Milestone for England’s seas as the North East, North West, South East and South West Marine Plans are adopted, completing a full suite of plans covering all English waters.
The Government has adopted and published the North East, North West, South East and South West Marine Plans. The publication of these four marine plans follows the adoption of the East Marine Plan in 2014 and the South Marine Plan in 2018. This means all England’s seas – an area of approximately 230,000 square kilometres – a third larger than the total land area of England – are covered by Marine Plans.
For the first time, England has a complete and integrated marine planning framework to manage how we use, develop, protect and enhance our marine environment. Marine Plans will guide developers, planning authorities and other decision-makers so that their activities happen in a sustainable and coordinated way.
The four latest Plans, produced by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, are the culmination of four years of engagement and policy development with businesses, wildlife and maritime charities, local authorities, representative organisations and individuals across communities around England’s coasts.
The Marine Plan documents can be found at the following locations:
The full suite of Plans are covered in the MMO’s digital system, Explore Marine Plans, which takes into account everything that exists in the local area, from wrecks and items of archaeological interest to marine wildlife, from existing uses such as cables to dredging or fishing, and applies the existing policies.
Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow said:
MMO’s Chief Executive Officer Tom McCormack said:
MMO’s Director of Licensing, Marine Planning and Global, Trudi Wakelin said:
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 include a vision, objectives and detailed policies on how these objectives will be achieved.
The MMO is now working with decision-makers across each marine plan area to ensure successful implementation of the newly adopted marine plans. Each marine plan has a 20-year horizon. To support ongoing improvements, the MMO must monitor and report to Parliament on the effectiveness of adopted marine plans every three years.
The Explore Marine Plans digital service provides an online, interactive resource for viewing marine planning policies, evidence, and supporting information. It allows users to consider multiple sources of information at a resolution relevant to their interest.