Responding to the launch of the new self-service marine licensing system in England today, Mark Simmonds, Policy Manager at the British Ports Association, said:
“Getting a marine license is a costly and time-consuming process which can hold up or even stop sustainable development (especially in smaller community harbours). This new self-service licensing approach is a welcome step in making this process easier in England.”
He continued saying,
“Ministers must now look at making the process simpler for ports that have Marine Protection Areas within their harbours. Self-service licensing will not be allowed in these areas, even when they are low-risk, and the costs incurred will be much higher.
This will include common activities such as the moving of marker buoys which aid navigation within a harbour.”
Regarding the licencing process in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland he said:
“Ministers should look at a similar approach and allow some low-risk, low-impact activities to be exempt from the need for a licence or introduce a similar self-service process to ensure ports outside England are not put at a disadvantage.”