Planning Permissions and Consents

Port Estate, Marine Jurisdiction & Commercial Leases

Portland Port Group is a landowner on the Isle of Portland, a statutory undertaker and a commercial business. The land estate includes approximately 200 hectares of land and the Portland Harbour Authority has jurisdiction over 2400 hectares.  Leases are available from the port for land and seabed.  The Crown Estate may need to be contacted separately regarding lease of the seabed.

Land Planning & Permissions

Portland Port hosts developable land and close to deep water and would be happy to discuss your requirements. The local authority in this area is Weymouth & Portland Borough Council who are responsible for the local plan, planning applications, enforcement, listed buildings, conservation areas, tree preservation orders, ecology/landscapes and building regulations as examples.  Other authorities such as Dorset County Council or Central Government may be responsible for consenting activities depending on the nature of the project.

Permitted Development

'The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015' grants  planning permission for the classes of development described as permitted development in Schedule 2. Part 8 of Schedule 2 relates to transport related development.  Permitted development relating to Port and Harbour Authorities is included under Class B 'Dock, pier, harbour, water transport, canal or inland navigation undertakings' of this Part.


Marine Planning

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 established the legislative basis for a marine planning system. The aim of the system is to achieve sustainable development in the marine area.  The Secretary of State has delegated planning functions to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) as the only body that produces statutory plans.  The MMO are currently making the first marine plan in the East of England. There are 11 marine plans to be prepared in total  all of which much be completed by 2021.   Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay fall within the south inshore area.  It is not known at this time when this will be made.

Portland Marine Spatial Plan

In the absence of a statutory plan Portland Harbour Authority have prepared 'The Portland Harbour Authority Marine Spatial Plan 2008'. Click here for the policies and the accompanying plan. The policies within this plan apply within the limits of jurisdiction of Portland Harbour Authority.  This Marine Spatial Plan and the associated policies was authorised by the Board of Directors of the Harbour Authority in December 2008.

**** PLEASE NOTE: The Portland Marine Spatial Plan is due for review ****

Tidal Works and Marine Licensing

Permission is required from Portland Harbour Authority licence to construct, alter, renew or extend any works in the harbour on, under or over tidal waters or land below the level of high water.  This requires a licence application to be submitted to the Harbour Authority. Guidance notes are available upon request.

A marine licence may also be required from the Marine Management Organisation and a sea bed lease from the Crown Estate depending on the nature of the project. 


Portland Harbour Authority are in regular dialogue with authorities with planning, consenting and environmental responsibilities including Portland Harbour Consultative Committee, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, the Marine Management Organisation, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Science, the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Natural England, English Heritage, Environment Agency and Dorset County Council as examples.


Frank Cox
Planning & Consents Manager