This Consultation Analysis sets out the results of a variety of methods by which respondents could make their views known on two documents that had been prepared as part of the process of developing a pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan. The documents were a Planning Issues and Options Consultation Paper and a draft Environmental Report, which were published on the Scottish Government website on 17 June 2013 with responses requested by 26 July 2013.
This Consultation Analysis outlines the findings of the formal written comments sent in response to the consultation papers and an analysis of the findings of workshops and drop in sessions held in Kirkwall and Thurso during the week beginning 1 July 2013. The workshops and drop in sessions were organised in collaboration with researchers from the International Centre for Island Technology ( ICIT) at Heriot Watt University who are working on a European Union funded project based on marine spatial planning.
There were 30 formal written responses received in relation to the Planning Issues and Options Consultation Paper and 6 in response to the draft Environmental Report. The workshops were attended by 34 participants in Kirkwall and 38 in Thurso and the evening drop in sessions were attended by approximately 24 and 30 people in Kirkwall and Thurso respectively.
Detailed comments were provided to the consultation and there was wide ranging discussion on a variety of issues at the workshops and drop in sessions. The key findings of the analysis of the responses from these are summarised below (in no order of priority). The respondents felt that the following were all needed to ensure that the Plan was fit for purpose:
- A clear vision and objectives for the Plan.
- Clear and consistent use of terminology and definitions and links to relevant Scottish Government work, plans and other relevant information.
- A very clear need for on-going consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.
- Clarity regarding what information will be used for the evidence base to inform the Plan.
- Respondents provided detailed comments in relation to the proposed policies.
- The need for a balanced and sustainable approach to planning.
- The Plan area should be based on the proposed Scottish Marine Regions Orkney and North Coast regions.
- The need for integration of marine and terrestrial planning.
- The need to ensure that existing legislation is taken account of and that the policies do not add unnecessary extra requirements.
- The need for an overarching spatial policy for the Plan.
These points and the results of the Consultation Analysis will be taken into account during the next stage of drafting the pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan. A separate Consultation Report that supports this Consultation Analysis will set out in detail how the comments received will be addressed in the Draft Plan.