Publication - Advice and guidance

Marine licensing: applications and guidance

Published: 4 Sep 2020

Licensable marine activities.

4 Sep 2020
Marine licensing: applications and guidance

Marine Scotland licence activities in Scottish inshore and offshore waters; The Welsh Assembly Government licence Welsh inshore waters;The Department of Environment Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency licence Northern Irish inshore waters.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) licence activities in both the inshore and offshore areas of English waters, as well as the offshore areas of Welsh and Northern Irish waters. They also licence non-fisheries harbour orders in Welsh inshore waters.

In England, the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) will issue consent for renewables projects over 100 megawatts under the Planning Act 2008 and issue a development consent order that includes conditions similar to a marine licence. In Wales, the IPC issue the consent under the Planning Act 2008 and the Welsh Assembly Government issue the marine licence.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is responsible for issuing consents for oil and gas deposits and the Department for Transport is responsible for operations falling within Part VI of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.

Supporting or objecting to applications

In most cases, notice of an application for a marine licence must be published in at least one paper local to the site of the activity. The advert should state:

  • that the application has been made, what it is for, together with a description of the land to which it relates
  • where a copy of the application, and maps of areas it refers to, can be inspected by members of the public
  • the date by which representations should be made as well as the address where these should be sent

In the case of renewable energy developments, the application should also be advertised in the Edinburgh Gazette.

The licensing authority must have regard to any representations which it receives from any person having an interest in the outcome of the application. Any representations regarding an application should be made to the Scottish Government at the following address:

+44 (0)300 244 5046

Marine Scotland
Licensing Operations Team
375 Victoria Road
AB11 9DB

Please note:

Any representation to the Scottish Government should identify the proposal and specify the grounds for representation.

If supplementary environmental information regarding an application is received from the applicant, all previous representations received in relation to this development remain valid.

We are unable to receive representations in advance of an application being submitted.

How we use your information

The Scottish Government’s Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT) determine applications for marine licences under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, and section 36 consents under the Electricity Act 1989 (as amended). During the consultation process any person having an interest in the outcome of the application may make representation to MS-LOT. The representation may contain personal information, for example a name or address. This representation will only be used for the purpose of determining an application and will be stored securely in the Scottish Government’s official corporate record. Representations will be shared with the applicant and/or agent acting on behalf of the applicant, any people or organisations that we consult in relation to the application, the Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals should the Scottish Ministers call a PLI and, where necessary, be published online, however personal information will be removed before sharing or publishing.

A full privacy notice can be viewed here.

If you have any queries or concerns about how your personal information will be handled, contact MS-LOT using the contact details above.


Algal farms application

11 page PDF
163.9 kB

Dredging: sea disposal

15 page PDF
296.8 kB

Wellboat notification form

17.4 kB

Marine construction projects

15 page PDF
253.1 kB

Additional co-ordinates form

2 page PDF
275.2 kB

Moorings application form

10 page PDF
131.2 kB

Notice of exempted activity

2 page PDF
325.5 kB

Offshore deposits (2011)

10 page PDF
251.2 kB

Pontoons licence application form

11 page PDF
148.7 kB


General guidance for applicants

23 page PDF
426.3 kB

Pre-disposal sampling guidance

5 page PDF
434.0 kB

Royal fish guidance (2011)

7 page PDF
341.4 kB

EIA process map

2 page PDF
203.7 kB

Draft marine renewable licensing manual