A landmark agreement improving co-ordination of the consenting process for coastal development in England has been launched today.
The coastal concordat sets out key principles which marine regulators and advisors and estuarine/coastal planning authorities will follow when working together to enable coastal development in England.
These principles include reducing unnecessary regulatory duplication, providing better sign-posting, streamlining assessments and increasing transparency and consistency of advice.
The agreement aims to improve co-ordination between regulators and has been adopted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Department for Transport, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Local Government Association’s Coastal Special Interest Group, representing authorities in estuarine and coastal areas, and National Parks England.
The concordat was launched by the Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Minister of State for Business and Energy, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills at an event in London looking at delivering business growth and better enforcement. MMO Chief Executive James Cross attended the event and represented the arm’s length bodies involved in the concordat.
The MMO’s Marine Licensing Team has been pioneering the concordat with Southampton City Council’s Planning and Development Team. They worked together to trial the concordat principles as part of the proposed Royal Pier development on the city’s waterfront.
James Cross, Chief Executive for the Marine Management Organisation, said: “The marine economy is hugely important in terms of economic growth, enhancing the environment and supporting communities. The coastal concordat is a key step on the journey of achieving our shared vision – that we are easy to do business with.
“I am confident that all coastal local authorities will embrace the values and benefits set out in the concordat and they sign up to working with us in this modern and fresh way.”
Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport at Southampton City Council, said: “This has been a very welcome initiative locally, especially given historical issues that have arisen through a lack of cohesion across regulatory parties in the past. This scheme has enabled planning for a major Southampton city waterfront development to become joined up and effective by working across regulatory bodies. It has lead to a streamlined approach for progressing the necessary consents, while ensuring full scrutiny also takes place, which I know will be of great benefit to other areas around the UK.”
Press Release, November 11, 2013