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Marine Planning Newsletter: January 2017

Welcome to our marine planning newsletter. This issue includes news on the draft South Marine Plan consultation and the next phase of marine plans.

South marine plan area update

Draft South Marine Plan consultation - now open 

At the beginning of November we launched our 12 week consultation on the draft South Marine Plan.
 
The consultation is open until 27 January 2017, and asks for your views and feedback on the draft South Marine Plan. As well as asking questions on the draft plan, its vision, objectives and policies, the consultation also looks at the draft Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulation Assessment, which help ensure sustainability is at the core of the marine plan.
 
Stakeholder involvement has been invaluable in developing the draft South Marine Plan. Local, industry and specialist knowledge has helped develop an informed and evidence based plan, which will help to manage and protect the south marine plan areas over the next 20 years.
 
You can read the draft South Marine Plan and take part in the consultation here.
 

North east, north west, south east and south west marine plan area update

Issues with supporting evidence

Following consultation on the issues with supporting evidence for the north east, north west, south east and south west marine plans, we have published an issues with evidence database.
 
The database includes an overview of each issue, categorises them into key themes and provides details of supporting evidence gathered.
 
The database shows the range and complexity of marine issues that the different plan areas face, and will be used to develop the marine plan priorities and policies for the four areas.

You can view the database here.

Developing the plans - consultation workshops on first products

In February and March we will be consulting on the first products of the process that will lead to the development of the north east, north west, south east and south west marine plans (“Iteration 1”).   

The consultation will take place between Friday 3 February and Friday 31 March 2017 and will include a short questionnaire, workshops and drop-in events. The consultation will be an opportunity to see the progress to date, to discuss and review common issues across all the four plan areas, some draft policies to start to address them, and area specific issues.
 
We will also be asking for your views on taking a more digitally based approach for the plans, and how you will use the marine plans.

More details will be published in the coming weeks.

East marine plan area update

Reporting on the East Marine Plans
We have been working with the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) to develop the first three year report on the East Marine Plans and their application as per requirements within the Marine and Coastal Access Act.  

The report is due to be laid before Parliament by 2 April 2017 and will show how the plans are contributing to the achievement of the High Level Marine Objectives. It will recommend if there is a need to review the plans, with any decision on amending the plans lies with the Secretary of State.

Evidence

New evidence reports published

We have recently published the following evidence reports to support the development of the north east, north west, south east and south west marine plans, and the South Marine Plan. 

Economic baseline assessment for the North East, North West, South East and South West marine plans (MMO1119): This report provides economic baseline information for the marine plan areas which will inform the development of the marine plans. This research is focused on economic activity within the plan areas, using the categories of industry set out in the Marine Policy Statement.
 
We have also published a number of evidence requirements, including:
  • approaches for monitoring the impact of marine plans
  • the location, condition and features of significant sites for habitat creation or restoration
  • the baseline social environment of the English marine plan areas
  • seascape characterisation and visual impact in marine areas
  • the baseline social and economic environment local to marine protected areas
  • the baseline economic environment of the English marine plan areas

Working with you

Marine plan areas

Engagement is an important part of developing all the marine plans. To make sure we understand a wider range of thoughts and concerns, we regularly meet with our stakeholders to discuss the marine plans and the marine planning process. 

East
Stacey Clarke has recently attended the Marine Knowledge Exchange Network (MKEN) event looking at potential future opportunities and challenges for Blue Growth in East Anglia (based on climate change scenarios up to 100 years from now). Workshops looked at how wind energy could learn from other offshore and aerospace industries and how the aquaculture industry could potentially reuse oil and gas rigs.  Stacey also participated in the CEFAS Maritime Conference where relationships were forged with CEFAS staff that has led to further informal knowledge sharing.

North east
Milly Metcalfe met with the Durham Coastal Heritage and Landscape Group who updated her on a number of local ongoing projects.  David Hutchinson joined the Tyne to Tees Seascape Development Group, hosted by Durham Heritage Coast Partnership.
 
North west
Sam Wright attended a two day sandscape conference in Liverpool, looking at the natural and cultural capital of the coastal landscapes in the Liverpool Bay Area. Sam also spent two days in Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, representing Marine Planning at the final Celtic Seas Partnership workshop, connecting with stakeholders from around the whole Irish Sea and beyond.

South
Clare Kavanagh and Nicole Yeomans presented to the Dorset Coast Forum, Exe Estuary Partnership Winter Forum, Hamble Estuary Partnership, Solent Forum Natural Environment Group, Sussex Marine and Coastal Forum and Southern IFCA Committee to explain how interested parties could share their views through the draft South Marine Plan Consultation.

South west
Nick Boase, Rachel Brown and Pete Cosgrove visited the Isles of Scilly in November to discuss issues and evidence on the islands. The information gathered from this visit will help to shape the plan and show the complexities of the SW marine plan area.
 
South east
Pete Cosgrove met with Historic England’s South-East office and marine staff. This yielded some excellent discussions around the rationale for, and implementation of, historic protection policies that have resonated through the team.  Pete also presented at the Thames Estuary Partnership’s annual sustainability conference which has helped to raise the profile of marine planning more broadly.

International

Steve Brooker (Chief Planning Officer) and Mel Nicholls met with senior officers in the Republic of Ireland Government who are beginning to develop a national Irish marine plan. With shared borders, it is important that we work closely with our border nations and so it was great to have the opportunity to share knowledge and understand more about the Irish marine planning process. Whilst in Ireland, Mel also presented an update on marine planning in England at the Irish Sea Maritime Forum Biennial meeting. 
 
In October 2016, Paul Gilliland was invited to speak at a Symposium in Seoul, South Korea on “Marine Ecosystem Services and Marine Spatial Planning & Management”. It was a good opportunity to showcase progress of marine planning in UK and to learn about application of the concept of ecosystem services in a range of quite different countries.
 
The Marine Planning team also met with members of the French Government at the French Embassy in December. This was a valuable meeting which has helped us to revise our cross-border working.

 
Useful links

Marine Information System 

Marine plans: 
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