The MMO is aware of the high level of public interest in proposals relating to the development of Falmouth Harbour, Cornwall. It is currently in pre-application discussions with the Port on these.
The MMO is committed to publishing any updates on its website and in the selected cases section when available. The MMO has also provided further explanation of the marine licensing decision-making process to help the public understand when their views may be taken into account.
What is currently happening
The MMO has received an enquiry from Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) to undertake a ‘shadow’ Appropriate Assessment of FHC proposals on maerl. These relate to the Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
This work is ongoing and the MMO is reviewing the evidence and advice from internal advisors and Natural England.
The MMO’s Head of Marine Licensing has been in contact with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) on this. The MMO has also offered to meet with the MCS in the next month to provide an update on progress.
What is pre-application advice
The MMO routinely holds pre-application discussions with developers on proposed major projects.
The ‘shadow’ Appropriate Assessment is a preliminary view of the implications of a project on a European site. If a formal application for a marine licence is made to the MMO any Appropriate Assessment, together with available evidence, is subject to full consultation. This can include our advisors and members of the public and would happen at the appropriate time in the decision-making process.