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Marine Planning Newsletter: March 2016
Welcome to our marine planning newsletter. This issue includes news on the next phase of marine plans as well as updates on the South and East Marine Plans

South Marine Plan - preparing for public consultation

We’re keen to get the South Marine Plan to public consultation, but to do so requires the consideration of many interests.

Following amendments to the structure of the plan, making sure we have the right balance between a plan that is easy to use and the right level of information, we are due to progress the plan through government to secure approval to go to consultation.  

Publicity restrictions in the lead up to the EU referendum mean that even if approval is given soon, the consultation will start in early summer. More details will be sent out in the coming months. To make sure you receive these please email
Sarah Temple with your name, organisation and email address. 


We also would like to introduce our new Marine Officer Sarah Templewho will be based in our Portsmouth office. Sarah is taking over from Pete Cosgrove who will be working inthe south east area. 
East Marine Plans 
This April it will be two years since the East Inshore and Offshore Marine Plans were adopted. As part of this we included an East Inshore and East Offshore Implementation and Monitoring plan, which set out how we will monitor how effective the policies are and progress towards achieving the plans objectives.
 
As part of this we continue to work with stakeholders to understand how the East Marine Plan is being used. We will be asking decision-makers and applicants to complete a short survey on their experiences of using the plans in the coming weeks, the results of which will feed into a three year report on the East Plans, due April 2017.
Starting the next phase of marine plans 
We are now in a position to start the next phase of preparing marine plans - developing plans for the north east, south east, south west and north west marine areas.

Our learning and experience gained over the last five years of marine planning enables us to take a different approach for these areas. Firstly we will be developing all the plans simultaneously, building on our understanding of the planning process, lessons learned, economies of scale and knowledge of some of the issues that affect all marine areas from developing the plans so far

 
Secondly we will be taking a less linear and more flexible approach to how we develop the plans. To do this we will be looking at all aspects of a marine plan – the issues and evidence, vision and objective and policy options – together, so we can develop the structure and the content of the plans quicker. We will be able to share more of the plans at an earlier stage, including annual reviews. This also creates more flexibility so each plan can progress at its own pace
You can read more about our new approach in our blog.

To help us take this work forward we will have a marine officer, focussed on marine planning, in each of the four areas. Pete Cosgrove has moved across to the London office to look after the South East area and Melissa Metcalfe, Sam Wright, and Neal Gray who are based in our North Shields, Preston and Plymouth office, covering the North East, North West and South West areas respectively.
 
If you would like to speak with your local marine officer please contact them on: 

North East: Melissa Metcalfe, North Shields, Melissa.metcalfe@marinemanagement.org.uk
North West: Sam Wright, Preston, Sam.wright@marinemanagement.org.uk
South East: Peter Cosgrove, London, Peter.cosgrove@marinemanagement.org.uk
South West: Neal Gray, Plymouth, Neal.gray@marinemanagement.org.uk

Working together - a statement of public participation 
Working with our stakeholders is essential to developing robust and meaningful marine plans. Their input is invaluable, especially in identifying and understanding local issues.

For each marine plan we produce a Statement of Public Participation, setting out who, when and how we will engage during the marine planning process. To check that we have the right approach, we will be asking your views on the draft Statement of Public Participation in the middle of April.

To coincide with this consultation, we are also hosting events across these marine plan areas. The events will give you an opportunity to meet with your local marine planner, understand more about marine planning and learn how to you can get involved. Details of the events will be available from gov.uk/mmo

Sustainability Appraisal
Each marine plan has a number of supporting documents. This includes a sustainability appraisal which assesses the social, economic and environmental impacts of a marine plan and ensures sustainable development is at the heart of the plan making process.

We have started this work for the north east, south east, south west and north west marine plans and will be asking for comments on the first stage which is the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report, in mid April.

Details of the consultation will be published next week and will also be available from gov.uk/mmo. For more information on this please email planning@marinemanagement.org.uk

New marine evidence base launched
One of the foundations of a marine plan is the evidence base. It includes information on all sectors and activities submitted to support the development of marine plans, including environmental, economic and social data.

To improve how we publish this data we have redeveloped what was formerly called the Marine Planning Portal. The resulting Marine Planning Evidence Base, has been moved to sit within the Marine Information System (MIS), bringing together two of our key information tools. As part of the redevelopment we have been able to introduce a new GIS application, with data sourced directly from the MMO systems and others such as the Oil & Gas Authority.

Evidence projects

Seascape assessment
We have commissioned a strategic seascape assessment for the South West Inshore and Offshore Marine Plan Areas. This follows on from assessments for the north east, north west and south east that were completed in 2015. The assessment will be completed by the end of this month.

We are also working closely with local councils to support the production of local seascape assessments. This information will support the integration of land-use and marine plans and will feed into strategic studies (produced by the MMO and Natural England)  for the East marine plan areas.  

If you are interested in seascape or what seascape might mean for your plan policy and decision-making, please contact David Hutchinson, 0208 0265 176.  


Other evidence projects 
Review of Marine Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and Development of Baselines’ (MMO1087): This report provides a review and critique of the East Implementation and Monitoring Plan, assessing it’s suitability as a framework for implementation and monitoring plans in the remaining plan areas. Recommendations made as part of the review have influenced the development of the South marine plan and its supporting monitoring plan.
 
Essential fish habitats (MMO1096): Modelling the location of fish nursery spawning and feeding grounds. The project explores methodologies for improvement of data and methods to predict habitat occurrence.

Potential spatial effects of climate change in the South and East Marine Plan Areas (MMO1077): Combine future climate data from the UK climate projections 2009 with information on current and predicted marine activities in the South and East marine plan areas to identify potential climate change impacts and benefits

Evidence Supporting the Use of Environmental Remediation to Improve Water Quality in the South Marine Plan Areas (MMO1105): Investigating the potential use of environmental remediation to improve water quality in the South Marine Plan Areas.

Sub-national policy review (MMO 1109/MMO 1110): A review of all relevant statutory and non-statutory plans which help inform our evidence base for marine planning, as well as looking at improving opportunities for integration between land-use and marine planning systems. Due for completion soon and will be available in due course.

You can review the full evidence register or the list of current evidence reports on our website.

Out and about diary

Europarc Atlantic Isles
Mel Nicholls participated in a Europarc Atlantic Isles (EAI) Coastal and Marine Working Group (EAI) in Birmingham in January, along with representatives from Natural England and a number of coastal national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty from Northern Ireland, Wales and England. The Group agreed that the EAI “Manifesto for Coasts and Seascape” had raised the profile of seascapes. Those involved in protected landscapes (and seascape) are well placed to support integration between terrestrial and marine planning.  The meeting also reaffirmed that Heritage Coasts are important to identifying opportunities and issues in the inshore marine area. 

Coastal futures
At the beginning of the year we took part in Coastal Futures – an annual conference which brings together delegates from different sectors and areas to discuss issues and views on marine and coastal topics. This year our Acting Chief Scientist, Dickon Howell and Senior Marine Planner Mel Nicholls, both presented at the conference. Dickon spoke on integrating science for management purposes, with Mel providing and update on English marine plans.. Read more in our blog from the event.

Sustainable Severn Forum
Matthew Darbyshire attended the Sustainable Severn Forum in Bristol in December along with a range of stakeholders, including local councils and renewables representatives.  The purpose of the event was to identify a set of guiding principles which will support and encourage leadership for and the development of sustainable infrastructure projects and other activities in the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary. The principles should:

  • Help meet the UK’s energy and carbon reduced needs
  • Bring long term benefit to the UK and regional economies
  • Protect and enhance the environment of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary environment
  • Build sustainable communities
Useful links
Listed below are a selection of organisations and websites which are useful for marine planning:
Marine Information System
South Marine Plan
East Marine Plan
Website
Website
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
LinkedIn
LinkedIn
Google Plus
Google Plus
Pinterest
Pinterest
YouTube
YouTube
Email
Email
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