There are a number of different licensing and consenting requirements within the marine environment. This page provides information on the requirements administered by MS-LOT on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
Certain activities in Scotland’s seas require a marine licence before they can be carried out. Marine licensing is an important way of permitting activity whilst protecting the environment, human health and legitimate uses of the sea.
Section 36 consent
Any proposal to construct, extend or operate a generating station with a generation capacity in excess of 1 megawatts (MW) situated in the Scottish territorial sea (out to 12 nautical miles (nm) from the shore, or with a generating capacity in excess of 50 MW in the Scottish Offshore Region (12 to 200 nm), will require consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.
Environmental impact assessment overview
Certain marine licence or section 36 consent projects require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
Making a representation on an application
In most cases, details of applications for marine licences and section 36 consent are made available on Marine Scotland information and a notice of an application is published.
Under the Energy Act 2004 (Part 2, Chapter 2), Scottish Ministers can declare safety zones for securing the safety of a renewable energy installation, individuals in or on an installation or vessels or individuals on such vessels in that vicinity. The Scottish Ministers can declare a safety zone on an application made to them or on their own initiative.
Under the Energy Act 2004 (Part 2, Chapter 3), Scottish Ministers can require developers of offshore renewable energy projects in Scottish waters and the Scottish part of a Renewable Energy Zone, to prepare a decommissioning programme detailing how they intend to remove the installation when it comes to the end of its useful life and how the costs of doing so will be funded.
Part 6 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 makes it an offence to kill any seal at any time, except under specific licence or for animal welfare reasons to end suffering. Seal licences authorise the killing or taking of seals for a number of purposes.
Defra and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) have developed the Marine Noise Registry (MNR) to record human activities in UK seas that produce loud, low to medium frequency (10Hz – 10kHz) impulsive noise.
Licensing and consenting application fees
Further information on application fees for marine licences, section 36 consents and safety zones can be found in the below publication.
MS-LOT administers the above functions on behalf of Scottish Ministers in Scotland’s seas.
Further information on how personal information provided in the licensing and consenting process is used can be found in the below publication.