Southampton leads the way for reducing bureaucracy around coastal developments25th November 2013
Southampton City Council has been instrumental in the development of a new national agreement between regulatory bodies, to streamline the approval process for coastal developments. The Coastal Concordat, launched on 11 November, reduces the red tape and simplifies the process surrounding regulation of important coastal developments, which is important to the city as it strives to meet its City Centre Master Plan vision.
The coastal concordat will put an end to overlaps between regulators, duplication of information requirements, and delays to economically important coastal developments. It will also help improve sustainable growth and marine protection by agreeing the most efficient ways of managing projects, and ensuring all aspects of planning and environmental legislation are identified quickly and at an early stage.
The concordat, is a ground-breaking agreement between Defra, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Department for Transport (DfT), the Marine Management Organisation, the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Local Government Association’s Coastal Special Interest Group and National Parks England.
The concordat is based on 5 principles aimed at ensuring that:
- applicants seeking regulatory approval will be provided with a single point of entry into the regulatory system, guiding them to the organisations responsible for the consents, permissions and licences they need
- regulators will agree a single lead authority for coordinating the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive or Habitats Regulations Assessments
- regulators will dispense or defer regulatory responsibilities where legally possible and appropriate
- competent authorities and statutory advisors will agree up front the likely environmental and habitats assessment evidence requirements for a project
- regulators and statutory advisors will provide coordinated advice to applicants.
Cllr Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Environment & 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 government regulators 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 led 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.”
admirals quay development 2013