Pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan: Consultation Analysis

This document analyses the results of a variety of consultation opportunities in relation to the development of the pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters marine spatial plan. This analysis will inform the next stage of the development of the marine spati

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

1.1.1 A pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan is currently being developed by a Working Group consisting of Marine Scotland, the Highland Council and Orkney Islands Council. A Plan Scheme was published in November 2012 and this outlined the process of developing the marine spatial plan and indicated when there would be an opportunity for public consultation.

1.1.2 A National Marine Plan is currently being prepared and will provide a planning framework to manage the competing demands for the use of the sea whilst protecting the marine environment. The National Marine Plan outlines the requirement for regional marine plans to be developed across Scotland and this pilot marine spatial plan will provide the basis for the future development of Regional Marine Plans.

1.1.3 The Working Group prepared two documents, a Planning Issues and Options Consultation Paper and a draft Environmental Report. These two documents were published on the Scottish Government website on 17 June 2013 with responses to the consultation requested by 26 July 2013.

1.1.4 The Planning Issues and Options Consultation Paper contained 19 questions, 3 of which had sub questions requesting a score of importance against an issue. All except one question were open questions which allowed respondents to express their views or provide suggestions. There were also two sections relating to the crosscutting or overarching marine planning policies and the sectoral policies where respondents were invited to comment on as many policies as they wished. There were no specific questions associated with these sections.

1.1.5 The draft Environmental Report had 6 open questions that allowed respondents to provide comments on each section of the report.

1.1.6 For the purposes of this Consultation Analysis the pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Water Marine Spatial Plan will be referred to as "the Plan", the Planning Issues and Options Consultation Paper as the " PIOP" and the draft Environmental Report as the " ER".

1.2 Consultation

1.2.1 In accordance with the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005: Section 16(2) Environmental Report, the consultation was advertised publicly in the print media ( The Orcadian and the John O'Groat Journal) in June 2013.

1.2.2 In addition, information regarding the consultation was sent to a list of >250 stakeholders with an interest in this work ( Annex 1) and it was highlighted on the webpages of each of the Working Group members (Marine Scotland, the Highland Council and Orkney Islands Council).

1.2.3 The consultation also included workshops, drop in sessions and the opportunity for face to face meetings in Kirkwall and Thurso. These events were organised by the Working Group in collaboration with marine social scientist researchers from the International Centre for Island Technology ( ICIT) at Heriot Watt University. These were widely advertised via posters in the local area, local websites, community forums and a flyer in the local newspapers ( The Orcadian and John O'Groat Journal) in the week before the events.

1.2.4 As this consultation consisted of a range of ways in which people could make their views known this report will contain an analysis of each so that all the information can be found in the same place.

1.3 Analysis Method

1.3.1 The analysis of the responses to the consultation has been undertaken following the Scottish Government's Good Practice Guidance (updated May 2010). The guidance ensures that the responses are analysed objectively and accurately, and that the reporting of the findings is accessible and transparent. A copy of this guidance is available on request from PFOWmarinespatialplan@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

1.3.2 This analysis has been undertaken by members of the Working Group with contributions from the researchers at ICIT Heriot Watt University.

1.4 Report Structure

1.4.1 This report has been prepared to set out the results of the analysis of all the different ways in which consultation on the Planning Issues and Options Consultation Paper and the draft Environmental Report has been undertaken.

1.4.2 In order to have all the analysis in one document this report deals with each different type of consultation in a separate section as follows:

  • Section 1 (this section) provides an introduction to the consultation and background to the consultation documents,
  • Section 2 provides the analysis for the Planning Issues and Options Consultation Paper,
  • Section 3 provides the analysis for the draft Environmental Report and a summary of responses received to the Screening and Scoping document related to this Environmental Report,
  • Section 4 provides the analysis of the notes and feedback from the workshops held on 1 July 2013 in Kirkwall and 4 July 2013 in Thurso,
  • Section 5 provides an analysis of the notes and feedback forms from the evening drop in sessions in Kirkwall and Thurso,
  • Section 6 is a contribution for the part of the workshops that were run by ICIT Heriot Watt University,
  • Section 7 sets out the key findings from the consultation analysis.

1.5 Report Availability and Distribution

1.5.1 The report has been compiled in line with best practice and the analysis has been made available to maximise the transparency of the decision making process.

1.5.2 The report will be made available on the Scottish Government consultations website and the pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Water Marine Spatial Plan website.


Back to top