A coastal concordat for England

Setting out how regulatory bodies can co-ordinate the separate processes for coastal development consents in England.



The coastal concordat sets out the separate processes for consenting coastal developments in England. This revised version replaces the original published on 11 November 2013. It supports decision-making between Local Authorities and those regulators who work in the marine area.

The government’s 25 Year Environment Plan aims for all Local Authorities with a coastal interest to adopt the concordat by 2021. Working under the concordat is currently a voluntary arrangement.

The concordat approach can be applied to any applications for individual projects, if they:

  • span the intertidal area in estuaries and on the coast
  • require multiple consents including both a marine licence and a planning permission from the local planning authority

It will not apply to projects that:

  • are solely terrestrial
  • already have co-ordination mechanisms in place such as National Significant Infrastructure projects

How to sign up

An officer acting on behalf of the Local Authority wishing to sign up can write a letter to the Defra Marine Planning and Licensing Team at The letter should confirm that the Coastal Concordat has been adopted and that its principles will be applied.

Published 11 November 2013
Last updated 10 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added Boston Borough Council to the list of councils that have adopted the Coastal Concordat.

  2. Minor amendments to section 3.3 of main document (removed reference to deferring), indicative times for MMO regulations in implementation document and clarified details in the how to sign up section.

  3. Documents updated following a review.

  4. List of adopters and implementation plan updated (October 2014).

  5. Updated list of early adopters of the coastal concordat

  6. The list of local authorities who have expressed an interest to be ‘early adopters’ of the coastal concordat has been updated.

  7. Added the implementation update document.

  8. Added list of interested early adopters for the coastal concordat

  9. First published.