Consents and Licensing

The consenting of projects in coastal and marine environments can be complex and must account for both national and international policy and legislation.

ABPmer has a wealth of experience supporting developers and regulators in the sustainable development of coastal and offshore areas.

Our dedicated consent and licensing specialists offer support at all stages of a project’s lifecycle, from feasibility and site selection through to the supporting assessments for consent, securing mitigation and compensation measures, stakeholder engagement and ongoing post-consent support through the construction, operational and decommissioning phases.

We also regularly undertake strategic scale marine environmental assessment studies for public bodies, including Strategic Environmental Assessments and Sustainability Appraisals.

Feasibility and site selection

Determining the most appropriate place for a development or operation is founded on an understanding of constraints and opportunities. Our experienced team undertakes multi-criteria analysis and provides sound advice based on our knowledge of legal and policy requirements to inform decision-making and minimise risk of consenting failure.

Many developers have benefited from ABPmer’s advice on site/route selection and constraints analysis including, the offshore wind, marine renewables, aquaculture and power and telecom cables sectors.

For example, we worked closely with National Grid to evaluate options for the North West Coast connections cable route linking the proposed Moorside Nuclear power Station to the electricity distribution network.

Environmental assessment

ABPmer takes a proportionate and evidence-based approach to all environmental assessments. We co-ordinate all activities needed to meet each assessment’s requirements, ensuring maximum efficiencies.

We regularly undertake all types of assessment including:

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Habitats Regulations Assessments
  • Water Framework Directive Assessment
  • Marine Conservation Zone Assessment
  • European Protected Species assessments
  • Fisheries Impact Assessment
  • Biosecurity Risk Assessment
  • Underwater Noise Assessment
  • Navigational Risk Assessment

Survey and sampling

All assessments are underpinned by an understanding of the baseline environment. By working with our Survey team we can help clients save time and money by ensuring all necessary surveys and sampling are undertaken in accordance with requirements.

Mitigation and compensation

Our specialist Planning and Policy team has a wide range of mitigation and compensation experience, having contributed to and carried out a variety of investigations into the impact of proposed marine and coastal developments.

We are recognised as leaders in habitat creation and restoration in the nearshore and coastal zone and routinely prepare Environmental Management and Monitoring Plans to accompany licence applications.

Stakeholder engagement

Successfully engaging with all marine and coastal stakeholders is an essential component of the consenting process. We are well practiced in communicating with all interested parties to achieve consensus and de-risk the application process.

Specialist training and guidance

Our Planning and Policy team also advises policy makers, regulatory bodies and industry on improvements to marine licensing arrangements and often provides training to both developers and regulators.

Guidance we have more recently been commissioned to prepare includes:

  • British Standards Institute’s Environmental impact assessment for offshore renewable energy projects guide
  • NRW’s Guidance on Best Practice for Marine and Coastal Physical Processes Baseline Survey and Monitoring Requirements to Inform EIA of Major Development Projects
  • NRW’s Guidance on undertaking at sea ornithological surveys
  • Natural England’s guidance Development of a generic framework for informing Cumulative Impact Assessments (CIA) related to Marine Protected Areas through evaluation of best practice 

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Reducing the burden of EIAs

The trend of EIAs growing longer and more complex can place an extra burden on those charged with preparing and reviewing them.

Learn more