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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Schedule 21: Amendments of the Harbours Act 1964

Paragraph 2: Provision that may be made by  harbour empowerment order

1049.Under the Harbours Act 1964, the relevant authority has powers to repeal or modify Acts of local application when making a Harbour Revision Order or a Harbour Reorganisation Scheme. Paragraph 2 provides that this power will also apply when making a Harbour Empowerment Order.

Paragraph 3: Delegation of certain functions

1050.The Act will amend the Harbours Act 1964 so that the authority that is currently responsible for issuing harbours orders will have the power, by order, to delegate some or all of its functions for making certain orders to another person or body, provided that person or body gives consent for the delegation.

1051.In this way the licensing functions that govern harbours may be transferred to the same body that may be responsible for issuing marine licences as a result of an order issued under section 98.

1052.The functions the authority may delegate are:

a)

making harbour revision orders on receipt of an application

b)

making harbour revision orders without receipt of an application

c)

making orders that vary the constitution of harbour authorities

d)

making harbour empowerment orders

e)

confirming or making harbour reorganisation schemes

f)

making orders amending Acts of local application.

1053.Orders delegating functions made by the relevant authority will be subject to negative resolution procedure.

1054.Table 3 below illustrates who may issue which harbour order and in what circumstances after a delegation of powers has been made.

1055.Table 3: Roles of harbour order issuing bodies after delegation

Harbour Act Relevant AuthorityDelegated Public Body
Making harbour revision orders on receipt of an applicationCannot issueMay issue
Making harbour revision orders without receipt of an application

May issue

Gives consent to public body

May issue only with consent of relevant authority
Making orders that vary the constitution of harbour authoritiesMay issueMay issue
Making harbour empowerment ordersCannot issueMay issue
Confirming or making harbour reorganisation schemes

May issue

Gives consent to public body

May issue only with consent of relevant authority
Making orders amending Acts of local applicationCannot issueMay issue

Paragraph 4: Consent of Welsh Ministers or Secretary of State required for making of certain orders

1056.Paragraph 4 inserts a new section 42C into the Harbours Act. Its effect would be that the Secretary of State cannot, without the prior consent of the Welsh Ministers, make a harbour order or scheme that would repeal or modify: any provision of the Act so far as it applies to Wales; an instrument made under the Act by the Welsh Ministers; or a provision of local application made by the Welsh Ministers. If the Welsh Ministers refuse their consent, the harbour order or scheme may be made but without that provision that does the repealing or modifying. The new sections also provide that if the Welsh Ministers have not refused their consent within a period to be set, the Secretary of State may continue with the process of making the order.

1057.Similarly, paragraph 4 inserts a further new section 42D into the Harbours Act which states that the Welsh Ministers cannot, without the prior consent of the Secretary of State, make a harbour order or scheme that would repeal or modify: any provision of the Act so far as it applies to England; an instrument made under the Act by the Secretary of State; or a provision of local application made by the Secretary of State. If the Secretary of State refuses consent, the harbour order or scheme may be made but without that provision that does the repealing or modifying. The new sections also provide that if the Secretary of State has not refused consent within a period to be set, the Welsh Ministers may continue with the process of making the order.

Paragraph 5: Procedure for dealing with applications for harbour orders;  Paragraph 6: Procedure where harbour revision orders are made otherwise than on application and Paragraph 7: Application of paragraphs 5 and 6

1058.Paragraphs 5 and 6 make amendments to bring the Harbours Act 1964, as it applies to England and Wales, into line with arrangements in Scotland. At present, if there are any objections to a proposed harbour order that are not frivolous in nature then a public inquiry must be held. This is so even if only a single objection was made and the objector did not request that an inquiry be held.

1059.These paragraphs allow, in most cases, the Secretary of State to decide whether an inquiry is necessary. The exception to this is where the Welsh Ministers have raised an objection to an application for a harbour revision or empowerment order and the objection does not relate to the compulsory acquisition of land. In these cases the Secretary of State must hold an inquiry. The Secretary of State is also obliged to either hold an inquiry or give a person making an objection the opportunity of a hearing, if the person making the objection requests one and is: a local authority for an area in which the harbour (or any part of it) is situated; the relevant conservation body; if the order will authorise the compulsory acquisition of land, any person who is entitled to be served with notice under paragraph 11 of Schedule 3 to the Harbours Act 1964; or the Welsh Ministers, if their objection relates to the compulsory acquisition of land.

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