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Marine licensing

The Marine Licensing regime and how it works.

The Marine Licensing (Delegation of Functions) (Wales) Order 2013 introduced a new marine licensing system which brought together and updated previous consenting regimes. The Welsh Ministers are the licensing authority for Welsh waters (out to 12 nautical miles). The new system was introduced in April 2011. The operation of marine licensing was delegated to Natural Resources Wales in April 2013. The relevant legislation is the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (external link). You can find more information about the marine licensing system on the Natural Resources Wales website (external link).

Revision of marine licensing fees and associated Environmental Impact Assessment regime charges

New marine licensing fees and associated Environmental Impact Assessment regime charges have been set by the Welsh Government and will be charged by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), the marine licensing authority in Wales.  The new fees take effect from 1st April 2017.

Further information can be found here.

Full details on the new fees, charges and services offered by NRW from 1st April, can be found on Natural Resources Wales’ website.

Right of appeal

Applicants have a right of appeal to the Welsh Ministers against a decision made by the licensing authority (Natural Resources Wales) under section 71 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Appeals must be made in accordance with the Marine Licensing (Appeals Against Licensing Decisions) (Wales) Regulations 2011.

A notice of appeal must be received by the Welsh Ministers within six months of the date of the decision to which the appeal relates. An appellant must send written notice of the appeal including the documents listed below to the Welsh Ministers at the following address:

  • Welsh Ministers c/o Marine Policy Branch, Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ.

At the same time the appellant must send Natural Resources Wales a copy of the notice to:

  • Centre Manager, Wales Permitting Centre (Cardiff), Natural Resources Wales, Cambria House, 29 Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0TP
    Phone: 0300 065 3000

On receipt of a notice of appeal, the Welsh Ministers must appoint a person to determine whether the notice is a valid notice of appeal, and if so to determine the appeal.

A notice of appeal must include:

  • the name, address (including any email address) and telephone number of the appellant and any agent acting for the appellant
  • a statement of the grounds of appeal
  • a statement as to whether the appellant wishes to have the appeal dealt with by way of written representations, a hearing or an inquiry
  • a copy of the decision to which the appeal relates
  • a copy of all documents upon which the appellant wishes to rely
  • a list of the all documents, including dates (where any document is dated), specified in bullet points d and e.

An appellant may withdraw an appeal by notifying the Welsh Ministers in writing and sending a copy of that notification to Natural Resources Wales.

If you have any queries about the delegation of marine licensing, please email us: