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Marine Management Organisation

Volume 486: debated on Monday 19 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost of setting up the planned Marine Management Organisation headquarters in each of the short-listed locations. (247909)

My officials have identified the potential funding required for a relocation, which will be taken into account when 2009-10 budget allocations within DEFRA are agreed.

The one-off funding required for the relocation will be very similar for any of the short listed locations—although ongoing costs such as accommodation will vary between locations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to announce the decision on the location of the headquarters for the Marine Management Organisation. (247910)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria will be used in deciding the location of the headquarters for the Marine Management Organisation; and what weight will be given to the desirability of a coastal location. (247911)

The business criteria, which all have the same maximum weighting, used in arriving at the short list for the location for the MMO HQ were as follows:

Coastal Location;

Location in terms of wider Government agendas on Relocation (Lyons and Economic Deprivation);

Proximity to Marine Stakeholder Clusters;

Proximity to Institutions with Marine Specialisms; and

Good transport links in particular to key stakeholders and Brussels

The Quality of Life criteria include education, cost of housing, unemployment, health care and crime and these also shared the same maximum weighting for this criteria.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers he proposes the Marine Management Organisation should have in relation to the authorisation of (a) coastal barrages and (b) other large capital projects which will affect the marine environment. (248185)

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) will have the powers necessary to authorise most developments in the relevant marine areas, including coastal barrages, but with some exceptions, such as ‘nationally significant infrastructure projects’ as defined under part 3 of the Planning Act 2008.

Nationally significant infrastructure projects will be handled by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) established under the Planning Act. As the centre of marine expertise, the MMO will advise the IPC on proposals for nationally significant infrastructure projects and other developments which may affect the marine environment.

The MMO will have a particular role in advising the IPC on conditions that should be imposed to mitigate any adverse impact any development may have on the marine environment or other uses of the sea. The MMO will also be responsible for the subsequent monitoring and enforcement of developments approved by the IPC.