Planning Circular 1/2015: relationship between the statutory land use planning system and marine planning and licencing

The circular explains the relationship between the marine and terrestrial planning systems, including related regimes such as marine licencing and consenting for offshore energy generation, ports and harbours development and aquaculture.

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1. The term 'terrestrial planning' is used throughout this document to refer to all elements of the land use planning system.

2. Powers extend to continental shelf limits. Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

3. The ' Scottish marine area' means the area of sea within the seaward limits of the territorial sea of the United Kingdom adjacent to Scotland - Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 Section 1.

4. The ' UK marine area' includes the territorial seas and offshore area adjacent to the UK. This includes the area of sea designated as the UK Exclusive Economic Zone, the UK sector of the continental shelf and any areas submerged by seawater at mean high spring tides, as well as the tidal extent of rivers, estuaries and creeks - Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, Section 42.

5. Initial Principles for Developing Assessments to Support Regional Marine Plans

6. The Marine Licensing (Consultees) (Scotland) Order 2011

7. National strategies include - A Data Vision for Scotland

8. See Planning Advice Note 1/2013: Environmental Impact Assessment

9. Finalised plans to be published in 2015.

10. In relation to renewable energy, the term 'offshore' should not necessarily be taken to mean in the offshore marine area i.e. outside 12 nautical miles. The term offshore refers to the marine environment and could include activity within 0-12 nautical miles.

11. Based on an analysis of resource and constraint and informed by SEA, HRA, Strategic Social and Economic Impact Assessment and consultation.

12. A seabed lease from the Crown Estate is also required although this is not related to the marine planning process.

13. The power to provide that marine fish farming is not development is contained in the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (Section 26 AB) introduced by the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010.


Email: Planning and Architecture Division,

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