MMO, PLA Reach Agreement on Thames Concordat

The two organizations which oversee development consents along the River Thames have reached an agreement intended to streamline and coordinate their regulatory activities.

The Marine Management Organization (MMO) and Port of London Authority (PLA) agreed to the Thames Concordat, a set of principles to be followed in cases where both have a regulatory remit.

The concordat aims to limit duplication for businesses seeking to carry out development in the Thames.

Currently, both organizations have a responsibilities for regulating and licensing a range of activities such as construction works and dredging.

Some of these responsibilities are duplicated between the two in the area where both have jurisdictions, between the PLA’s seaward limits in the Outer Thames Estuary and its landward limits at Teddington Lock.

The organizations say that, while they work closely on regulation of activities in the river, “it is recognized that both regulatory bodies could work more closely to ensure applications received under respective legislative regimes are dealt with in a streamlined manner”.

Therefore, they have signed up to five key principles in the concordat, including that applicants should be provided with a single point of entry into the regulatory system for consenting coastal development.

In this way, they will be guided to the organisations responsible for the range of consents and permissions required for their specific scheme.

A further principle is that regulators will agree a single lead authority for coordinating the requirements of Environmental Impact Assessment Directive or Habitats Regulations Assessments, as well as agreeing at the pre-application stage all likely evidence requirements.