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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Enforcement notices
Section 90: Compliance notice

276.A person carrying on a licensed activity in a manner that breaches the conditions of the licence may be issued with a notice requiring compliance. Such a notice is called a compliance notice.

277.An enforcement authority, as defined in section 114, may issue a compliance notice in all circumstances where licence conditions have been breached, except where serious harm to either the environment or human health has occurred or is likely to occur, or where the activity has seriously interfered, or is likely seriously to interfere with, legitimate uses of the sea. A compliance notice may be served, for example, in case of a technical breach. The enforcement authority will be able to use other enforcement tools available to it, such as a stop notice or an emergency safety notice, where the breach has led to serious harm or serious interference.

278.A compliance notice must state the enforcement authority’s reasons for issuing the notice, the steps which the enforcement authority requires to be taken, and the period within which any steps required should be completed.

Section 91: Remediation notice

279.A person who has carried on or is in the process of carrying on a licensable activity, either without a licence or with a licence but in a manner that breaches the conditions of the licence and who has caused, is causing or is likely to cause any of the results described in subsection (5), may be issued with a remediation notice. This is a notice requiring the person to take “remedial or compensatory steps” (described in more detail below) or to pay a sum representing the cost of taking such steps.

280.The enforcement authority may issue a remediation notice in cases where harm to the environment or human health has occurred, is occurring, or is likely to occur, or where the activity has interfered is interfering or is likely to interfere with legitimate uses of the sea.

281.The enforcement authority may only issue a remediation notice after they have consulted the person to whom they intend to issue the notice.

282.The “remedial or compensatory steps” which a remediation notice may require a person to take are steps to protect the environment or human health, or to prevent interference with legitimate uses of the sea, or to prevent, minimise, remedy or mitigate the effects of the harm or interference in question, or to restore the condition of any place affected by the activity, or for any other purpose which the enforcement authority considers appropriate, or to pay a sum representing the cost of taking such steps. A remediation notice may require steps to be taken at a site other than the one affected by the harm or interference (see subsection (9)(f)). It may not be reasonably possible to restore the whole or part of a site to the condition it would have been in had the harm or interference not been caused, so steps to be taken at another site may be considered more appropriate. This could occur for instance where steps to be taken would be disproportionately expensive compared to the gain achieved or the best course of action may be to allow the site to recover naturally over time.

283.A remediation notice could be served in addition to a stop notice (see section 102). This would be the case, for example, where an enforcement authority puts an immediate halt to a damaging activity and then requires the operator to put right the damage already caused.

284.A remediation notice must state the enforcement authority’s reasons for issuing the notice; any remedial or compensatory steps to be taken, or any sum to be paid in respect of the cost of taking such steps; and the period within which any such steps are to be completed or any such sum is to be paid. The requirements contained in a remediation notice must be reasonable.

Section 92: Further provision as to enforcement notices

285.All compliance and remediation notices must be in writing (see the definition of notice in section 322(1)). They must be served on the person carrying on or in control of the activity in question, and may, if a licence has been granted for that activity to another person, also be served on the licensee. Notices may be varied or revoked by the issue of a further notice.

286.It is an offence to fail to comply with a notice.

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