The UK’s Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has launched public consultations to receive public views on the first documents to be published as part of the North East, North West, South East and South West marine plans.
The two consultations will focus on the draft Statement of Public Participation for each area and the draft Sustainability Appraisal scoping report.
The Statement of Public Participation sets out whom, when and how the MMO will engage with stakeholders during the marine planning process.
The Sustainability Appraisal provides an independent assessment of the marine plans at each stage in their development, ensuring that economic, social and environmental sustainability is at the core of the marine plans. The scoping report is the first stage of the Sustainability Appraisal, setting out what issues the appraisal will include.
“The launch of these two consultations is a significant step in the development of marine plans for the North East, South East, South West and North West. I would encourage anyone with an interest in the marine area, or anyone who relies on it for their business to get involved,” Steve Brooker, Chief Planning Officer, said.
“Stakeholder input has been invaluable in developing marine plans for the east and south areas, especially in identifying and understanding local issues and opportunities. The Statement of Public Participation shows our commitment to including stakeholders throughout the development of the marine plans. One of the objectives of marine planning is to ensure that future use of our seas is sustainable. The Sustainability Appraisal is part of making sure the plans meet economic, social and environmental sustainability criteria. This scoping report sets out which criteria the Sustainability Appraisal will include.”
Both consultations opened on Monday 11 April and will close on Friday 13 May.
There are 11 English marine plan areas, including inshore and offshore areas. Each area will be covered by a marine plan by 2021 with a 20 year view of activities.
Marine planning addresses the key issues for the marine area, including the coast, estuaries and tidal waters, as well as developments that impact on these areas. The plans will include a vision, objectives and detailed policies on how these objectives will be achieved.
Marine plans are used by public authorities as part of the decision making process for all new activities and developments in or affecting the marine area. Marine plans build on the requirements of the Marine and Coastal Access Act and the Marine Policy Statement.