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Marine licensing: nationally significant infrastructure projects

Nationally significant infrastructure projects in English inshore and offshore waters and deemed marine licences.

Overview

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is involved in different nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) in the English inshore and offshore, and Welsh offshore areas under the Planning Act 2008. The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) examine these applications and provide recommendations to the Secretary of State.

MMO acts as a:

  • statutory consultee during the pre-application stage
  • interested party during the examination stage
  • licensing and consenting body

If a development consent order (DCO) is granted, this may include provision deeming a marine licence to have been issued under Part 4 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The MMO is responsible for enforcing, post-consent monitoring, varying, suspending, and revoking any deemed marine licence(s) as part of the DCO.

Variation of a deemed marine licence (DML)

The MMO is able to vary a DML in accordance with section 72 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Requests to vary a DML should be submitted in writing to MMO and should include:

  • a cover letter
  • detail of the proposed change(s) to the DML
  • a supporting summary statement detailing why the proposed variation is permissible with reference to the original application and in consideration of any implications for the existing DCO
  • any additional supporting information required.

Generating energy offshore

Offshore generating stations with a capacity of more than 100 megawatts (MW) and onshore generating stations with a capacity of more than 50MW are classed as NSIPs.

These require an order from the relevant Secretary of State and this may deem a marine licence to have been granted.

There are other consents you may need for an offshore energy installation. Please refer to our guidance on applying to generate energy offshore for more information.

Habitats regulations: Evidence plans for nationally significant infrastructure projects

Developers of NSIPs located in England; or both England and Wales; are able to agree evidence plans with relevant statutory nature conservation bodies (SNCBs).

Please refer to our guidance on Habitats and wild birds directives for more information.

Fees

The MMO has powers under Section 27(1) of MCAA to charge for its services in relation to NSIP applications (statutory or non-statutory, discretionary).

MMO staff time will be charged at the current rate of £122 per hour. This includes any review of draft (non-statutory) S42 requests. As of 29 April 2019 statutory advice will be charged at the same rate.

Variations to DMLs are chargeable also.

Please refer to our published guidance for a detailed summary of fees for marine licensing and associated work.

The Secretary of State (SoS) for the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) alongside the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has undertaken a review, known as the Review of Consents, in respect of offshore wind farms consented under the Planning Act 2008, Electricity Act 1989 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 that may cause a significant effect on the Southern North Sea Special Area of Conservation.

The Review of Consents has been completed, and following review by the Energy Minister, gained Ministerial approval in September 2020.

An agreed outcome of the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) is the requirement for a Site Integrity Plan (SIP) being submitted to, and approved by, the MMO before the commencement of any construction activities that could affect the integrity of the Southern North Sea SAC. The following consented projects have been identified as requiring an approved SIP:

  • Dogger Bank A and B
  • Dogger Bank C
  • Sofia
  • Hornsea Project Two

The MMO has been working to vary the applicable Deemed Marine Licences (DMLs) for these projects. More information about the Review of Consents is available.

Further information

The National Policy Statement for Ports provides the framework for decisions taken by the Secretary of State.

The 6 National Policy Statements for Energy Infrastructure apply to NSIPs in England and Wales, including territorial waters and to any offshore renewable energy zone.

Cases

Published 11 June 2014
Last updated 25 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Hornsea Two Offshore Wind Farm – Variation 4 , Sofia (previously known as “Dogger Bank Teesside B”) Offshore Windfarm – Variation 3, Dogger Bank C (previously known as “Dogger Bank Teesside A”) Offshore Wind Farm - Variation 3, Dogger Bank A & B (previously known as “Dogger Bank Creyke Beck”)Offshore Wind Farm – Variation 4 added to page

  2. Revision of page details & Dogger Bank Creyke Beck Offshore Wind Farm – Variation 4 added to cases

  3. Addition of information: Review of consents related to offshore wind farms located in the Southern North Sea Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

  4. Dogger Bank C (previously known as “Dogger Bank Teesside A”) Offshore Wind Farm – Variation 2 added to page

  5. Able Marine Energy Park Variation 2 case added

  6. New case added: Preesall saltfield underground gas storage

  7. Variation 3 added to Dogger Bank Creyke Beck Offshore Wind Farm Order 2015

  8. New variation added

  9. Hornsea Two Offshore Wind Farm – Variation 3 added

  10. Hornsea Two Offshore Wind Farm – Variation 2 added

  11. Triton Knoll Electrical System Order 2016 Variation added

  12. Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm Order 2013 Variation added

  13. Hornsea Two Offshore Wind Farm – Variation 1 added

  14. Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm Order 2014 - variation 2 added

  15. ABLE Marine Energy Park variation added

  16. Rampion Wind Farm variation 2 added

  17. Dogger Bank Teesside A and B offshore wind farm added

  18. Hornsea One Offshore Wind Farm - Variation 2 added

  19. Galloper wind farm – Variation 3 added

  20. Details of Hornsea One Offshore Wind Farm variation request added

  21. Galloper wind farm variation 2 added

  22. Details of Walney extension offshore wind farm variation request added.

  23. Thames Tideway Tunnel development consent order added

  24. Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Wind Farm variation request added

  25. East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm decision added

  26. Licence variation for a development consent order for Rampion offshore wind farm added

  27. Information on variation of a deemed marine licence (DML) added

  28. First published.