth variation to the original licence became subject to judicial review when it authorised a new activity, namely the disposal of dredged material. On 24 March 2022, the judicial review was dismissed. Mr Justice Holgate declared that the power to vary can properly be used to introduce a new activity ‘so long as the new activity can properly be said to represent a variation of that licence’. Therefore, the power to vary can be used to authorise new activities, subject to the context of the original licence. Written by Lara Moore, partner, and Tommy Fox, solicitor, at Ashfords LLP.
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