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National Marine Plan policies for Regional Planning

Regional Marine Plans will be developed by Marine Planning Partnerships, allowing more local ownership and decision making about specific issues within their area.

Regional planners will also need to consider the need for:

  • Better understanding of the current position and the vision for their area.
  • Local strategic and sectoral objectives.
  • Understanding local opportunities and challenges in terms of sustainable development and use and the need to manage conflict.
  • Deriving general and specific policies which align with those in the National Marine Plan and the Marine Policy Statement, but are sensitive to local circumstances.
  • Further research to understand the local ecosystem and the impacts and pressures upon it.
  • Consistency with local and strategic development plans and other relevant local plans.

All Regional Plans will be expected to conform with the National Marine Plan (unless relevant considerations indicate otherwise) and there are sections and policies within the National Marine Plan to provide particular guidance to assist in the process of developing Regional Marine Plans.

The table below, taken from the National Marine Plan, lists the sections and policies that apply to Regional Planning, referenced with the appropriate page of the National Marine Plan, for sake of ease.

General Policies

 

Co-existence

National Marine Plan

Page 17

Regional marine plans should consider:

  • Determining sectoral incompatibilities and potential for coexistence of development and activity using appropriate mechanisms such as interactions matrices.
  • Identifying areas for preferential use by specific sectors, where appropriate, following consultation and using appropriate mechanisms such as sustainability appraisal and scenario mapping.
  • Taking account of cross sectoral agreements with regards to shared usage of the marine area. <applies to inshore waters only>

Climate change

National Marine Plan

Page 18

Regional marine plans should:

  • Identify significant natural carbon sinks and seek to avoid colocation with potentially damaging activity; then
  • Assess the acceptability of any proposed partial loss or damage to natural carbon sinks (including any compensatory measures) through licensing or management of marine activities, balanced with priorities presented in this Plan and respective regional marine plans.
  • Explain how they have taken into account future climate change in terms of climate change adaptation. <applies to inshore waters only>

Landscape/seascape

National Marine Plan

Page 21

Regional marine plans should consider identifying the landscape character types and protected landscapes within the Marine Region and setting out policies to safeguard their special qualities.<applies to inshore waters only>

 

Coastal process and flooding

National Marine Plan

Page 22

Regional marine plans should be aligned with terrestrial development plans and reflect coastal areas likely to be suitable for development, taking into account the most recent flood risk and flood hazard maps, and forthcoming coastal erosion vulnerability mapping.  Where relevant, regional marine plans should also reflect areas where managed realignment of coast may be appropriate, setting out the potential benefits such as habitat creation and new recreation opportunities. <applies to inshore waters only>

Natural heritage

National Marine Plan

Page 23

Regional marine plans should consider:

  • Using relevant guidance and data sources to identify, where appropriate, areas that are sensitive to specific types of development or other activity. Particular regard should be given to protected sites, protected species and Priority Marine Features. Spatial policies should take account of the sensitivities identified.
  • Developing policies that contribute to the achievement of Conservation Objectives for designated sites within the MPA network.
  • Recognising the role of habitats and species in providing and supporting ecosystem services and consider opportunities to enhance these services.

<applies to inshore waters only>

Marine litter

National Marine Plan

Page 28

 

Regional marine plans should consider identifying measures in place to address marine litter and demonstrating how they contribute to the Marine Litter Strategy.

<applies to inshore waters only>

Planning alignment A

National Marine Plan

Page 31

 

Regional marine plans are required to be compatible with the plans for any adjoining marine region. <applies to inshore waters only>

Planning alignment B

National Marine Plan

Page 31

Regional marine plans should consider: relevant non statutory plans or strategies to allow for integration of policies of local relevance to be included for consultation. Examples include, but are not restricted to, shoreline management plans and integrated coastal zone management plans.  <applies to inshore waters only>

Fisheries

National Marine Plan

Page 37

Regional marine plans should consider:

  • Whether they require to undertake further work on any data gaps in relation to fishing activity within their region.
  • The potential socio-economic impacts for the local fishing industry – and parts of the industry using their area – of any proposed activity or conservation measure.
  • How to include local Inshore Fisheries Groups as a key part of their planning process.
  • The potential consequences and impacts for other marine regions; and for offshore regions of their approach to planning for fisheries.
  • Taking account of on-going local initiatives, such as Clyde 2020, which may be relevant to their work. <applies to inshore waters>

Aquaculture

National Marine Plan

Page 49

Regional marine plans should consider:

The potential for sustainable growth of aquaculture in their region, taking into account the policies set out above, and working in close partnership with terrestrial planners, SEPA, Marine Scotland, SNH and other regulators. <applies to inshore waters> 

Wild Salmon and Diadromous Fish

No regional policy

National policy applies – see page 59

Oil & Gas

National Marine Plan

Page 64

Regional marine plans should consider:

  • The positive and negative impacts of any oil and gas activity in their area and the implications for other development and use.
  • The implications of the transition to a low carbon economy for their area including the longer-term reduction of oil and gas activity, but also incorporating opportunities to re-use existing infrastructure and promote skills transfer to support emerging industries such as renewables and CCS. <applies to inshore waters>

Carbon Capture and Storage

National Marine Plan

Page 73

 

Regional marine plans should consider:

The potential for CCS commercialisation within their area, particularly in light of the expected future activity set out in National Planning. <applies to inshore waters>

Offshore Wind and Marine Renewable Energy

National Marine Plan

Page 78

Regional marine plans should consider:

  • Further assessing Plan Options areas against local/updated data knowledge to identify development potential, interactions and compatibility.
  • Co-ordinating and developing a better understanding of the interactions between the sector and the environment and other users. 
  • Ensuring better alignment between marine and terrestrial planning.
  • Links to relevant terrestrial plans.
  • Grid requirements and onshore infrastructures for grid.  Links to strategic grid initiatives and engagement with these e.g. the North Sea Countries Offshore Grid Initiative could also be supported by regional marine planning.
  • Co-ordinating with the Crown Estate on leasing rounds. <applies to inshore waters>

Recreation and Tourism

National Marine Plan

Page 89

Regional marine plans should consider:

  • Identifying thematic links to other regions and acknowledging the different methods of travel across Scotland e.g. Great Glen route.
  •  Identifying important areas for protection, provisions and improvements to access and facilities to support the sector. 
  •  Promoting/ensuring better engagement between sectors and other marine users e.g. Inshore Fisheries Groups and sea anglers.
  • Aligning with Tourism Development Areas within Local Development Plans and promote marine based development strategies.
  • Promoting education and the use of codes of conduct and good practice guidance, including signage.
  • Supporting sustainable tourism including sustainable transport and green tourism. <applies to inshore waters>

Shipping, Ports, Harbours and Ferries

National Marine Plan

Page 98

Regional marine plans should consider :

Identifying regionally important ports and harbours and setting out criteria against which proposed development and use should be evaluated. <applies to inshore waters>

Submarine Cables

National Marine Plan

Page 109

Regional marine plans should consider identifying suitable areas for land fall of submarine cables and integrate with spatial priorities for submarine cables within Local Development Plans. <applies to inshore waters>

Defence

National Marine Plan

Page 116

Regional marine planners and defence interests should:

  • engage on a proactive basis to ensure that the operational requirements of defence are taken into account in the development of marine plans. <applies to inshore waters>

Aggregates

National Marine Plan

Page 123

Regional marine plans should consider:

if areas of aggregate or mineral resource require any degree of safeguarding. <applies to inshore waters>