Marine Planning Newsletter: September 2017

Welcome to our marine planning newsletter. This issue includes news on the draft South Marine Plan, and the next stages of engagement and iteration 2 in the process to develop the marine plans in the north west, north east, south west and south east. .

South marine plan update

Draft South Marine Plan finalisation

The Draft South Marine Plan includes the plan’s vision, objectives, policies and the Technical Annex which provides more detail on each policy. Supporting documents include the Draft Sustainability Appraisal and the Draft Habitats Regulation Assessment. Information and documents on the development of the draft South Marine Plan are available here.

Consultation on the Draft South Marine Plan closed in January 2017, responses have been analysed by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and revisions made to the plan where appropriate. It is anticipated that the plan will be adopted by the end of 2017. 

East Marine Plan area update

Reporting on the East Marine Plans

The East Marine Plans were prepared by the MMO on behalf of government and adopted by the Secretary of State for Defra on 2nd April 2014. The plans were the first marine plans to be adopted in England.

The three-year report on the East Marine Plans has now been published. This report reviews progress the East Marine Plans have made against its objectives as well as the UK Marine Policy Statement’s high level marine objectives over a three year period from adoption. The report concludes that all marine plan objectives remain relevant and integral to realising the vision of the East marine plans and so no changes will be made at this stage. The full report is available here. A review will be carried out every three years for all marine plans.

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

Iteration 1 engagement

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Iteration 1 engagement, which ran from 6 February to 31 March 2017. During this period nine workshops were held over the four remaining marine plan areas (with the support of local coastal partnerships); evening drop-in sessions were trialled in the north east and south west marine plan areas; all supported simultaneously by an online engagement opportunity.

Over 300 stakeholders from a wide range of organisations attended the workshops, representing an array of national and local stakeholders, whilst 50 participated online or by email.

The engagement gathered stakeholder views on common issues and possible common policy responses to address them.  User Stories were also gathered on how stakeholders would like:

  1. to use a marine plan
  2. to be engaged during development of the marine plans
  3. marine plans to be displayed (including a possible digital format)

All input was recorded and collated to feed into the development of Iteration 2 products of the marine planning process in the north west, north east, south west and south east.  A summary report has also been produced of the Iteration 1 engagement.

We received over 1,050 User Stories from which the results have been coded, analysed and written up into a short report including a summary and recommendations.

Iteration 2 engagement
To feed into Iteration 2 we will be holding some targeted summer engagement workshops in each marine plan area. These workshops will focus on local issues, causes and effects with the aim of providing clarity on some of the issues specific to the marine plan area.

Next steps
  • iteration 2 will go into more detail about the options process
  • iteration 2 will present draft marine plan area visions
  • Spring 2018 marine plan area workshops and online engagement on Iteration 2 products

A meeting with French and Jersey marine spatial planners

Members of the marine planning team met representatives of the French and Jersey Governments, in Jersey, to discuss trans-boundary cooperation with our neighbouring marine plan authorities.
The French approach to marine planning is very similar to our own. Jersey are still gathering evidence for the development of their marine plans. Though all at different stages of development we were able to update one another on the progress of our marine plans.
The drive for marine planning in France came from the merge of the ‘Maritime coastline strategic document’ and the ‘Action plan for the marine environment’. Similar to our Marine Information System they have a GIS based marine planning system. They also have a marine spatial planning working group and promote their understanding to stakeholders.
Jersey has seven marine officers to cover the full marine remit, licensing, fisheries enforcement, marine conservation and creating marine plans. One advantage of having so few people is they can action change quickly. There is no time line for marine plans for Jersey as the country has no current legislation driving marine planning, though they would like to create marine plans to balance exploitation against sustainability and make evidence based decisions.
The meeting gave us the opportunity to discuss plans for further engagement at key points in the planning progress. It was a great learning experience for all parties involved and we look forward to sharing knowledge in the future.

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 marine plans and the marine planning process.

North East

Milly Metcalfe (MMO Marine Officer (Planning)) attended the North Yorkshire Development Plans Forum in May; this was a chance for local authorities in the North Yorkshire area to meet and discuss planning updates and issues. Milly also presented at the Durham Heritage Coast Partnership Coastal Forum which was a great opportunity to
hear about the ongoing work of the coastal partnership.

North West

Sam Wright (MMO Marine Officer ( Planning)) attended a series of meetings with stakeholders up and down the north west coast throughout February and March, including visiting the RSPB in Lancaster, Peel Ports in Liverpool, Barrow in Furness Coastal Community Team and the Solway Firth Partnership up in Dumfries. Sam followed up the planning workshops by attending a series of evening sessions with the fishing industry in Barrow and Fleetwood, as well as meeting with Natural England and the North West Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority in Carnforth. Sam was invited to attend an event at Fleetwood Nautical College, organised in conjunction with Trinity House, where he talked to Merchant Navy Cadets about his role as a marine planner. In April, Sam attended the Morecambe Bay Annual Conference in Grange-over-Sands. Sam also had the opportunity to give a presentation to the Cumbrian Development Plan Officers Group, a regular meeting of local council planning officers from all over Cumbria.


Stacey Clarke (MMO Marine Officer (Planning)) has been involved with a number of coastal forums and marine pioneer meetings over the past months. Stacey recently attended a Marine Knowledge Exchange Network (MCEN) Seaweed and Algal Aquaculture: opportunities and challenges event. The event took a global look at the industry and how economics, legislation and social desires affect the potential for UK algal aquaculture; it raised some interesting ideas and increased everyone’s understanding of global influencing factors. 


Clare Kavanagh (MMO Marine Planner) and Nicole Yeomans (MMO Marine Officer  (Planning)) attended the Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association and Poole Harbour Study Group Marine Protected Areas: Science, Policy and Management conference. Clare, Nicole and many other members of the marine planning team attended the European Maritime Day conference which brought together around 1,000 industry leaders and policy makers including EU Commissioners, Ministers, academics, scientists and maritime experts. The conference themes addressed the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy promoting economic growth, skills, technological innovation, environmental concerns and sustainability across Europe.

In May we welcomed Neil Amos to the Marine Planning Team as a Marine Officer (Planning) also based in the South plan area.

South West

Neal Gray and Nick Boase (Marine Officers (Planning) in the south west) have been busy engaging with the south west plan area Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, fishing industry and local authorities. Nick and Neal attended the Seafish south west Advisory Committee in Plymouth, in April. A meeting in Bristol with Historic England was a great opportunity to help ensure the developing south west marine plan will suitably protect the amazing heritage assets in the south west. Neal and Nick have also attended Natural Capital Conference and Marine Ecology and Conservation Network meetings in July and they have been involved with the Defra Marine Pioneer project in the north Devon Biosphere, attending the steering group meeting.  Nick and Neal have also been involved in an Ocean Health Index meeting, a marine innovation workshop and a meeting with Exmoor National Park Authority.

South East

Tom Pavitt joined the Marine Planning Team as Marine Officer (Planning) for the South East plan area in February. Within Tom’s first month in the role he presented at our Iteration 1 stakeholder engagement workshops in London and Colchester. Tom presented at the Essex Coastal Forum in March which also fed into the outputs of the iteration 1 engagement through user stories, discovering what people want from the south east plan, how they wish to be engaged and how they want it displayed. Since then he has also met with the Stour and Orwell public forum and the Medway Swale Estuary Partnership. Tom has also been working with members of the Planning team at Greater London Authority to ensure integrated coverage of the Thames River between the upcoming London plan and the south east marine plan.
  • North east:
  • North west: Sam Wright, 0208 225 7095
  • East: Stacey Clarke, 0208 026 6093
  • South east: Tom Pavitt, 0208 258 857
  • South west: Neal Gray, 0208 225 6647 
  • South west: Nick Boase, 0208 225 7066
  • South: Neil Amos, 020 8225 6616
  • South: Nicole Yeomans, 0208 225 8210
Useful links

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