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Licence for Works under the Poole Harbour Act 1914

If you are considering carrying out work, eg building a jetty, ramp, slipway, sea wall, dredging etc, below the line of mean high water anywhere in Poole Harbour you are likely to require a licence from Poole Harbour Commissioners. Although some properties include ownership of the foreshore please note that, if this is the case, you do still require a licence from the Commissioners.

In determining a licence, the Commissioners must have regard to the effect on harbour users, harbour regime and the environment.

Most of the harbour foreshore is designated for nature conservation because of the number and variety of bird and plant life it supports. As a result of its exceptional ecological value it has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area (SPA). More details regarding the environmental aspects of the harbour can be found in the Poole Harbour Aquatic Management Plan.

Under these regulations, Poole Harbour Commissioners are required to ensure that any development can demonstrate no adverse impact on the harbour and its ecology.

In order for the Commissioners to consider the issue of a licence to carry out works it will be necessary to complete a Licence Application form, provide drawings and pay a fee of £100. Guidelines to assist with the completion of this application are attached to the form.

It may also be necessary for you to apply for Planning Permission from the Borough of Poole or Purbeck District Council, and a licence under the Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009.

Licences for structures already in place are personal to the Licensee and are not transferable. Should you purchase a property with a structure below the line of mean high water you will need to apply for a change of ownership.

For further information, please contact the Harbour Engineer’s Department on (01202) 440234.


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