Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will be an offshore generating station with more than 100MW of installed capacity and, as such, is considered a ‘nationally significant infrastructure project’ (NSIP) under the Planning Act 2008.
NSIPs are consented under a different system to that managed by local authorities, being managed instead by the UK’s Planning Inspectorate and consented by the relevant Secretary of State. The Project lies in Welsh waters, meaning a Marine Licence (for dredging and construction) is also required under the Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009. Marine Licence applications are determined by the Marine Licensing Team of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on behalf of the Welsh Government.
The Project cannot go ahead without both consents. Consent was granted by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when she made an Order (the Development Consent Order, DCO) authorising the development on 9 June 2015. The application documents, the Planning Inspectorate’s Recommendation, the Secretary of State’s decision letter, and the DCO itself are all available to view on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.
A decision on the Marine Licence is outstanding.