Section 25 - Application for licence
37.Section 25 allows the Scottish Ministers to specify in what form an application for a marine licence should be submitted. They may also make regulations setting out the fee to be paid for an application.
38.The Scottish Ministers may require an applicant to supply such information or articles necessary to enable them to determine the application. If they consider they are unable to determine the application based on the information supplied the Scottish Ministers may require the applicant to permit such investigations, examinations and tests as they believe is necessary. The Scottish Ministers may charge a fee towards such an investigation. If the applicant fails to provide information or fails to pay a fee, then the Scottish Ministers can refuse to proceed with the application.
Section 26 - Notice of applications
39.Section 26 provides that the Scottish Ministers or the applicant must publish notice of an application to bring it to the attention of interested parties. If the Scottish Ministers publish the application, then they may require the applicant to pay a fee towards the costs of the publication. Section 26(6) allows the Scottish Ministers to decide whether publication is necessary or not. The Scottish Ministers may consider that the impact of the application is so minor that it would serve no purpose to publish the details.
Section 27 - Determination of applications
40.Section 27 indicates that the Scottish Ministers must have regard to the need to protect the environment or human health or prevent interference with legitimate uses of the sea and to any other matters which they consider relevant when determining an application. Section 27(2) indicates that the Scottish Ministers must have regard to any alternative method of dealing with the substance or object where the activity to be licensed is one detailed in section 21(1) (item 1 and 2). The Scottish Ministers must consult any persons or bodies as specified by order and may consult any other person or body who they consider appropriate. They must also take into account comments received from interested parties. Section 27(5) indicates that the Scottish Ministers must allow the applicant the opportunity to make representations regarding any of the comments received from interested parties.
41.Section 27(7) allows the Scottish Ministers to set out further details in regulations concerning the procedure for applications and the grant of licences. This may include the time period within which any function is to be exercised and provision about notifying the applicant of any licensing determination.
Section 28 - Inquiries
42.Section 28 allows the Scottish Ministers to cause an inquiry to be held in connection with their determination of an application for a marine licence. Section 28 also allows Scottish Ministers to cause two inquiries to be held together.
Section 29 - Grant or refusal of licence
43.Section 29 allows the Scottish Ministers to grant a licence unconditionally, refuse the application or impose conditions on any licence they grant. Examples of the sorts of conditions that may be imposed are given in section 29(2) and include precautions to be taken, works to be carried out or monitoring of activities. The licence could include conditions governing the use of a marine structure and how it should be dismantled and removed from the sea once its active life is over.
Section 30 - Variation, suspension, revocation and transfer
44.Section 30 allows the Scottish Ministers to vary, suspend or revoke a licence in certain circumstances. These could include a breach of conditions or where there has been a change in circumstances relating to the environment or human health. The Scottish Ministers may also vary a licence on application by the licensee if the variation is not material. A licence may not be suspended for more than 18 months. On receipt of an application from a licensee, the Scottish Ministers can transfer a licence from one named person to another.
Section 31 – Pre-variation, suspension or revocation procedure
45.Section 31 outlines the procedures which apply when the Scottish Ministers propose to vary, suspend or revoke a licence under section 30. The Scottish Ministers must notify the licensee as to their reasons for wishing to vary, suspend or revoke the licence. They must also allow the licensee to make representation to an ‘appointed person’ within 28 days if the licensee so wishes. The Scottish Ministers may by regulations make provision as to who may be an ‘appointed person’ and the procedures to be followed at a hearing.