The Department of Infrastructure is proposing to introduce a streamlined consenting regime for new developments within the Isle of Man’s territorial seas.
A public consultation has today (Friday 13 March 2015) been launched on plans to consolidate elements of existing legislation into bespoke new primary marine legislation. The aim is to ensure a sustainable approach to marine development and provide additional clarity and certainty of the consenting process for potential developers.
The consultation document sets out the overarching principles that will shape the policy to be included within the new primary legislation. It is available to view on the Government website at http://www.gov.im/consultations.gov and feedback can be provided by completing the online survey or emailing PlanningPolicy.DOI@gov.im
The deadline for submissions is 4pm on Friday 24 April 2015.
The introduction of new marine legislation will fulfil the Department’s commitment to Tynwald to put in place a single consenting system for large-scale developments within the Isle of Man’s territorial seas.
This new consenting process would deal with applications for activities such as offshore renewable energy projects, submarine cables and pipelines, gas drilling, carbon capture and storage and the commercial extraction of aggregate and associated works. For all other applications, the current legislation will continue to be applied.
The sustainable use of the Isle of Man’s marine environment is a key part of the Department’s efforts to support Government’s national priority of growing the economy.
The Manx territorial seas account for 87% of the total area of the Isle of Man and possess an abundance of natural resources. It is estimated that leasing parts of the seabed for renewable energy generation could boost public funds by £5 million a year and create more than 50 new local jobs.
Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne MHK said:
‘Any marine development could have economic, environmental and social impacts and these must be managed sensitively. There are currently several different pieces of legislation which apply within our 12-mile limit. Streamlining the decision-making process will simplify matters for applicants and stakeholders and contribute to a more sustainable approach overall. Our territorial seas are a major national asset and this new legislation will help us to manage them in the best interests of the people of the Isle of Man.’
Pending the approval and introduction of the proposed new marine legislation, the current legislation and consenting process will continue to apply. The Department has published guidance for parties interested in developing within the Isle of Man’s territorial seas. It is available at /categories/planning-and-building-control/marine-planning/guide-to-developers/
This guide highlights the legislative framework and consenting processes currently in place.