Objectives and policies for this sector should be read subject to those set out in the General Policies and Strategic Objectives. It is recognised that not all of the objectives can necessarily be achieved directly through the marine planning system, but they are considered important context for planning and decision making.
The Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force use Scotland's seas for defence purposes. They require:
Marine planning policies
DEFENCE 1: To maintain operational effectiveness in Scottish waters used by the armed services, development and use will be managed in these areas:
- Naval areas including bases and ports: Safety of navigation and access to naval bases and ports will be maintained. The extent to which a development or use interferes with access or safety of navigation, and whether reasonable alternatives can be identified, will be taken into account by consenting bodies. Proposals for development and use should be discussed with the MOD at an early stage in the process.
- Firing Danger Areas: Development of new permanent infrastructure is unlikely to be compatible with the use of Firing Danger Areas by the MOD. Permitted activities may have temporal restrictions imposed. Proposals for development and use should be discussed with the MOD at an early stage in the process.
- Exercise Areas: Within Exercise Areas, activities may be subject to temporal restrictions. Development and use that either individually or cumulatively obstructs or otherwise prevents the defence activities supported by an exercise area may not be permitted. Proposals for development and use should be discussed with the MOD at an early stage in the process.
- Communications: Navigations and surveillance including radar: Development and use which causes unacceptable interference with radar and other systems necessary for national defence may be prohibited if mitigation cannot be determined. Proposals for development and use should be discussed with the MOD at an early stage in the process.
DEFENCE 2: For the purposes of national defence, the MOD may establish by-laws for exclusions and closures of sea areas. In most areas this will mean temporary exclusive use of areas by the MOD. Where potential for conflict with other users is identified, appropriate mitigation will be identified and agreed with the MOD, prior to planning permission, a marine licence, or other consent being granted.
DEFENCE 3: The established code of conduct for managing fishing and military activity detailed in the documents 'Fishing Vessels Operating in Submarine Exercise Areas' and 'Fishing Vessel Avoidance: The UK Code of Practice Fishing Vessel Avoidance' will be adhered to.
Regional policy: 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>