APPENDIX 5: MARINE PLANNING IN THE UK |
In the UK, marine planning was introduced and is
being implemented under a combination of primary legislation;
the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, Marine (Scotland) Act
2010 and Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013. Marine planning is
a devolved matter. To varying degrees, a different approach is
being adopted by each of the four UK Administrations and the implementation
timescales differ. However, all plans must conform to the UK-wide
Marine Policy Statement (MPS), unless relevant considerations
indicate otherwise. When marine plans have been established, all
decisions, as a general rule, must accord with them. There are
agreements in place between the UK Government and each of the
devolved administrations with a view to co-ordinating activities
across national and plan area boundaries.
Consequently, marine activities across the UK are
governed by a plan-led system within a common high-level framework,
replacing a system of ad hoc decision making over time
through licensing and other authorisation processes. The plans
are intended to provide detailed policy and spatial guidance for
an area and to set out relative priorities.
The MPS recognises that, in preparing marine plans, the UK Administrations
will need to co-ordinate their activities with other countries
sharing the same regional seas, including sharing data.
The Marine Management Organisation is responsible
for preparing the marine plans. The waters off the English coast
have been split into eleven areas (ten plans will be produced).
Planning for the first two of these areasthe east inshore
and offshore marine plan areaswas launched in 2011 and
completed in 2014. Plans are currently being prepared for the
south inshore and offshore areas. All areas should have plans
in place by 2021. Each plan is reviewed every three years and
all plans are intended to take a long term view extending to 20
The Welsh Government is preparing a Welsh National
Marine Plan that will cover Welsh inshore waters and UK waters
off the Welsh coast. It will have a 20 years forward look at activities
and needs. As part of this process, the Welsh Government has sub-divided
the sea areas into areas that are intended to be meaningful and
recognisable to people. When completed the National Plan will
be reviewed every three years.
The Marine (Scotland) Act (2010) introduced a new
statutory marine planning system to sustainably manage the increasing,
and often conflicting, demands on Scotland's seas. The Scottish
National Marine Plan (NMP) was laid before the Scottish Parliament
on the 11 December 2014. This Plan covers both Scottish inshore
waters (out to 12 nautical miles) and offshore waters. Marine
planning will also be implemented at a local level within Scottish
Marine Regions. Within these regions, regional marine plans are
developed by Marine Planning Partnerships to take account of local
circumstances and smaller ecosystem units.
The Marine Act (Northern Ireland) introduced powers
to create and implement a Northern Ireland Marine Plan. Work (acquisition
of data and stakeholder engagement) is being undertaken by the
Marine Division in the Department of the Environment. A Scoping
Report has been prepared as part of a Sustainability Appraisal
(SA) of the Plan to facilitate marine planning around Northern
Ireland. It is intended that the Draft Plan and Sustainability
Appraisal will be issued for public consultation in 2015.
312 UK Marine Policy Statement Back