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Dredge and Works Licences in Cowes Harbour

Dredge and Works Licences


The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is responsible for the licencing of dredging and disposal of dredge material in the UK. Applying for dredge and disposal licences from the MMO can be a lengthy process but there are some measures in place that attempt to reduce the burden on small operators. These can be found on the MMO’s website, which should be checked for the most up-to-date information and include exemptions for some scientific research, very small navigational dredges, extended licence periods and an accelerated licence process. 

The MMO states that it is committed to making the marine licensing process as straightforward as possible and encourages applicants to engage with them as early as possible to talk about whether planned activities require a marine licence or an exemptions notification and whether other consents may be required.

Contact the MMO:
Telephone 0300 1231032 or email 

If you wish to carry out any dredging in Cowes Harbour you will also need to submit a 'Dredge Licence Application' to Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC). CHC will consider the application with regard to the likely impact on the safety of navigation and also as one of the statutory consultees of the MMO.

Dredge licence applications advertised for consultation are published in the News section of the CHC website. 

CHC will work with harbour users and statutory authorities to ensure that the balance between the use of the estuary and its environment is maintained. One way in which we are doing this is through the development of the Medina Estuary Baseline Document, under the Maintenance Dredge Protocol, which aims to streamline the maintenance dredging application process within sites like the Medina that are designated for nature conservation. 

Dredge Licence Application Form


In order to carry out works within the jurisdiction of Cowes Harbour Commission, consents and licences may be required from several authorities. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Cowes Harbour Authority - grant licences (under the Cowes Harbour Revision Order 1989 - Harbour Works and Dredging) to construct, alter, renew or extend works within the harbour up to the mean high water springs (MHWS) mark. A Works Licence Application must be completed and submitted to the Cowes Harbour Office before any works can commence.

Marine Management Organisation (MMO) - A Marine Licence is required for many activities involving a deposit or removal of a substance or object below MHWS, or in any tidal river to the extent of the tidal influence and up to the boundary of the UK territorial seas.

You will also need to seek the applicable planning permission from the Isle of Wight Council and the consent of the landowner.

Works licence applications advertised for consultation are published in the News section of the CHC website.

Works Licence Application Form

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