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This week, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) launched the public consultation on the draft North Eastdraft North Westdraft South East and draft South West Marine Plans.

The consultation will be open between 14 January 2020 and 6 April 2020; stakeholders will be able to respond to the consultation for the draft Marine Plans via the MMO’s Citizen Space consultation tool at the following links:

Draft North East Marine Plan consultation

Draft North West Marine Plan consultation

Draft South East Marine Plan consultation

Draft South West Marine Plan consultation

Marine Planning, says the MMO, makes sure the right activities happen in the right place, at the right time and in the right way, placing sustainable development at the centre of all decisions. The draft Marine Plans are prepared under the policy framework provided by the Marine Policy Statement, and together they underpin the marine planning system for England.

Throughout the consultation period, the MMO has arranged training sessions for decision-makers to facilitate implementation of the draft plans. A series of informative webinars (national and plan area-based) will also be held early in the consultation period to assist all stakeholders in making representations on the draft marine planning documents. Further details will be circulated shortly.

The consultation marks a milestone for marine planning in the northeast, north-west, south-east and south-west marine areas, and is the culmination of over three years of work, dating back to July 2016, when the Statement of Public Participation (SPP) for each plan area was launched.

The SPPs ensured that the marine planning process was transparent, and that stakeholders understood how and when they could be involved and influence a marine plan’s development. This has enabled the development of the draft Marine Plans to reflect the unique nature of each marine plan area.

The consultation gives interested parties the chance to provide their formal representations on the draft Marine Plans, and it will provide the MMO with invaluable insight to shape this stage of the Marine Planning process.

Once the consultation has closed on 6 April, all comments received will be analysed by the MMO and there will be a period where the draft Marine Plans are amended, as appropriate, ahead of adoption.

A consultation summary will be published soon after the consultation has closed. A more detailed report of responses and amendments made will be published once the Marine Plans are adopted.

Now published for Consultation the draft North East, draft North West, draft South East and draft South West Marine Plans become a material consideration and upon adoption become statutory.

Public authorities are now responsible for implementing the relevant Marine Plans for their area, through existing regulatory and decision-making processes, for any activity or development which is in, or impacts, the marine environment.

All applicants, third parties and advisors should also consider the draft Marine Plans. Proposals should conform to all relevant policies, taking account of economic, environmental and social considerations.

Have your say through this consultation, and if you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact the MMO Marine Planning Team at planning@marinemanagement.org.uk or 02080 265 325.


Image: “Havvindparken Sheringham Shoal (Foto: Harald Pettersen/Statoil” by NHD-INFO is licensed under CC BY 2.0