Changes to licensing public register bring greater transparency
More of the information provided by consultees in response to marine licence applications is to be published.
From the end of February 2017 the Marine Management Organisation will routinely publish information and documents it receives from advisors, organisations and the wider public in response to marine licence consultations.
The MMO is writing to the affected organisations which provide advice and comment on marine licence applications to explain the development in greater detail and public notices will be amended to make clear to those wishing to make a representation that their comments will be published.
Why additional information is being published
The MMO is not legally required to proactively publish the additional information but is doing so as part of its commitment to openness and transparent decision-making. It already uses the selected cases section of its website to release information where cases are of significant public interest, or when details have been requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and/or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs).
This new approach is also in line with the actions of local planning authorities in relation to land-based developments.
The public register of marine licence applications
Where people or organisations want to carry out development in the marine area they may need prior permission from the Marine Management Organisation under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Such activities may include construction, dredging, deposits or removal. This consent is referred to as a marine licence.
The online public register holds details of marine licence applications and relevant documents. It also lists marine licence applications which are open for public consultation.