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Pre application process

Pre-application process

Before you make an application for a lease, we encourage you to: 

  • contact us to check on the availability of the location 
  • discuss your proposals with statutory authorities 
  • discuss your proposals with anyone else likely to be involved in or affected by the development 

Applications in the Orkney marine region

If your interest is in marine activity in the Orkney marine region, please contact our pilot programme officer at You can learn more about Crown Estate Scotland’s local management pilot programme here or at

Scotland’s seabed is a shared public space that supports many diverse interests. Its sustainable use extends beyond compliance with development and sector specific regulation and includes broader obligations for responsible care and treatment of a shared public asset. Crown Estate Scotland considers this is best achieved through practices that:

  • incorporate co-operation with other marine users to minimise risk of both impacts on respective interests as well as cumulative impacts, and
  • recognise the duty of care incumbent on all who use and are supported by the resources of Scotland’s marine environment, irrespective of the scope of regulatory controls

These are most clearly summarised as measures that promote and enable co-existence and good stewardship.

Pre-application considerations

Discussion with other marine users

Discussion with other marine users

The granting of regulatory consents requires the input of statutory consultees as part of their determination and early engagement with these authorities is strongly recommended. 

A consultation guidance document, with information on regulatory contacts can be found here.

In addition, Crown Estate Scotland recommends early pre-application discussions with other marine users to identify and resolve issues to enable co-existence. A list of key stakeholders is given in the sections which follow. This is not an exhaustive list; stakeholders will vary by location but is given to help applicants begin to identify marine users that may be impacted by developments.

Fishing interests

Fishing is an important industry for Scotland. Working with local fishermen to identify key fishing grounds, areas and/or access that maybe needed for shelter is advised.

Consideration of how developments can be designed so as to not displace industry, but co-exist will be key to incorporate co-operation with other marine users. Contacts for the local Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups are given below to help with this. 

Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups & Contacts

West Highland Anchorages & Moorings Association (WHAM)

WHAM works to ensure that small vessels have unrestricted access to anchorage. This is particularly important to ensure vessels can get to a safe haven in times of bad weather. Early consultation with WHAM to identify areas that need unrestricted access is recommended.

Transport routes

Scotland has many islands and remote locations that are serviced by ferries. Discussions with ferry operators to ensure that developments are not going to hinder that service or displace areas needed in bad weather is advised in areas that this might be likely.

The main ferry service providers in Scotland are:


In some instances, there has been the potential for a development to coincide with a safe route used by the lifeboat association.

Discussion with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to check safe lifeboat passage in areas at potential risk should be considered.

Recreational sailing

The west coast and islands are popular with recreational sailors, many from local clubs and associations around the area in addition to visitors from further afield. Prospective developers should identify and engage with these sailing interests to confirm the proposals do not impact unacceptably on their activites.

Prospective developers are encouraged to engage with RYA Scotland ( ) at an early stage. RYA Scotland works closely with The West Highland Anchorages and Moorings Association (WHAM) who can also provide valuable advice ( as well as other stakeholders

If you would like to discuss this with a member of the team please contact