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Permit application determination

Application for a permit

Follow the pre-application process before submitting an application for a permit to ensure that you have collected the appropriate information to support your application. Failure to submit the appropriate information means that we will return your application unprocessed.

An important part of the application process is consultation with statutory consultees (e.g. agencies such as NatureScot and the Marine Directorate) as well as people and organisations who consider that their interests would be affected by the proposal. If you have followed the pre-application process, you will have already engaged with local communities and you will be better informed as to whether or not your proposals need to be adjusted in order to mitigate the concerns of local communities.

Pre-application is not the only chance that local communities and interested third parties will have to engage with the process. If the application is advertised during determination then representations, which will be considered during the determination process, may be made to SEPA. By attending the pre-application engagement sessions people will have more information to help inform any representations.

Contact details:

SEPA Permit application:

A SEPA lead officer will be identified for each application discussion and their contact details will be provided.

The flow chart below illustrates the steps that SEPA takes to accept and then process a permit application. If you do not agree with our decision to issue a permit one of the following steps can be taken.

  • Stakeholders who made written representations during the permit determination can ask Ministers to call in the application for them to determine.
  • The applicant can appeal to Ministers to review the conditions set by SEPA.

 permit application flow

The following menu provides access to the SEPA application process and the associated guidance documents that will help you make a successful application. This explanation of the process is intended to provide clarity over the steps that SEPA takes to issue a permit.

Validation of permit application


To record the details of the application and to assess whether all the required information has been provided. Please contact us before submitting an application.


  1. The applicant submits the completed application forms and all required supporting information to SEPA via
  2. SEPA Registry pass to SEPA lead officer.
  3. The SEPA lead officer checks that the application forms have been completed and signed, and that the correct application fee is included.
  4. The SEPA lead officer will provide the applicant with their contact details and either accept the application or ask for missing information or return the application.

Supporting Information

Consultation on the permit application


To seek the opinion of statutory consultees (including the local authority, District Salmon Fisheries Board and government agencies) regarding the application proposals and to provide an opportunity for other interested parties to make representations about the application.


  1. SEPA creates a consultation package and publishes it on the Consultation Hub.
  2. SEPA sends letters to relevant statutory consultees and notifies the applicant that they must place an advert in the national and local press.
  3. SEPA notifies individuals and groups who attended the pre-application engagement meeting(s).
  4. Consultation responses and third-party representations must be sent to SEPA Registry within 28 days
  5. SEPA Registry collates the responses and sends them to the SEPA lead officer for consideration.

Post-consultation review of modelling and monitoring summary reports


To review the Modelling and Monitoring Summary Reports to take account of information received from consultees and third-party representations.


  1. SEPA holds an internal case review meeting with SEPA Ecology, SEPA Modelling and aquaculture specialists to assess the implications of the consultation feedback on the permit determination.
  2. SEPA lead officer ensures notes of the case review meeting are recorded.

Supporting Information

Determining the permit application


To reach a decision as to whether the application can be granted and to ensure that the permit contains all conditions, which are necessary to protect the environment.


  1. SEPA lead officer collates advice from SEPA Modelling, SEPA Ecology and SEPA Chemistry regarding the application and supporting information.
  2. A draft permit, setting appropriate limits and controls, is produced and sent to the applicant to review.
  3. The draft permit may go to SEPA internal review.
  4. If the internal review process recommends changes to the draft permit, these will be considered and any revised draft will be sent to the applicant.
  5. The draft permit is issued to the applicant, statutory consultees and third parties who made representations during the consultation process. This is referred to as the 21 day notice period.
  6. Statutory consultees and third parties who have received letters may then request that the application be called-in for determination by Scottish Government Ministers. SEPA informs the consultees and respondents of the draft permit.
  7. The applicant may appeal if they consider the conditions in the permit or the refusal to issue a permit are unreasonable.
  8. SEPA issues the permit to the applicant and puts the details on the public register.

Supporting Information

The Permit template is currently under review for the addition of sea lice controls. The finalised template will be updated prior to any determinations under the Sea Lice Regulatory Framework being completed.

IMPORTANT.  If you do not provide information of the required quality, your application will be returned to you. The pre-application process is intended to ensure that this can be avoided and that your application can be processed quickly.