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Marine licensing: uncharted waters

Brodies LLP celebrated the introduction of the new marine licensing system on 6 April 2011 with a seminar at their Aberdeen office along with Jim McKie of Marine Scotland and Dr Jonathan Benjamin of Wessex Archaeology's Edinburgh office and a specialist in Coastal and Marine Archaeology.
The new streamlined system is going to become increasingly important, as our seas are going to become increasingly crowded with development in the expanding sectors of offshore renewables, harbours and marinas, and fish farming, not to mention the demands of decommissioning oil and gas installations.
In addition to determining marine licence applications, Marine Scotland is the (mainly) one stop shop for dealing with other licensing decision for marine development, including Electricity Act consents for renewable generating stations, European protected species licences, and licences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, and the idea is that these can all be wrapped up in a single consenting process with the marine licence. Jim Mckie highlighted the introduction of the new system as an opportunity to do things better. The holistic consenting regime promotes a close working relationship with consulting bodies dealing with all these licences.
Jonathan Benjamin gave a practical insight into how the marine licensing system will need to take account of the presence of everything from World War Two wrecks to submerged landscapes with remains that are tens of thousands of years old.


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