5. APPLICATIONS FOR MARINE LICENCES SUBJECT TO PRE-APPLICATION CONSULTATION
Pre-application consultation provisions were introduced into the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 during Stage 2 of its Parliamentary scrutiny and are covered in sections 22 to 24 of the Act. These provide powers for the Scottish Ministers to require that certain applications for licensable marine activities are subject to pre-application consultation. Regulations will prescribe the classes or description of licensable activities subject to this procedure.
Pre-application consultation will allow local communities, conservation groups and other interested parties to contribute to proposals that may affect them. Early consultation will allow these groups to comment on and help shape proposals prior to the submission of an application to MS LOT.
It is intended that pre-application consultation legislation, implementing sections 22 - 24 of the Act, will be laid in the summer of 2012. A transitional period of six months, however, is proposed to allow developers to adapt to the new legislation.
Pre-application consultation procedure
Relevant applicants will be required to produce a pre-application notice and report and to hold a public consultation event.
Notices will be required to be published in a local newspaper and to be available for viewing at an appropriate location (such as local authority offices or a public library), twelve weeks prior to an application being submitted to MS LOT. The notice will include a description of the proposed activity, the timing of the activity, a plan or chart of the location and contact details for the applicant. It will also advertise the date of the public pre-application consultation event.
The applicant will be required to hold the public consultation event at an appropriate venue, such as a town hall, early in the twelve week consultation period and no later than six weeks prior to the submission of an application. This will allow the public to express any concerns they may have and for resulting changes to be made prior to the submission of the application.
Section 23 (4) of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 provides that Scottish Ministers may specify persons who are to be consulted with respect to a pre-application consultation. However, at this stage there is no intention to specify statutory consultees for the pre-application consultation process.
The applicant will be required to submit to MS LOT a pre-application consultation report, which will detail what has been done to satisfy the pre-application consultation requirements. The report will be submitted alongside the application.
Classes of activity subject to pre-application consultation
It is proposed that 7 classes of activity will be subject to pre-application consultation. These are:
1. Bridge, causeway or walkway construction over 50 metres in length.
2. Construction/refurbishment projects over 1000 sq. metres in extent below MHWS.
3. Cables crossing the inter-tidal boundary.
4. Renewable energy projects over 30 MW or developments that increase the output of an existing project to over 30 MW.
5. Marinas where the enclosed water surface area exceeds 1000 sq metres and extensions to existing marinas that take the enclosed water surface area over that threshold.
6. Reclamation projects over 1 hectare in extent.
7. Other developments which, in the Scottish Ministers assessment, may have impacts on the environment, human health or legitimate uses of the sea that would make pre-application consultation appropriate.
Q7. Do you agree that statutory consultees should not be specified in legislation for the pre-application consultation process?
Yes / No
Q8. If not, which persons or bodies do you believe should be specified as statutory consultees for the pre-application consultation process?
Q9. Do you agree with the classes of activity that will be subject to pre-application consultation?
Yes / No
Q10. If not, what activities would you add or remove from the list?