2. Planning Issues and Options Consultation Paper
2.1.1 The Planning Issues and Options Consultation Paper ( PIOP) was published on the Scottish Government website on 17 June 2013 along with the draft Environmental Report ( ER) (see Section 3) with responses requested by 26 July 2013.
2.1.2 These two documents are analysed separately for the purposes of this Consultation Analysis.
2.2 Number of Responses
2.2.1 A total of 30 responses were received in relation to the PIOP. Two of these respondents also included a separate response relating to the draft ER and one respondent included comments on the draft ER as a joint response to both the PIOP and ER. These three responses were considered as part of the draft ER analysis and are not included for further analysis in this section.
2.2.2 There were two responses received from East Ayrshire and Perth and Kinross councils who acknowledged the consultation but noted they had no further comment.
2.2.3 The majority of respondents responded using the consultation questionnaire (23 of the 30 responses), with the remainder sending their responses in letter form.
2.2.4 Each response received for the consultation was read in detail and given due consideration. The responses were published online where respondents had given permission to do so and a list of respondents is included in Annex 2.
2.2.5 For the purposes of the analysis outlined below only responses that provided comment or text were discussed, those that did not supply text or provided text such as "no comment", "no" or "have nothing further to add" were counted as "no response".
2.3 Respondent Classification
2.3.1 Each respondent to the consultation was assigned to one of seven broad stakeholder groups and then subdivided (where necessary) to a further sub-group to allow a detailed analysis of their responses. Table 2.1 shows the seven groups and 16 sub-groups used in the consultation analysis.
2.3.2 The number of responses from each group are shown in Tables 2.2. and 2.3 and Figures 2.1 and 2.2. It can be seen that commercial, recreation and public sectors account for 60% (20% each) of the responses with 6 responses each and fisheries/aquaculture and individuals accounting for 30% (17 and 13% each) with 5 and 4 responses respectively. Non-governmental organisations and one forum account for the remaining 10% (7 and 3%) with 2 and 1 response(s) respectively.
|Broad Stakeholder Group||Detailed Stakeholder Sub Group|
|Seaweed Harvesting and Cultivation|
|Other commercial bodies|
|Public Sector||Local Authorities|
|Other Public Bodies|
|Fisheries and Aquaculture||Fishermen's Associations|
|Local Fishing Association|
|Non-Governmental Organisations||Environmental Group|
|Broad Stakeholder Group||Total Replies||Percentage Share|
|Fisheries and Aquaculture||5||17|
|Detailed Stakeholder Sub Group||Total Replies||Percentage Share of Sub Group||Percentage Share of Broad Group|
|Seaweed Harvesting and Cultivation||1||3||17|
|Other commercial bodies||2||7||33|
|Other Public Bodies||3||10||50|
|Local Fishing Association||3||10||60|
2.3.3 The response rates by sub group show that some groups represented the total responses for the associated broad stakeholder group (Local Forum, Private Individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations) whereas others had a wider range of representation. For example, the broad Stakeholder Group of Recreation had three sub groups represented (Kayaking, Canoeing and Yachting). The sub groups associated with the Commercial and Public Sector Broad Stakeholder Groups also had a range of representation.
2.3.4 The Fisheries and Aquaculture Stakeholder group was represented by local and national fisheries Associations (4 of five responses) and an Aquaculture Association. In the text below this group is referred to as fisheries/aquaculture where responses from all sub groups are being taken into consideration. However, where responses from the sub group of aquaculture or the fisheries associations are dealt with individually this will be noted by referring to either "fisheries sector" or "aquaculture sector".
2.4 Geographical Distribution of Respondents
2.4.1 The geographical distribution of the respondents is shown in Figure 2.3. Responses for Orkney and Caithness and Sutherland were fairly even with 9 responses from Orkney and 6 from Caithness and Sutherland and 2 more from respondents representing the wider Highland area. Nearly half of the responses were from businesses or individuals representing organisations with a Scotland wide remit (12 out of 30 responses).
2.4.2 Overall, there was a good range of responses from a variety of stakeholders across the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters region. The responses included individuals and organisations representing both local and national interests.
2.5 Analysis of Responses
2.6.1 The majority of the responses focused on the consultation questions but some respondents provided a more general response that did not specifically relate to the questions. Where possible these responses are discussed under the relevant question. Where the response was very general the response was dealt with under Question 19 where respondents were able to provide any other comments that they wished.
2.6.2 The majority of the responses provided information for all the questions but others did not provide a response to every question. Those that did not supply text or provided text such as "no comment", "no" or "have nothing further to add" were counted as "no response".
2.7 Analysis of Consultation Questions
2.7.1 Sections 2.8 to 2.32 present the analysis of the responses to the 19 questions and the two sections that asked for comments on the Crosscutting and Overarching and the sectoral policies.
2.7.2 All the questions except one were open questions where respondents could provide comments. These have been analysed and are reported below.
2.7.3 Three of the open questions also had a sub section that requested a rank of how important the respondent considered a specific issue. These are presented in a quantitative form to provide an indication of the relative importance of each issue.
2.8 Question 1.
Are there other legislation, policies or plans not identified in Table 4.1 and Annex 3 that should be considered in the development of the Pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan?
2.8.1 There were 20 responses in relation to this question, with 6 responses from the public sector, 4 each from the commercial sector and fisheries/aquaculture sectors, 3 from the recreation sector and 1 each from a non-governmental organisation, a private individual and a forum.
2.8.2 The respondents generally felt the list in Table 4.1 and Annex 3 was comprehensive but there were suggestions for additions and these are listed below:
- Individual and collective well being as measured by the Office for National Statistics.
- River Basin Management Planning is not explicitly included
- Aquaculture and Fisheries Scotland Act 2013.
- Add "windsurfing and paddlesport" to the text associated with the Bathing Water Directive 2006 (Page 117, Annex 3 [of the PIOP]).
- A policy document from SportScotland: http://www.sportscotland.org.uk/resources/Out_There.
- Caithness Local Plan (2002) and Sutherland Local Plan (2010) - both "as continued in force (2012)".
- Forthcoming Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan and associated Main Issues Report.
- Highland Biodiversity Action Plan.
- Caithness Biodiversity Action Plan.
- Sutherland Biodiversity Action Plan.
- Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership works on a three- year Delivery Plan and a Vision for the area in 2020.
- Scottish Government's Offshore Wind and Marine Energy Route Maps.
- Electricity Generation Policy Statement.
- Common Fisheries Policy.
- OSPAR Convention (The Convention for the Protection of the marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic).
- Climate Change (Scotland) Act.
- Marine Protected Areas.
- Additional Special Protection Areas ( SPAs) designations.
- Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters.
- Marine Energy Park.
- Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 as amended by the Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006.
- The Scottish Governments Food Strategy.
- Building a sustainable future for aquaculture - EC COM ( 2009) 162.
- Scotland's National Marine Plan consultation draft.
2.8.3 One respondent stated that ownership of the foreshore had not been taken into account.
2.8.4 Two respondents highlighted that, for their area of interest, there may not be a relevant policy that could be included. One respondent requested consideration be given to seaweed and it's exploitation and another respondent raised concerns that there is currently no National Plan or Policy for commercial fishing.
2.8.5 One respondent from the public sector referred to previous information provided to the Working Group on additional regional and local policies relevant to consideration of landscapes and seascapes and coastal zone development.
2.8.6 Other responses from the public sector included a correction relating to terminology used in part of the table and another welcomed the approach taken by the Plan and noted it would be important to take account of Scottish Water's regulatory structure and financing in the event that there are specific measures identified for the water industry.
2.8.7 Some respondents made more general comments that are summarised below:
- Rights of navigation should be considered.
- There has been voluntary electro-fishing and survey work to provide information to allow mapping of all known local sea trout spawning burns.
- The Marine Spatial Plan should be set in the context of overall sustainable development and take socio-economic aspects into account at the policy development stage.
- There was a suggestion from two recreation sector respondents that there needs to be a stand alone Recreation Policy (this will be discussed further in Section 2.32 when dealing with Proposed Policy 21 on Tourism and recreation).
- The respondents generally felt that Table 4.1 and Annex 3 were comprehensive. Where information was noted as missing the respondents provided additional information.
- There were two comments that highlighted that there were no policies that could be included for some sectors and a request that this be taken into account.
2.9 Question 2.
Is there other information that you think should be used to inform the development of the marine spatial plan for Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters?
2.9.1 There were 20 responses to this question, 6 from the public sector, 4 each from the recreation and fisheries/aquaculture sectors, 3 from the commercial sector 2 from individuals and 1 from a forum.
2.9.2 Two respondents highlighted an error in the text that gave a reference to a non-existent Section 15 in the document. Both respondents stated that this meant they were not able to provide a detailed response to this question. Section 15 was changed to Section 14 during the drafting of the document and some of the referencing was not updated.
2.9.3 There were a range of specific and general comments in relation to this question and some concern that not all the relevant information was included. Where gaps were highlighted respondents supplied information they felt should be included and others highlighted further research that should be included.
2.9.4 Three out of the four responses from the fisheries/aquaculture sector highlighted the importance of understanding the locations of spawning and nursery grounds and other potential areas of aggregation of fish stocks for Orkney's key commercial shellfish species. One of these correspondents expanded on this to say a better understanding of the tidal distribution of crustacean and bi-valve mollusc larvae is required as this is a critical gap in knowledge.
2.9.5 One respondent highlighted the Orkney Shellfish Research Project, which is using Succorfish loggers to track fishing patterns and movement of inshore fishery vessels, as a source of information that would be useful to inform the marine spatial planning process.
2.9.6 One respondent from the aquaculture sector stated that "the presumption against all marine fin fish farming on the north and east coasts of Scotland has no scientific basis or other justification and is outdated on any basis of logic". The respondent felt the Plan should have a more appropriate policy if it is to support the growth of finfish aquaculture.
2.9.7 The public sector respondents provided varied comments. One raised concerns that there was insufficient reference to the considerable information available about the environment and biodiversity in the Plan area. The respondent provided a list of key aspects that should be included and referred to previous advice that had been provided. Two other public sector respondents also reiterated that they were willing to share information which may be helpful, this included a review of existing data and reports relating to the economic impacts associated with the development of the marine renewables sector.
2.9.8 Another public sector respondent highlighted that measures must be evidence based, proportionate and underpinned by scientific assessment. The same respondent noted that mixing zones for final effluent discharges may not be compatible with some other activities. A further note was provided regarding the size or level of activity that should be considered to inform the Plan. The question was raised as to whether the same level as provided for the Scottish Marine Atlas would be an option.
2.9.9 The remaining two public sector respondents provided sources of information that could be useful. This included information on sailing facilities and the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Delivery Plan and Vision. One respondent noted that activities that are in the planning stage should be taken into account. Information on landscape considerations was also provided as was a link to a Crown Estate report on onshore infrastructure and other Enabling Actions publications.
2.9.10 The comments from the commercial sector covered the need to include seaweed harvesting and cultivation as Orkney has "probably the best and most concentrated stocks" of seaweed in the British Isles and suggestions as to where to find further data. Concerns regarding the lack of reference to data sets used to develop the Plan were raised by two commercial sector respondents.
2.9.11 The recreation sector comments covered the lack of a Local Amenity Use by residents, the on-going traditional access at small beaches for kayaking and the use of these waters by a variety of groups. Two respondents welcomed the forthcoming Tourism and Recreation study and stated they would wish to be involved in the study.
2.9.12 Two recreation sector respondents also noted that the quality of life benefits in this area are not easily quantifiable but are something they considered to be worth noting. A similar point was raised by another fisheries respondent in general comments about the "Orcadian identity" and quality of life.
2.9.13 Responses from one individual specifically commented on the risk development may have on diving sea birds and the special importance of nesting peregrines on Dunnet Head. Another felt only Caithness and Orkney should be considered as part of the Plan and Sutherland should be removed.
2.9.14 The response from the forum representative highlighted that the on-shore elements to support the marine renewables in Orkney were not included in any of the reports listed.
- There was concern that not all data sources had been used and listed.
- Several stakeholders expressed a willingness to share data.
- The location of fisheries spawning and nursery grounds was highlighted as a knowledge gap.
- The difficulty of quantifying "quality of life" was raised.
2.10 Question 3.
Considering paragraph 6.5, are there other stakeholder engagement and governance related issues that should be investigated through the pilot marine planning process?
2.10.1 There were 18 responses in total to this question, 5 from the public sector, 4 each from the commercial and fisheries/aquaculture sector, 3 from individuals and 2 from the recreation sector.
2.10.2 The responses to this question were varied and ranged from agreeing that relevant stakeholders had been included in the process to detailed advice on how to improve stakeholder engagement. The main issues raised are discussed below.
Analysis of stakeholder engagement and lessons learned
2.10.3 It was suggested that a comprehensive stakeholder analysis could be useful in determining opportunities for improving relationships between certain stakeholder groups.
2.10.4 One of the main themes was that of addressing potential barriers to participation for stakeholders and learning from previous similar work. There is a need to be aware that many islanders have different roles and could have an input to the process from many different areas of expertise. There may be a need to time consultation with different groups so that information is provided and collected at the most efficient time to inform the development of the Plan.
2.10.5 The importance of learning from previous similar work and using the "lessons learned" of these projects was emphasised. The importance of undertaking a similar exercise at the end of the process of developing a Plan was noted.
2.10.6 Some respondents provided information regarding organisations that may be able to contribute to the stakeholder engagement process.
Range of stakeholders
2.10.7 There was a recognition that not all stakeholders will be local to the region and that although some associations may capture a UK perspective they would not necessarily be able to provide information on e.g. recreational use of the area from outwith the UK. An example of the Shipping Study was given where, although the experience of many stakeholders was used, the study was limited to some extent by the use of Automatic Identification System ( AIS) and the fact that not all stakeholders using the area were able to be consulted.
2.10.8 The opposite view was also expressed with one respondent saying that there is not enough representation at a local level. The respondent felt representation should be at the local level and not through Highland Council.
2.10.9 It was noted that some stakeholder groups can be difficult to engage with but it should be recognised that it is necessary to do so as their representative organisations may not reflect their view.
2.10.10 One respondent felt it would be useful to establish definitions for the roles and responsibilities of the Working Group, Advisory Group and statutory and non-statutory stakeholders and the wider public. It was suggested this would avoid any mismatches between expectations for participation and outcomes.
2.10.11 Another respondent stated that the private sector should be represented on any working, advisory and decision making groups and bodies.
- There was general support for the way in which stakeholders had been engaged.
- Suggestions of organisations that could contribute were provided.
- The importance of contacting different groups both within and outwith the UK was emphasised.
- Using "lessons learned" and undertaking a similar process at the end of the Marine Spatial Plan process was encouraged.
2.11 Question 4.
Do you agree with the identified purposes and users of the marine spatial plan set out in Section 6? Are there additional or alternative purposes or users of the plan that should be considered?
2.11.1 There were 23 responses to this question (though one referred to the response given to a previous question). There were 5 responses each from the public sector and the recreation sector, 4 from the fisheries/aquaculture sector, 3 each from the commercial sector and a private individuals, 2 from non-governmental organisations and 1 from a forum.
2.11.2 There was general support for the identified purposes and users of the Plan. Some respondents suggested additional text and/or users should be added. One respondent gave examples of where the text in other related documents and this document could give rise to confusion.
2.11.3 The additional users that were suggested were:
- Seaweed harvesting. Local added value conservation and seaweed cultivation.
- Local amenity use by local residents.
- The Crown Estate (as a business and as a public authority under the Marine (Scotland) Act (2009).
- Non-Governmental organisations.
- Research institutions.
- Recreation as a stand alone sector.
- Oil and gas sector.
- Electricity grid provider.
- Port Authorities/Harbour Trusts/Highland Council Harbours.
- Ministry of Defence.
- Department of Energy and Climate Change.
- Scottish Ministers.
- Marine energy support contractors.
- Business and industry forums.
- Investors and developers.
2.11.4 Suggestions for alternative or additional text were provided by respondents. These varied in how detailed they were but were generally provided in relation to the purposes of the Plan and some views were shared by more than one respondent. The main views are outlined below:
Purpose of the Plan
2.11.5 There was general agreement with the purpose of the Plan but some respondents felt that the text should be more explicit to be clear what the Plan is aiming to achieve. In some cases, alternative text was suggested.
2.11.6 Two respondents specifically supported the development of a vision for the Plan so that it is clear what the overall aim of the Plan is. A respondent from a non-governmental organisation highlighted that one of the purposes is to achieve sustainable development and that this should include "the protection and, where appropriate, enhancement of the health of the Plan area"
2.11.7 One respondent provided detailed comments regarding the text in the Plan Framework document, the Plan Scheme and the PIOP and highlighted where there was a lack of clarity.
2.11.8 Two (of five) respondents from the recreation sector provided similar responses and proposed that Recreation should be a stand alone user of the marine environment. Their comments highlighted that there are several users groups within "Recreation" but that many of them have differing needs that require to be taken into account.
2.11.9 Some respondents suggested additional policies that the Plan should support:
- Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
- National Marine Plan.
- Marine Policy Statement.
- Sectoral Marine Plans.
2.11.10 One respondent emphasised that there must be provision for assets e.g. sea outfalls and take into account the need to safeguard against potential uses that may conflict with such needs.
2.11.11 The Plan could be used to help the integration of the terrestrial and marine planning regimes.
2.11.12 One fisheries respondent stated that the Plan should note the right to navigation and the right to fish and another stated that there is not enough consideration into the repercussions on local fishermen's jobs.
- There was general support for the purposes and users of the Plan listed and also for Vision.
- Additional text was provided by some respondents.
- Further users of the Plan were suggested by some respondents
- One respondent highlighted inconsistencies in the text between related documents.
2.12 Question 5.
Should the existing Pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan boundary be realigned with the boundaries of the proposed Scottish Marine Regions or do you think the existing "strategic area" boundary is appropriate? (Refer to Figures 5 and 6).
2.12.1 There were 25 responses to this question. There were 6 from the recreation sector, 5 from the public sector, 4 each from the commercial and fisheries/aquaculture sector, 3 from individuals, 2 from non-governmental organisations and one from a forum.
2.12.2 Of the responses 16 support the realignment of the Plan boundary to correspond with the proposed Scottish Marine Regions, 4 responses were neutral and did not express a preference, 4 responses suggested an alternative approach and one response was that it was inappropriate to realign the boundary but did not provide any further information.
2.12.3 Where respondents gave reasons for supporting the alignment of the boundaries with the proposed Scottish Marine Regions these included consistency, an integrated approach, less bureaucracy, less duplication of effort, streamlining of the marine planning process and taking a holistic approach.
2.12.4 Two respondents from the fisheries sector (who were neutral as to which area should be used) both expressed a need to include the Inshore Fisheries Group boundaries into the Plan when they have been confirmed.
2.12.5 Two other respondents (one individual and a commercial sector representative) provided further detail and concerns regarding the boundaries of the Scottish Marine Regions. The concerns related to conflict of interests regarding the control of shipping and how the administrative regions would work together to ensure consistency in planning matters.
2.12.6 Alternatives were suggested by 4 respondents (individual respondent, non-governmental organisation, public and commercial sector). These included:
- Not including Sutherland, just Caithness and Orkney.
- Altering the forthcoming Scottish Marine Regions to be contiguous with the strategic area boundary owing to concerns about retaining continuity between the plan and the ecological unit of the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters.
- Amending the proposed Scottish Marine Regions to match the Plan area owing to concerns regarding the number of plans the area would be subject to. The respondent stated that doing this would reduce the number of plans that would pertain to the area from seven to five.
- Supporting Marine Scotland to extend the existing boundaries to include West Highlands, Moray and Shetland to enable and support sustainable economic growth across the Highlands and Islands.
2.12.7 Other points raised were further clarity being required regarding adoption of the Plan as supplementary guidance and the relationships between the National Marine Plan and the Sectoral Plans. One respondent noted that the relationship between the Plan and the statutory Regional Marine Plan requires further clarification. The overlap in marine planning and land based planning jurisdictions would also need to be fully clarified.
- Most respondents support the alignment of the boundary of the Plan with the proposed Scottish Marine Regions.
- Clarity is required on how other plans e.g. National Marine Plan, Sectoral Plan etc. will be taken into account.
2.13 Question 6.
How should the pilot plan and/or the marine planning systems facilitate and support integration between the terrestrial and marine planning systems? (See paragraphs 6.16 - 6.17).
2.13.1 There were 22 responses to this question with 6 responses from the public sector, 5 from the recreation sector, 3 each from the commercial and fisheries/aquaculture sector, 2 each from individuals and non-governmental organisations and one from a forum.
2.13.2 Nearly all comments received supported an integrated approach to the terrestrial and marine planning systems and emphasised the importance of such an approach. One respondent felt that intervention should be at a local level and not from outwith the area.
2.13.3 In addition, the comments supported collaboration between the planning authorities and highlighted the importance of ensuring that this process and the authorities roles were clear.
2.13.4 There were also some comments in relation to ensuring that the timing of development and consultation on the relevant local development plans and marine plans was carefully planned to encourage engagement in the process. The involvement of a wide range of stakeholders in the preparation of the Plan was suggested as a way to ensure integration of the two planning systems.
2.13.5 The need for clear guidance was raised and some stakeholders mentioned the Planning Circular being developed by Marine Scotland (out to consultation until November 2013) as a means of providing this. Another respondent suggested the Shoreline Management Plan as an approach which aims to ensure sustainable coastal development.
2.13.6 The comments reflected an understanding that integrating the two processes in a clear manner was necessary and that there was potential for confusion, conflict and delays to development otherwise.
2.13.7 Reference was made to coordination with the third National Planning Framework ( NPF3).
2.13.8 Aquaculture was given as an example of an industry that has a unique position in marine and terrestrial planning and there were concerns raised by two respondents (non-governmental organisation and aquaculture sector) that this could give rise to confusion and inconsistency. A suggestion was made that a specific liaison role within the local authority to work across both regimes might aid better communications. One respondent stated that the Plan should address the issue of "primacy" to make it clear how this will be dealt with.
2.13.9 Two responses from the fisheries sector emphasised that the marine and terrestrial environments are very different and this will have to be taken into account when developing planning systems that deal with both environments.
2.13.10 Marine litter was given as an example of a problem that relates to both the marine and terrestrial environment (as the source of some marine litter is from land) and would have to be managed in both environments.
- Most respondents agreed there was a need for integration of the marine and terrestrial planning systems.
- The need for this integration to be clear and have guidance for raised
- Coordination between a wide range of stakeholders and authorities is required.
- Coordination between plans such as the third National Planning Framework ( NPF3) is required.
- Aquaculture was given as an example of where the planning process can be confusing.
2.14 Question 7
How should the adjoining terrestrial areas be mapped in the pilot marine spatial plan? Do you agree with the proposed key principles set out at paragraph 6.18?
2.14.1 There were 24 responses to this question. Six from the recreation sector, 5 from the public sector, 4 each from the commercial and fisheries/aquaculture sectors, 2 each from individuals and non-governmental organisations and one from a forum.
2.14.2 There were 12 responses which supported the key principles as set out in the PIOP. The other responses either provided comments on specific Principles as set out in the PIOP or made general comments about how the Principles could be improved. Some comments seemed to indicate that the respondents felt the Principles were choices rather than a connected list. Some of these respondents expressed a preference for a particular Principle.
2.14.3 The specific comments in relation to each Principle (as set out in the PIOP) are grouped below:
2.14.4 There were two comments in relation to this Principle. One (from the public sector) agreed the need to avoid duplication but felt it was important adjoining terrestrial areas are appropriately mapped and the other (commercial sector) felt some clarification was needed as to what was, and was not, mapped.
2.14.5 Two respondents from the recreation sector gave similar comments in relation to Principle 2. One stated it would give the most comprehensive coverage and the other that it would provide all the information in one spot. Another response from the recreation sector suggested that this Principle should reference coastal visitor attractions or other points of interest.
2.14.6 There were five respondents that specifically disagreed with Principle 3 (3 recreation and 2 public sector respondents ( SNH and SEPA)) and one from the public sector (Scottish Water) that "strongly agreed".
2.14.7 One response from the recreation sector gave no reason for disagreeing with this Principle but the two others provided the same reason which was that there should be "further consideration of whether coastal land use allocation should be mapped in the marine spatial plan".
2.14.8 The reasons that the public sector disagreed with this Principle were that coastal land use allocations and other strategic proposal such as the National Planning Framework or National Renewables Infrastructure Plan should be mapped within the Plan and, where relevant, cross referenced to the relevant Local Development Plan. This would allow access to detailed information that would provide a complete picture of what is already proposed for the area.
2.14.9 The other public sector response (Scottish Water) supported Principle 3 and agreed that coastal land use allocations should not be mapped. Additionally, this respondent felt there should be clarity as to which policies take precedence and that there should be cross referencing between the Marine Spatial Plan and relevant Local Development Plan to aid integration.
2.14.10 The comments in relation to Principle 4 suggested that key proposed coastal infrastructures were included and that clearer guidance was provided around this Principle.
2.14.11 Two respondents from the fisheries sector provided similar comments that suggested that small local ports such as Tingwall, Longhope, Pierowall, Kettletoft, Burry and St. Margaret's Hope should be recognised and protected. These small ports support key small fishing fleets and represent an important land-sea link that is not protected in legislation or planning.
2.14.12 Other comments related to the interpretation of the Principles in terms of what should be included, the importance of listing what is, and what is not, included (this point was made several times in different forms), consistency between the two Council areas and the importance of ensuring that the list is not in order of "rating" i.e. one aspect does not take precedence over another on the basis of its position in the list.
- Half of the respondents that provided comments supported the Principles as set out in the PIOP.
- There were several comments in relation to Principle 3, mostly disagreeing with this Principle as they felt all the information needed to be included to provide a complete picture.
- However, one respondent "strongly agreed" with Principle 3 and felt that coastal land use allocation should not be included.
- Of the remainder there was general support for the Principles but with suggestions to improve or clarify the text.
2.15 Question 8
Are the guiding principles and themes identified in Section 7 appropriate? Are there other guiding principles and themes that should inform the development of the pilot marine spatial plan?
2.15.1 There were 24 responses to this question. Of these 6 were from the public sector, 5 from the recreation sector, 4 from the fisheries/aquaculture sector, 3 each from the commercial sector and individuals, 2 from non-governmental organisations and one from a forum.
2.15.2 Fifteen of the responses supported or agreed with the guiding principles and themes identified in Section 7 of the PIOP. The remaining responses did not disagree with the principles and themes but provided suggestions for improvements or inclusion of other principles and themes. The responses that were in agreement also provided additional narrative in some cases.
2.15.3 The suggestions for additional guiding principles were food security and reference to the public right to fish established in statute (fisheries sector) a guiding principle of "quality of life" and the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and River Basin Management Plan (public sector) and the provision of a supporting electricity transmission network to realise the renewable generation target (Forum).
2.15.4 Two responses discussed the use and definitions of sustainable development and the ecosystem approach. One response from the public sector suggested that as sustainable development is implicit in the ecosystem approach one option might be to have the ecosystem approach as an over arching principle and sustainable development as a key cross cutting policy area. The other response from a private individual pointed out that the term ecosystem approach is defined differently in Scottish Government documents and that care is needed that the definition used is fit for purpose.
2.15.5 One response from the commercial sector suggested that the guiding principle 3 (Climate Change) should contain reference to the Scottish Government's climate change targets. Two non-governmental organisation responses suggested that adaptation to climate change should be included as a guiding principle alongside mitigation or built into the Plan elsewhere.
2.15.6 Two responses from the fisheries sector used similar wording to make the point that "societal benefits associated with the commercial fishing industry are particularly heightened in remote, rural and island communities." One of these responses also highlighted that islands need to retain their infrastructure and embedded skills to ensure self-sufficiency when food supplies may be prevented from reaching the islands.
2.15.7 There were several, generally supportive, comments regarding shared use and co-existence e.g. that commercial exploitation should not be the only consideration and the location of incompatible activities should be given equal consideration as compatible activities e.g. licensed discharges and shellfish farms may not be compatible and careful consideration needs to be given to location of incompatible activities near established legitimate activity.
2.15.8 Other responses suggested the wording around Principle 5 (Supporting co-existence and enabling multiple use of marine space) could be misinterpreted to mean certain areas would be reserved for certain activities. Three responses from the recreation sector specifically supported this principle but of these two highlighted the fact that the wording was not clear.
2.15.9 One non-governmental organisation suggested that co-existence should be extended to consider co-location in terms of human activities within designated natural heritage sites. The response highlighted that clear guidance would be needed to identify which activities may be compatible with which designation.
2.15.10 Other comments included welcoming the creation of sustainable communities and close engagement with local organisations and communities. Another comment however emphasised the importance of also consulting with stakeholders outwith the local area. There was also a suggestion that the Plan should refer to those sectors where growth is expected and relate this to work already carried out to plan for these sectors. One comment from a private individual stated that it will destroy the natural habitat and views of the North East coast.
- There was consistent agreement with the guiding principles.
- Additional suggestions for guiding principles were suggested, these included food security, the public right to fish, "quality of life", including the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and River Basin Plans and a provision to support the electricity transmission network.
- Some responses suggested extra text to include in the principles.
- The principle dealing with co-existence was welcomed but the responses indicated that the text needed to be more clear.
2.16 Question 9
What is your vision for the future of the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters area? What would you like the area to be like in 20 years time?
2.16.1 There were 24 responses to this question. Of these there were 5 each from the recreation and public sector, 4 each from the commercial and fisheries/aquaculture sectors, 3 from private individuals, 2 from non-governmental organisations and 1 from a forum.
2.16.2 The respondents vision for the future of the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters area was influenced, in most cases, by the remit of the organisation they represented or their personal interest in the area. However, a theme that linked most of the responses was one of a balanced approach to development in the marine environment with no one type of development or use having priority over the others.
2.16.3 The recreation sector responses highlighted the fact that there is an opportunity to develop a sustainable marine recreation sector. The responses also used similar wording to emphasise that this should include protection of natural, cultural and historic assets. Co-existence with other developments was also welcomed and generally accepted as necessary but with the caution that there would be compromises for each user of the marine environment.
2.16.4 One respondent from the recreation sector stated that the area could become a model of success for other areas by "balancing out the industrial, commercial, environmental and cultural aspects of this unique area".
2.16.5 SportScotland also had a similar response and would like to see a balanced approach with promotion of marine recreation. SportScotland also considers it important that the recreation sector is consulted and involved in the decision making process.
2.16.6 One response from a private individual with an interest in sailing also thought there were opportunities for the marine tourist industry and provided several suggestions as to how further participation could be encouraged. This response also included some comments on changes from fin fish farming offshore to onshore farming and the potential benefits in terms of reduction in pollution and spread of diseases to wild fish. There was also a suggestion that the location of the tugs used in the area would be better at Flotta as this would reduce pollution and costs from burning fuel while travelling from their current location. The respondent also felt the tugs could be utilised by the renewables industry.
2.16.7 The commercial sector had a more mixed response with one response from an organisation with an interest in seaweed harvesting and cultivation wanting to see a balanced approach with no one industry dominating and others with an interest in renewable energy wanting the vision for the area to reflect the importance of the wave and tidal resource.
2.16.8 The responses from the commercial sector with an interest in the renewable industry emphasised the socio-economic opportunities for the area and the importance of the area's contribution to the wider Scottish economy.
2.16.9 These responses also highlighted that renewable energy will help to achieve the Scottish Government targets for climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to decarbonisation.
2.16.10 One respondent from a renewable energy company also felt that the timescale of the vision and review period for the Plan should be given careful consideration as the renewables sector is a new, fast growing industry. This will have implications for the assumptions within the Plan. This respondent also felt that in 20 years time it would be good to have achieved an approach that meant marine energy was being extracted from the area without interference to current activities.
2.16.11 A forum (representing renewable energy) had a similar response and thought the vision should ensure that the area becomes established as a world leading location for the production of energy from the sea.
2.16.12 The responses from the public sector reflected the remit of each and, in some cases, provided links and references to reports and other information that may help inform the development of the vision.
2.16.13 One public sector response (Scottish Natural Heritage) felt that the specific vision for the Plan should be developed through consultation with the local community. This was similar to the response to SportScotland (mentioned above when discussing responses from the recreation sector) which suggested the recreation sector should be involved and consulted.
2.16.14 The more specific responses from the public sector in relation to what the vision should aim to achieve included ensuring that the good quality of the water environment in the area is maintained, reducing marine litter, preventing the spread of non-native species and contribution to well-being of local residents and visitors. One public sector respondent (Highlands and Islands Enterprise) had more emphasis on the importance of the wave and tidal energy developments and the links to the supply chain and operations and maintenance industry.
2.16.15 Two respondents from the fisheries sector used similar wording to express what their vision for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters area should be. Both wanted a "highly sustainable commercial inshore fishery with its own 'bottom up' governance" over both wild fin-fish and shellfish stocks to ensure that there were sufficient economic returns for fishermen. One of these respondents also expressed a wish for shared and non-conflicting use of marine space and this view was shared by another respondent from the fisheries sector. A respondent from the aquaculture industry expressed a similar view that the area should be one where the salmon farming industry has the confidence to invest, create jobs and enable sustainable economic growth.
2.16.16 Respondents from the commercial sector (1 response) and non-governmental organisations (2 responses) suggested that the vision for the Plan should be closely linked to the Scottish Government's vision for the marine environment i.e. "clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas, managed to meet the long term needs of nature and people". The Scottish Government's vision is linked to the UK Marine Policy Statement and it was suggested that is taken into account in developing a vision for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters. These comments also highlighted the importance of close links to, and consistency with, the National Marine Plan.
2.16.17 Comments from individuals were that one respondent with an interest in fisheries felt that there would be no fishermen remaining in the area due to interference from outside of the area and there would be no benefit to the area. Another response from a private individual was that windfarms would destroy the North East for very little benefit.
- The responses generally supported a balanced approach that enabled the shared use of the marine environment with no priority given to any particular user.
- The recreational sector felt there were opportunities to develop marine recreation.
- The commercial sector had more emphasis on the importance of the wave and tidal renewable energy industry and the socio-economic benefits.
- The fishing and aquaculture industry wanted sustainable growth of the industry and, in two cases, a bottom up approach to governance.
- Consultation with the local community to develop the vision was raised as was the importance of consistency with the National Marine Plan and the UK Marine Policy Statement.
2.17 Question 10
Are there existing marine activities that you think should be safeguarded now and into the future? For example, commercial fisheries, ferry services and recreational activities.
2.17.1 There were 24 responses to this question. There were 6 responses each from the recreation and public sectors, 4 each from the commercial and fisheries/aquaculture sectors, 3 from individuals and 1 from a forum.
2.17.2 Nine of the responses specifically supported safeguarding all legitimate existing activities. Some of the responses acknowledged the fact that for this to be the case there were likely to be compromises in the use of the marine environment as new or different developments or uses become established.
2.17.3 Three of these nine responses were from the recreation sector and two of these stated that "a suitable balance must be achieved between multiple demands on the marine environment and hope that all existing and future marine activities can be accommodated". Other responses from the recreational sector pointed that if space is to be shared navigational safety must be taken into account, that adventure tourism is increasing and should be accommodated and that the area contains some world class sea kayaking and surfing areas.
2.17.4 There was also support for safeguarding the fishing industry (4 responses from the fishing industry, and 1 from the public sector) with two responses stating that it is "a long standing and established entity in the Orkney Islands and therefore integral to island identity". The importance of the fishing industry in providing jobs was stressed as was the Public Right to Fish. The response from the public sector felt the fishing industry should be protected against the effects of marine non-native species.
2.17.5 One response from the aquaculture industry thought fish farming sites, sites that have been granted permission and areas suitable for marine salmon farms should be safeguarded. This respondent felt the Plan should identify areas where salmon farming could take place. If this was not possible then there should be a "presumption in favour of salmon farming in all areas other than those specifically identified as areas that are constrained in some way". The respondent suggested a system for identifying suitable areas should be developed.
2.17.6 A response from a private individual felt that although fisheries should be safeguarded they should not be saved. The respondent felt that it was necessary for the industry to evolve with time and to pass on experience and knowledge.
2.17.7 Two respondents specifically supported safeguarding ferry services and two responses from the commercial sector provided support for safeguarding the key wave and tidal resource in the area and also that continued development of marine energy should be supported.
2.17.8 Some responses also highlighted that there may be more informal use of the marine environment such as walking, snorkelling and swimming and that these should also be taken into consideration.
2.17.9 One response from the commercial sector felt that this question was difficult to answer at this point in the Plan process as the development of the overarching vision and objectives would set the priorities for the Plan area and thus identify those activities that would need to be safeguarded.
- There was some support for safeguarding all existing uses with an acknowledgment that some compromise will be necessary to allow this to happen.
- Other respondents supported specific uses. There were detailed responses for the recreational and fisheries sectors. Both sectors highlighted the importance of the area for their sector.
- A response from the aquaculture industry felt there should be a "presumption in favour" of salmon farming in areas where there are no other constraints.
- There was also support for safeguarding the marine energy industry and lifeline ferry services.
2.18 Question 11a
How should the protection and/or enhancement of the natural environment be considered in the marine spatial plan?
2.18.1 Note: Questions 11, 12 and 13 each consisted of two parts. Firstly, a question about protection of the natural environment, protection of the historic and cultural environment or promotion and support for economic growth respectively. Secondly, each question had an associated scale for ranking the importance of each of these issues. This was to ascertain whether one of the issues was considered more, or less, important than the others. The ranking system can only give a broad indication of importance as not all respondents completed the second part of the question and, of those that did, not all gave a score for all three issues. For the purposes of the report a short description of the scores are given at the end of the section dealing with each of these three questions and then an overview is provided after the response to Question 13b.
2.18.2 For Question 11 there were 25 responses. There were 6 from the public sector, 5 from the recreation sector, 4 each from the commercial and fisheries/aquaculture sectors, 3 from individuals, 2 from non-governmental organisations and 1 from a forum.
2.18.3 Some respondents felt that there was legislation in place already to protect and enhance the natural environment. The examples given were the Water Framework Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Two public sector bodies noted that this legislation is reflected in polices contained in, for example, Local Development Plans and that the Plan should be consistent with these.
2.18.4 Two non-governmental organisations provided comments with one outlining that Scottish Ministers have a duty under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 to further the achievement of sustainable development. Both respondents had similar views on taking an ecosystems approach so that the Plan aims to achieve or maintain Good Ecological Status under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. One respondent felt that the Plan should achieve ecological objectives that maintain or restore (a) native species diversity, (b) habitat diversity and heterogeneity, (c) populations of keystone species and (d) connectivity.
2.18.5 The opportunities for restoration or enhancement of the natural environment was shared by a public sector respondent who also stated that any proposals in the Plan should not result in a downgrade in status of associated water bodies as this would be contrary to the requirements of the Water Framework Directive.
2.18.6 Some respondents mentioned the Marine Protected Areas (under consultation until November 2013) and that the Plan should be consistent with this work. There were similar comments regarding sites that already have protection under various legislation and the sensitivities of these to development or activity. Some respondents highlighted the importance of accurate up to date spatial information regarding these areas.
2.18.7 The term "evidence based" or similar was used by five respondents when describing how decisions should be made with regard to the natural environment. One respondent from the public sector acknowledged that in some cases there are uncertainties. Another respondent from the recreation sector suggested that if there is "unreliable" scientific evidence then staged development with on-going monitoring would be acceptable.
2.18.8 Two respondents from the recreation sector used similar wording to state they wanted the protection of, and accessibility to, the natural environment to be upheld in the Plan. One of these respondents noted that there is an Environmental Policy for sea kayaking.
2.18.9 Responses from the fisheries sector noted that a healthy, functioning marine ecosystem is the foundation on which many marine industries are based and that the Plan should ensure that development does not adversely impact on protected species or habitats or those with a commercial value. One respondent from the fisheries sector and one from the aquaculture sector provided similar views that an integrated approach that considered socio-economic uses was required.
2.18.10 One respondent (commercial sector) noted that there is the possibility for co-existence even in protected areas in some cases and that the Scottish Government's Sectoral Plans take into account environmental sensitivities to ensure developments proceed in the most appropriate locations. This respondent also noted that renewable energy is key to the decarbonisation of the electricity system and therefore key to a strategy aimed at protection and/or enhancement of the natural environment.
2.18.11 One respondent from the commercial sector felt it would be difficult to prioritise between the receptors outlined in questions 11, 12 and 13 at this stage of the Plan process. This respondent felt it was necessary to have established the overarching vision and objectives to then set the priorities for the Plan area and those activities that should be safeguarded or prioritised.
2.18.12 Other comments included that developments with an unacceptable detrimental effect should not be allowed, that some current users e.g. fishing may be doing more damage that some proposed new uses, that the "strident clamour for 'jobs'" must not obscure the value of the natural environment, that careful consideration must be given to each and every issue and that some impacts can be allowed without any particular impact on overall quality.
2.18.13 One response from a private individual felt that the wildness that has recovered after two World Wars should be preserved. Another response from a private individual thought that protection of the natural environment should be undertaken by representatives from Caithness and Orkney.
- The responses reflected the fact that there is existing legislation to protect that natural environment and that this should be taken into account in the Plan.
- There may be opportunities to restore or enhance some aspects of the marine environment.
- The use of a scientific evidence base was mentioned by some respondents as was the need to carry out staged development with on-going monitoring.
- An integrated approach that included socio-economic impacts was considered to be important by some respondents.
2.19 Question 11b
Is the protection of the natural environment important? How important is it?
Please indicate on a scale of 1 - 5 (1 = Not important at all, 5 = The highest importance)
2.19.1 Of the 25 responses received for Question 11a, 22 allocated a score based on the above scale. Figure 2.4 summarises the responses.
2.20 Question 12a
How should the protection and/or enhancement of historic and culture resources ( e.g. Scapa Flow wrecks) be considered in the marine spatial plan?
2.20.1 There were 20 responses to this question. There were 5 from the recreation sector, 4 each from the commercial and fisheries/aquaculture sectors, 3 each from the public sector and individuals and 1 from a forum.
2.20.2 Of the responses received most supported the protection and/or enhancement of the historic and culture resources. Some respondents noted that there is already legislation relating to such resources and also that there are statutory requirements to consider the impacts of development proposals on them. Local Development Plans will also contain policies that reflect these requirements and the Plan should be consistent with these. One respondent felt local views on the matter should be taken.
2.20.3 One respondent had an alternative view regarding the Scapa Flow wrecks and suggested it was the story behind them that was important rather than the wrecks themselves. This respondent felt anything of value should be removed and placed in a museum. The respondent felt that it was the commercial value of the sites that was important and that consideration should be given to sinking other ships to ensure the diving associated with the wrecks continues. The importance of the Scapa Flow wrecks for sport diving was also noted by a respondent from the public sector (SportScotland).
2.20.4 The respondent who noted the importance of the story behind the wrecks also acknowledged that war graves are completely different and although they cannot be preserved as such they should be permanently marked.
2.20.5 Two respondents (fisheries sector) made the same point which was that the sea is corrosive so protection of these sites is limited.
2.20.6 One respondent from the public sector (SportScotland) suggested that it would be useful to clarify what comprises a cultural resource. The point was made that sport and recreation are an integral component of the culture of the area and could therefore be included in the protection of the cultural resources.
2.20.7 Two respondents from the recreation sector used the same wording to support the protection of, and accessibility to, historic and cultural sites and pointed out that paddlesports are one way in which some of these sites can be accessed. Another respondent from the recreation sector suggested that the Plan build on the protection given to Historic Marine Protected Areas and that other sites be considered on a case by case basis.
2.20.8 A respondent from the commercial sector with an interest in renewable energy suggested that spatial information and any restrictions relating to historic and cultural resources should be included in the Plan. The respondent also noted that a guide to dealing with historic and cultural resources in relation to marine energy developments is being prepared for Historic Scotland and should be referenced in the Plan. A response from a forum also commented that the exploitation of marine renewable energy is a continuation of mankind's historic relationship with the waters in this area.
2.20.9 One respondent from the commercial sector felt it would be difficult to prioritise between the receptors outlined in questions 11, 12 and 13 at this stage of the Plan process. This respondent felt it was necessary to have established the overarching vision and objectives to then set the priorities for the Plan area and those activities that should be safeguarded or prioritised.
- The responses reflected the fact that there is existing legislation to protect historic and cultural resources and that this should be taken into account in the Plan.
- One respondent held the view that it is the story behind the wrecks that is important rather than the wrecks themselves.
- The importance of the wrecks for the diving industry was noted by some respondents.
- One respondent suggested it would be useful to clarify what comprises a cultural resource.
- It was noted that as the sea is corrosive protection in the marine environment will be different to what is meant in the terrestrial sense.
- Spatial information and any restrictions with regard to these resources should be included in the Plan.
2.21 Question 12b
Is the protection of the natural environment important? How important is it?
Please indicate on a scale of 1 - 5 (1 = Not important at all, 5 = The highest importance)
2.21.1 Of the 22 responses received for Question 12a, 17 allocated a score based on the above scale. Figure 2.5 summarises the responses.
2.22 Question 13a
2.22.1 There were 25 responses to this question. There were 6 from the recreation sector, 5 from the public sector, 4 each from the commercial and fisheries/aquaculture sectors, 3 from individuals, 2 from non-governmental organisations and 1 from a forum.
2.22.2 This question produced a wider range of views than previous questions and although none of the responses disagreed with economic growth there were different opinions on how this should be achieved. Two responses (from the fisheries sector and a non-governmental organisation) suggested alternative measures of social and economic well being such as those used by the Office of National Statistics and those recommended by the Carnegie report 
2.22.3 Seven of the responses suggested that economic growth should be sustainable. One response from a non-governmental agency expanded this to note that growth should be within the context of the 5 guiding principles of sustainable development set out in the UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy. Another response from a public body noted that economic development should be promoted in a sustainable way that does not destroy the particular qualities of the area. This view was similar to a response from the recreation sector which suggested that exploitation of any kind was acceptable if it was beneficial, had an acceptable level of damage and allowed existing users to continue using the area.
2.22.4 A response from the commercial sector suggested sustainable growth could be achieved by supporting the Sectoral planning process and prioritising areas identified within it by introducing a presumption of use for renewable energy development in these areas.
2.22.5 Other responses felt that economic development should be a key element of the Plan and in one case a respondent (from a forum) felt it should take precedence and be the defining priority so that the maximum benefits from the renewable resources are achieved. A respondent from the fisheries sector felt that economic growth is the "prime mover for the plan" but that it should not be at the expense of traditional industries. A respondent from the public sector referenced the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership framework for onshore economic development support and suggested this would enhance the Plan.
2.22.6 A response from the commercial sector emphasised the importance of the area in terms of offshore renewable energy resources and the benefits this could mean in terms of jobs in the area. This was similar to a view held by a public sector respondent who felt the "area offers a coherent, supportive business environment designed to accelerate the commercialisation of wave and tidal technologies".
2.22.7 Some respondents provided specific information on what they felt was needed for the industry they were representing to grow. For example, one response from the commercial sector with an interest in seaweed harvesting and cultivation wanted this industry included in the scope of economic activities within the Plan. This respondent felt it was important to add value locally.
2.22.8 Responses from the recreation sector felt there were opportunities for adventure tourism, use of natural products, operational and maintenance support based at key harbours and the formation of professional paddlesport guiding companies. One respondent cautioned that there would need to be a measured approach to development to avoid a "boom town" situation and emphasised the need for training. Another response from a private individual also suggested marine tourism and sail training (possibly in collaboration with the renewable industry) were potential growth areas.
2.22.9 Another respondent from the fishing industry felt that, owing to increased development in the marine environment, increasing fuel prices and volatile market prices for catches, the prospects for innovation and growth were limited. The respondent felt there needs to be a clearer understanding of the fishing industry in Orkney and suggested that it is made a local strategic priority and that future growth in the marine environment is located, designed and managed in such a way that does not adversely impact on it. A response from another fisheries sector highlighted the importance of devolved fisheries management and the extent to which the industry in dependent on the entire area e.g. larvae distribution and locations of spawning and nursery grounds.
2.22.10 A respondent from the public sector felt that the central purpose of marine planning is to provide clarity at a strategic level with respect to key constraints and opportunities to enable robust decision making by both developers and regulators at project level.
2.22.11 A private individual provided comments on the need for infrastructure to be in place and limiting aquaculture to areas where there is sufficient flow of water to prevent damage to the sea bed and is not in direct opposition to other users. This respondent also felt that there needed to be a major study on amnesic shellfish poisoning and how it can be prevented or mitigated.
2.22.12 A response from the aquaculture sector felt the Plan should be designed and written primarily with investors/developers in mind to increase certainty and confidence. This respondent suggested salmon farming as an activity that could grow and develop.
2.22.13 One respondent from the commercial sector felt it would be difficult to prioritise between the receptors outlined in questions 11, 12 and 13 at this stage of the Plan process. This respondent felt it was necessary to have established the overarching vision and objectives to then set the priorities for the Plan area and those activities that should be safeguarded or prioritised.
- None of the responses disagreed with economic growth although there were suggestions that this could be measured using alternative methods.
- Some respondents felt economic growth should be central to the Plan, others felt a balanced approach between all users was needed.
- There were a number of responses that supported the need to have sustainable economic growth.
- There were a number of suggestions of areas for growth, unsurprisingly this was influenced by the sector the respondent represented.
2.23 Question 13b
Is promoting and supporting economic growth important?
Please indicate on a scale of 1 - 5 (1 = Not important at all, 5 = The highest importance)
2.23.1 Of the 26 responses received for Question 13a, 16 allocated a score based on the above scale. Figure 2.6 summarises the responses.
2.24 Summary of responses to Questions 11b, 12b and 13b
2.24.1 The scores were converted to a percentage to allow for the variation in the numbers of responses received for each question and the results are shown in Figure 2.7 below.
2.24.2 The scores allocated were all between 3 and 5. There were more scores of 5 for the Natural Environment and Economic Growth than there were for Historic and Culture. Conversely, there were more scores of 3 for Historic and Culture than for the Natural Environment land Economic Growth. The score most often allocated was 4 and this was more evenly distributed across all three issues.
2.24.3 Overall the scores suggest that, for the respondents that supplied a score, all three issues were important with possibly more importance attached to the Natural Environment and Economic Growth.
2.25 Question 14
Having considered Table 9.1, do you have any views on the identified aspirations for growth, strategic issues and opportunities to address the strategic issues in the pilot marine spatial plan?
2.25.1 There were 22 responses to this question. There were 6 from the public sector, 4 each from the commercial, recreation and fisheries/aquaculture sectors, 3 from individuals and 1 from a non-governmental organisation.
2.25.2 The responses to this question were provided in a different format to the preceding questions. This was owing to the fact that the question referred to Table 9.1 in the PIOP so most respondents provided detailed comments or suggested text for what should be included in relation to specific parts of the table.
2.25.3 For the purposes of this Consultation Analysis the responses have been read carefully and the main themes described below. Suggested new text or additions to the table will be carefully considered during the drafting of the Plan. Information regarding how these suggestions will be incorporated into the marine spatial plan will be provided in the Consultation Report ( i.e. the report that outlines what the Working Group will do to incorporate the findings of the Consultation Analysis).
2.25.4 There were some suggestions for additional issues to be considered in the table and these are listed below:
- Inclusion of the seaweed industry.
- The effects of climate change on commercial fish stocks and fishing activity.
- Provisions for designation of Marine Protected Areas and marine Special Protection Areas.
- Declining regional populations of common seals and seabirds.
- Risk of introduction and spread of invasive non-native species.
- Potential impacts on local water bodies.
- Acknowledgment of the need for compliance with environmental licences for discharges to the marine environment.
- Recreational sailing.
- Sport development needs and aspirations in the area.
- Location of salmon farming and associated Scottish Government policies.
2.25.5 There was little disagreement with the content of the table although some respondents provided comment on specific issues that they disagreed with e.g. a response from the recreation sector stated they did not support commercial large waste/spoil dumping. Generally, where respondents felt more clarity or information was required this was provided in their response.
2.25.6 Most respondents provided comments in relation to their particular interest so, for example, a response from the fisheries sector wanted more emphasis on safeguarding commercial fisheries and a respondent from the recreation sector wanted the area recognised as a destination for adventure tourism.
2.25.7 Some respondents pointed out where the text was not clear e.g. a respondent from the public sector suggested the wording around "Electricity Grid Infrastructure" needed changing and a commercial sector respondent highlighted references to "research, deploy and monitor" that were not clear. These corrections and clarifications will be taken into account in the drafting of the marine spatial plan.
- The format of responses was different for this question and respondents generally provided comments and suggested alternative text for specific parts of Table 9.1.
- The responses tended to be in relation to the respondents area of interest although some provided more strategic comments.
- Some respondents noted where clarification or correction was required.
- The main points in relation to this question were outlined above and the detailed comments will be taken into consideration during the drafting of the marine spatial plan.
2.26 Question 15
Having considered Table 9.2, do you have any views on the identified potential for interaction between the various sectors, what these interactions might be and how these interactions should be addressed in the pilot marine spatial plan?
2.26.1 There were 21 responses to this question. There were 5 each from the recreation and public sectors, 4 from the commercial sector, 3 each from fisheries/aquaculture and individuals and 1 from a forum.
2.26.2 The format of responses to this question were similar to those provided for question 14 in that many respondents included specific changes or corrections they felt should be made.
2.26.3 The analysis of the responses to this question therefore follows the same format as for question 14 in that the responses have been read carefully and the main themes described below. Suggested new text or additions to the table will be carefully considered during the drafting of the marine spatial plan. Information regarding how these suggestions will be incorporated into the marine spatial plan will be provided in the Consultation Report ( i.e. the report that outlines what the Working Group will do to incorporate the findings of the Consultation Analysis).
2.26.4 General comments from the respondents covered a variety of issues:
- Some respondents felt that positive and negative interactions should have been more explicitly stated.
- Some respondents requested more clarity on how the interactions in the table had been decided.
- Other respondents felt the table did not allow for flexibility e.g. different fishing gear will have different impacts, well planned aquaculture units could have less impact than badly located ones and these subtleties cannot be captured in the table.
- Two respondents (recreation and commercial sector) made a similar point in relation to renewable energy developments in that the interaction is location and technology specific.
- One respondent from the commercial sector noted that there are several groups undertaking work to help with potential interactions with the marine renewables industry and that this should be taken into account.
2.26.5 One respondent from the public sector provided references to information on key potential interactions. This respondent also suggested that in some instances the constraints on certain activities at particular locations might warrant explicit identification within the Plan.
2.26.6 One commercial sector respondent noted that managing the interaction between sectors and competing activities constitutes a key objective of the Plan and referred to a response to question 4 that emphasised the importance of developing the vision and objectives of the plan.
2.26.7 Suggestions for additional categories included the seaweed industry and recreational boating as a stand alone category.
- There were some comments that the interactions in the table required more explanation e.g. whether the interaction was positive or negative.
- Some respondents wanted more information regarding how the interactions had been decided.
- Some respondents provided suggestions for other categories that should be included e.g. the seaweed industry and recreational boating.
- The main points in relation to this question were outlined above and the detailed comments will be taken into consideration during the drafting of the marine spatial plan.
2.27 Question 16
Do you think it is important to have an overarching spatial strategy? If so, what should the strategy include and why?
2.27.1 There were 23 responses to this question. There were 6 from the public sector, 4 each from the commercial and recreation sector, 3 each from fisheries/aquaculture and individuals, 2 from non-governmental organisations and 1 from a forum.
2.27.2 Of the 23 responses received, 17 specifically supported having an overarching spatial strategy. Responses mentioned the need to have a spatial strategy to achieve the objectives set out in the vision (commercial sector) and the provision of a coherent framework to provide certainty to marine sectors (non-governmental organisation).
2.27.3 One response from a private individual felt there was no need for a spatial strategy and that it represented more red tape and interference from the South.
2.27.4 One response from the fisheries sector was uncertain as to the need for such a strategy and felt it should be based on historical access and use underpinned by fundamentals of human need e.g. food.
2.27.5 Another respondent from the fisheries sector felt the description of the proposed strategy may be "exaggerating the purpose and/or need for this". This respondent did not want any kind of master plan owing to the "lack of substantive knowledge" of the marine environment but felt having indicative information available would be useful in planning.
2.27.6 A respondent from the aquaculture sector felt the strategy should include protecting marine areas suitable for salmon farming from other development and a presumption in favour of salmon farming in all areas other than those specifically identified as being constrained.
2.27.7 A response from the recreation sector felt existing and possible future use should be incorporated into the strategy and that exploitation should only be permitted where it is of general benefit to society. Other respondents from this sector welcomed the spatial strategy as it would ensure a co-ordinated and structured approach and suggested that the main cruising routes for recreational craft are included. Another stated that they were "impressed by the work that has gone into this paper, and look forward to continued liaison". A respondent from a public body (SportScotland) also supported development of a spatial strategy.
2.27.8 A respondent from the public sector noted the need to consider how to present spatial information on mobile species and connectivity between protected sites as some types of development within the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters area may have the potential to impact area outwith the Plan area.
2.27.9 Two responses from the public sector mentioned the possibility of providing broad indications of areas of higher or lower levels of opportunity or constraint for certain types of development. A response from the commercial sector went further and suggested that there should be a presumption of use for renewable energy development in the areas identified by the Scottish Governments Sectoral plans.
2.27.10 Other responses agreed with having a spatial strategy but raised some issues with how this could be achieved. The main concerns raised were ensuring the information was up to date, allowing for flexibility, ensuring all relevant information was included, backing up the inclusion of information with evidence of how the decision was arrived at and the uncertainty associated with some data e.g. fisheries over time.
2.27.11 The need for a web based GIS tool to support the spatial strategy was supported by two respondents.
2.27.12 The need for integration with terrestrial planning and the National Planning Framework 3 was noted by two respondents from the public sector.
2.27.13 A response from a private individual suggested specific areas such as Dunnet Head and Duncansby Head should be preserved.
- There was general support for having an overarching spatial strategy and some respondents had suggestions for what this should include.
- Two respondents from the fisheries sector were uncertain as to the need to have a spatial strategy and one response from a private individual disagreed with having a spatial strategy at all.
- Some respondents raised concerns regarding how some information could be included in the spatial strategy e.g mobile species, fisheries data and noted this would require careful consideration.
- Four responses raised the issue of having certain areas designated either on a broad basis or, in two cases, assigning a presumption of use for particular developments.
- The use of a web based GIS tool was supported by two respondents
- Co-ordination with terrestrial planning and the National Planning Framework 3 was noted as being required.
2.28 Question 17
Are there other crosscutting/overarching policy areas that should be addressed in the marine spatial plan?
2.28.1 This question received very few responses. This could be owing to the position of the question in the questionnaire as it was located in a section with extra text boxes for adding responses to Section 11 and may have been missed by respondents as they worked through the form.
2.28.2 There were 3 responses in total, 1 each from the recreation, fisheries/aquaculture and public sectors and a private individual.
2.28.3 The responses received were also much shorter than for previous questions. This is probably because Section 11 (to which this question referred) had text boxes to provide the opportunity to add more detailed comments on specific policies.
2.28.4 Of the responses one from the recreation sector suggested adding maritime and coastal safety as a crosscutting theme as there are wider implications beyond shipping and navigation e.g. a pollution incident could have onshore implications.
2.28.5 A respondent from the public sector suggested consideration should be given to a policy that seeks high quality design and positive contributions to place-making. The remaining response from a private individual raised concerns about aggregate extraction interfering with the microclimate seabed but did not provide a specific addition to the crosscutting policy areas.
- There were fewer responses to this question in comparison to previous questions. This may be owing to location of the question in the questionnaire which may have meant respondents missed it.
- Most of the responses were to confirm they agreed with the suggested crosscutting/overarching polices.
- Two policies were suggested as potential additions, one on maritime and coastal safety and one on high quality design and positive contributions to place-making.
2.29 Question 18
Are there other sectoral policies that should be developed in the marine spatial plan?
2.29.1 This question also received very few responses. This is probably owing to the provision of text boxes to provide specific response on policies in Section 12 (to which this question referred). Respondents provided detailed answers in the text boxes and provided extra information they felt was important.
2.29.2 There were 3 responses in total. There were 2 from the commercial sector and 1 from the public sector.
2.29.3 Three respondents suggested additional policies. The suggestions were policies for the Seaweed Industry, Recreation and future development sectors e.g. marine biomass industry.
2.29.4 One respondent from the public sector referred to information provided to previous questions and this will be captured in the analysis of those questions.
- Similar to the previous question there were fewer responses to the question. This is probably because the respondents included their detailed responses in the text boxes for Section 12.
- There were suggestions for three additional sectoral policies. These were the Seaweed Industry, Recreation and future development sectors e.g. marine biomass.
2.30 Question 19
Do you have any further comments or opinions in relation to the preparation of the Draft Pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan?
2.30.1 There were 12 responses to the question. There were 3 each from the commercial and public sector, 2 each from the recreation sector and non-governmental organisations and 1 each from the fisheries/aquaculture sector and a private individual.
2.30.2 The responses to this question include those directly answering the question and also include those responses that were sent in letter format and did not provide specific information in relation to the previous questions.
2.30.3 One of the letters sent included a reference to which page and paragraph the comment related to. These comments have been included in the responses to specific questions where possible but there remained some comments that could not be directly attributed to a question in the questionnaire and they are therefore included here.
2.30.4 Another 4 letters (from a local fisheries association, a private individual and 2 from the commercial sector) did not provide specific references and analysis of these comments are included below.
2.30.5 Three respondents (recreation sector and 2 non-governmental organisations) provided positive feedback on the documents, commenting on the open approach and the depth and effort of its consultation analysis, the high quality, legibility and concise format of the document and that the PIOP was well considered.
2.30.6 The respondent from the recreation sector did however state that the language style of the document was "quite heavy going". This opinion was shared by another respondent from the recreation sector who suggested future consultation papers on user-specific areas are written in a more user friendly style.
2.30.7 Other comments specifically in relation to the document included that it should become a vital reference, that the emphasis on sustainable development was welcomed and the document clearly demonstrates the benefits of multidisciplinary partnership working between Marine Scotland and Highland and Orkney Islands councils.
2.30.8 Many respondents also noted their willingness to continue to participate in the development of the Plan.
2.30.9 In relation to the responses received by letter one provided information regarding the decommissioning work at Dounreay and noted that anyone considering a development in the area adjacent to the site should contact Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd. to discuss how this can be managed. As described above one letter contained comments in relation to specific text and where these have not been included with responses to specific questions they will be considered during the drafting of the Plan.
2.30.10 Of the remaining letters one was on behalf of the Orkney Trout Fishing Association and the main points are summarised below:
- There needs to be a safe distance between salmon cages and sea trout spawning burns and there needs to be a review of the siting and relocation of salmon farms. This comment was in relation to sea lice.
- The Association has carried out voluntary electro-fishing and survey work to provide the local authority with information to map all known local sea trout spawning burns.
- The respondent felt it was important to include reference to "well-being" wherever possible in the Plan.
- The issue of consultation fatigue was raised and that there is a "constant barrage of lengthy and increasingly complex consultation documents". This respondent felt that responses that went against the current political will are routinely ignored.
- Angling is a valuable resource that needs to be protected and many anglers associate Orkney with a relatively pristine and not overly developed land and seascape.
- The Orkney Trout Fishing Association are widely accepted as being the local organisation with a responsibility to, and active interest in, wild salmonids.
2.30.11 The same respondent also provided comments as a private individual. Some of the comments in relation to consultation fatigue, mistrust of the consultation process, cultural identity and the importance of the wild nature of Orkney were repeated. Additional comments were provided on whether the importance attached to providing jobs was valid given the low unemployment rates in Orkney and whether development was needed at all.
2.30.12 The respondent who sent the remaining letter did not send in a Respondent Information Form despite several requests to do so. Therefore the information from the response is considered confidential and is not analysed here but will be taken into account during the drafting of the Plan.
- There was positive feedback on the work so far but also comments that the documents need to be in a more user friendly style.
- Many respondents noted their willingness to participate in the on-going work.
- The problem of "consultation fatigue" was also noted.
2.31 Section 11
Crosscutting or overarching marine planning policies
This section of the Consultation Questionnaire seeks your views on the proposed policy options set out in Section 11 of the Planning Issues and Options Paper.
2.31.1 There were 19 responses relating to this section. There were 5 from the public sector, 4 from the commercial sector, 3 from the recreation sector, 2 each from the fisheries/aquaculture sector, individuals and non-government agencies and one from a forum.
2.31.2 The responses to this section (and also Section 12) followed a different format as the respondents were able to comment on each of the proposed policies and also provide any alternative policies they may have. Many of the responses were very detailed and suggested changes to the text of the policy or different approaches to dealing with the policy. The detailed suggestions will be taken into account during the drafting of the Plan but for the purposes of this Consultation Analysis an overview of the main points in given below.
2.31.3 Each policy is taken in turn and the main comments and responses against each analysed. Where alternatives have been suggested these are also included.
2.31.4 Proposed Policy 1a: Sustainable Development
There were 11 responses to this policy, 4 public sector, 3 commercial sector and 1 each from the recreation sector, a non-governmental organisation, a forum and a private individual.
2.31.5 Respondents generally supported a Sustainable Development policy and some provided comment on what they felt it should include in general terms e.g. benefit from exploitation, preservation of unique wild land and cultural heritage.
2.31.6 Other respondents provided more detailed comments on the wording of the policy. Some respondents commented on the need for careful and consistent use of terminology in the wording e.g. sustainable economic growth or sustainable development and inclusion of the 5 guiding principles of sustainable development outlined in the UK Sustainable Development Strategy. Consistency with the National Marine Plan was also noted. It was also noted that socio-economic considerations should be included as should the contribution to meeting Scotland's climate change targets.
2.31.7 Another respondent noted that the use of the language "safeguards or enhances" is a relatively new planning term that can be subjective and that the balance of impacts should be taken into account.
2.31.8 Another respondent suggested there is a requirement for how plans such as the Scottish Government's Sectoral plans will be considered and that there should be allowance for the inclusion of new activities.
2.31.9 Proposed Policy 2a: Integrating marine and coastal development
There were 8 responses for this policy (4 from the public sector, and 1 each from the commercial, recreation and fisheries/aquaculture sectors and a forum).
2.31.10 The comments received included that this was an important policy with respect to the management of cumulative impacts of marine related developments within the coastal zone. The importance of good integration between the terrestrial and marine planning regimes was noted by most respondents.
2.31.11 Consistency with on-going and existing work and plans such as the Scottish Government circular on marine planning, the National Planning Framework and Local Development Plans was also considered to be important.
2.31.12 One respondent noted that it would be useful to understand whether the Plan would be able to include a policy that relates to e.g. byelaw development or codes of conduct etc. The respondent felt this was important to Integrated Coastal Zone Management and sought clarity on how this will be taken forward under marine planning.
2.31.13 There was support for the potential for the Plan to become a material consideration for the determination of marine licence applications. Additionally, a respondent from the public sector suggested the Plan could be adopted as statutory Supplementary Guidance.
2.31.14 Proposed Policy 3a: Nature conservation designations
There were 8 responses to this policy. There were 3 responses from the public sector, 3 from the commercial sector and 1 each from a forum and an individual.
2.31.15 Two responses from the public sector supported this policy with one respondent expressing the need for a comprehensive approach to protect and consider sport and recreation interests within this policy (and the related policies 3b, 3c and 3d). A response from an individual stated that Dunnet Head from Brough should be designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest to protect it.
2.31.16 One respondent from the public sector felt the focus of this policy (and related policy 3b) was on the assessment and consenting of development and felt there was a need for a clear policy to emphasise the importance and need to safeguard the area's natural heritage. The respondent felt this would provide the necessary baseline for more specific policies on development.
2.31.17 This respondent also provided some comments regarding the status and associated protection of Ramsar sites in Scotland and also a correction in relation to Geological Conservation Review sites. The importance of considering the connectivity between protected sites and to current and future protected sites outwith the area was noted as was the need for this policy to be informed by the Habitats Regulation Appraisal of the Plan itself.
2.31.18 The issue of connectivity was also raised by two respondents from the commercial sector who suggested the connectivity between nature conservation sites and proposed developments might be more effectively done at a project level and that it might be difficult to address connectivity issues given the 20 year outlook of the plan.
2.31.19 A respondent from a forum felt the way the policy was worded "stacks the case against development" as using the deploy and monitor approach would give rise to significant objections in relation to cumulative assessments. This respondent felt there should be very clear wording regarding the requirements of assessing cumulative impact.
2.31.20 One respondent from the commercial sector stated that as developers must follow national legal requirements it is not appropriate for the pilot plan to develop separate policies.
2.31.21 Proposed Policy 3b: Protected Species
There were 9 responses to this policy. There were 4 from the public sector and 2 from the commercial sector and 1 each from the recreation sector, a non-governmental organisation and a private individual.
2.31.22 Some respondents supported the policy and of these some provided general comment on what the policy should contain e.g. an overview of the locations of protected species and guidance as to where further information can be obtained, inclusion of any species covered by the forthcoming designation of Marine Protected Areas, the need for a comprehensive approach to protect and consider sport and recreation interests and one respondent reiterated that Dunnet Head to Brough should be a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
2.31.23 Two responses (public sector and non-governmental organisation) noted the need for spatial information on the occurrence of protected species. The respondent from the public sector felt this could be incorporated into the proposed policy and the respondent from the non-governmental organisation supported the suggested alternative policy of broadly mapping the locations of protected species.
2.31.24 Another respondent from the public sector felt that this policy should be developed at a National rather than at a Regional level so that mobile or migratory species are protected. Another respondent from the commercial sector noted that the current legal requirements in relation to protected species and areas should be made clear.
2.31.25 Proposed Policy 3c: Wider biodiversity and geodiversity interests
There were 6 responses to this policy. There were 4 from the public sector and 1 each from the recreation and commercial sector.
2.31.26 A respondent from the recreation sector stated support for the policy as long as the "natural balance" was not upset e.g. by bringing in new species or changing the dominant species.
2.31.27 A respondent from the public sector suggested using the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 as a reference and felt more clarity was required within the wording of the policy. A respondent from the commercial sector supported using the Plan to develop future research.
2.31.28 Proposed Policy 3d: Non-native species
There were 6 responses to this policy. There were 3 from the public sector and 1 each from the recreation and commercial sector and a private individual.
2.31.29 One respondent from the public sector strongly supported the inclusion of this policy but felt more clarify of wording was required. This respondent also noted the need to cross reference to the Ports and Harbours and Oil and Gas policies and other relevant documents.
2.31.30 A private individual provided some suggestions as to how the management of ballast water could be carried out and felt that it was important that the ship to ship transfers that take place in Orkney should be assessed.
2.31.31 A respondent from the recreation sector noted the considerable amount of work carried out on developing policies on Invasive Non-Native Species and that the Royal Yachting Association has been working with the statutory agencies to develop these policies. This respondent felt that an alternative for the Plan would be not to develop a new policy but refer to existing guidelines.
2.31.32 A respondent from the commercial sector suggested the role of the Plan could be to ensure the, currently voluntary, International Maritime Organization Biofouling Guidelines are formally adopted by all recreational craft organisations that use the area. Another respondent noted that consideration should also be given to the introduction and transfer of non-native species on construction plant.
2.31.33 Proposed Policy 3e: Landscape and seascape
There were 8 responses to this policy. There were 4 from the public sector and 1 each from the recreation and commercial sectors, a forum and a private individual.
2.31.34 One respondent from the public sector strongly supported this policy but reiterated the point that there needs to be a clear policy to provide a strong baseline against which policies on the assessment of development management would then follow. This respondent also provided some references to work carried out by Scottish Natural Heritage ( SNH), Orkney Islands Council and Highland Council and on-going work by SNH to develop a methodology for coastal characterisation.
2.31.35 A respondent from the commercial sector felt a clear definition of seascape is required and this should be consistent with other marine planning documents.
2.31.36 Another public sector response also noted the importance of taking into account SNH's core wild land area mapping which is being used by National Planning Framework 3. This respondent also noted that as well as the aesthetic components there is a need to be aware of the physical qualities of the landscape as this has implications for recreational use.
2.31.37 A respondent from the public sector supported the preferred option but felt it would be useful to establish a set of key viewpoints for the purposes of visualisations for individual developments and to support assessment of the cumulative effect. This respondent also noted that if the suggested alternative approach was pursued further any research carried out should add value. A respondent from the commercial sector felt that there should be a study to ensure that there was consistency in assessments.
2.31.38 A respondent from the recreation sector noted it was important to include noise and visual impacts during installation, operation and maintenance. A respondent from an individual felt that the North East coast should remain as it is and should not be changed and that an alternative policy was to protect this area for future generations.
2.31.39 Proposed Policy 4a: Cultural and Historic Environment
There were 7 responses to the policy. There were 3 from the commercial sector, 2 from the public sector and 1 each from a forum and a private individual.
2.31.40 One response from a private individual noted that the wrecks in Scapa Flow are corroding away and there needs to be thought as to how these sites can be linked to local museums.
2.31.41 A respondent from the commercial sector provided a reference to a protocol for reporting finds of archaeological interest. The need for guidance was also raised by respondents from the commercial and public
sector and another respondent (also from the commercial sector) noted clarity was needed as to how unprotected sites will be taken into consideration.
2.31.42 Another respondent from a forum felt some of the reference material listed in relation to the World Heritage Site was not directly relevant and felt the policy needs "fairly substantial redrafting".
2.31.43 A respondent from the public sector suggested some changes to terminology i.e. "unprotected marine and coastal archaeology" should be amended to read "non-designated marine and coastal archaeology" and also made some recommendations as to how to present the information based on the Highland-wide Local Development Plan.
2.31.44 Proposed Policy 5a: Water environment
There were 6 responses to this policy. There were 3 from the public sector, and 1 each from the recreation and commercial sectors and a private individual.
2.31.45 A respondent from the public sector supported the policy and noted that it was important to use opportunities to improve and enhance the water environment where possible. Another respondent from the public sector (Scottish Water) noted the work they carry out to protect the water environment and also provided a correction to say the terminology "Recreational and Shoreline Waters" is no longer used. This respondent also noted that "larger" discharges do not necessarily have a greater impact.
2.31.46 Three respondents (public and recreation sector and a private individual) raised concerns regarding water quality and the potential risk to those using the water for recreational activities. Pollution from fish farms was given as a specific example by two of these respondents.
2.31.47 One respondent from the commercial sector noted that the supporting spatial information could alter annually and that clarity was needed on how this would be dealt with in the Plan.
2.31.48 Proposed Policy 6a: Coastal erosion and flooding
There were 3 responses to this policy, all from the public sector.
2.31.49 All three responses supported this policy and one respondent supplied a reference to work carried out by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage ( SNH) to map areas with respect to flooding and erosion.
2.31.50 SNH noted their policy on coastal erosion advocates retaining natural coastal habitats, processes and landscapes to allow Scotland's coastlines to evolve naturally with minimal human intervention.
2.31.51 One respondent referred back to a previous comment (for Question 6) that noted changing wave and current regimes that might result from marine development could impact on coastal erosion. This respondent noted it was important to take account of such relationships between the land and the sea.
2.31.52 Proposed Policy 7a: Waste management and marine litter
There were 6 responses to this policy. There were 2 from the recreation sector and 1 each from the public and commercial sectors, a forum and a private individual.
2.31.53 One response from the recreation sector noted the policy should take account of the potential increase in marine litter from vessels as a result of increased activity. A respondent from the commercial sector noted that all activities should consider developing a waste plan.
2.31.54 Two responses (from a private individual and recreation sector) provided some information regarding the type of litter found during beach cleaning efforts. The respondent from the recreation sector noted the dangers of marine litter to recreational craft and highlighted the need for recycling and disposal facilities as well as the need to reduce marine litter at source.
2.31.55 A respondent from the public sector (Scottish Water) noted they are actively participating in the development of a marine litter strategy. The respondent from the forum noted marine litter was governed by other legislation and therefore may not be required to be covered in the Plan.
2.31.56 Proposed Policy 8a: Safeguarding existing pipelines, electricity and telecommunication cables
There were 4 responses to this policy. There were 2 from the commercial sector and 1 each from the public and fisheries/aquaculture sectors.
2.31.57 One respondent from the public sector suggested that final effluent discharge pipelines and Combined Sewer and Emergency Overflows ( CSO & EO) should be included in the policy to safeguard existing pipelines.
2.31.58 One respondent from the commercial sector supported the policy and noted that sustainable development should be progressed in a way which does not unnecessarily compromise existing interests. This respondent also provided links to reference material relevant to this policy.
2.31.59 Two respondents (commercial and fisheries sectors) both noted that there are already guidelines and exclusion zones in place to protect cables and that the Plan should take these into consideration. The respondent from the fisheries sector noted that an alternative approach would be to work with established systems.
2.31.60 Proposed Policy 9a: Hazardous development and Health and Safety Executive consultation zones
There were 3 responses to this policy, 1 each from the commercial and recreation sectors and a private individual.
2.31.61 Two responses (recreation sector and private individual) made the same point that the location of the Flotta pipeline shut off valve needed to be mapped in the Plan.
2.31.62 The response from the commercial sector noted that all new activities within any sector should be taken into account.
2.31.63 Proposed Policy 10a: Defence
There were 2 responses to this policy, 1 each from the commercial and public sectors.
2.31.64 The response from the commercial sector supported including as much information as possible regarding Ministry of Defence activities to inform areas of future development. The response from the public sector suggested this terminology should be changed to "established Ministry of Defence activities" so as to not potentially constrain development.
2.31.65 General comments on proposed policies
Some respondents offered more general comments as well as detailed responses to the policies themselves. These are summarised below.
- Some policies require more detailed options.
- Two way cross referencing of policies will be important and consideration should be given as to how this can be achieved.
- Marine Safety (currently in sectoral policy 13) could be considered an overarching policy.
- Move dredging from sectoral policy 16 (Marine aggregates) to sectoral policy 14 (Ports and Harbours).
- Integration of marine and terrestrial planning is needed and reference should be made to the relevant Local Development Plans.
- Caithness should be of equal importance to Orkney and equal attention given to archaeology.
- There was generally support for the policies.
- In some cases respondents noted the wording of the policy needed to be more clear.
- Some respondents noted that for many of the policies there was already legislation in place and some felt there was no need for additional policies in the Plan.
- It was noted that the policies need to take into account all existing and potential new users of the area.
- In terms of protection of species and sites the issues of connectivity to protected areas outwith the area was raised.
- Some respondents provided detailed comments and references and these will be taken into account during the drafting of the Plan.
This section of the Consultation Questionnaire seeks your views on the proposed policy options set out in Section 12 of the Planning Issues and Options Paper.
2.32.1 There were 22 responses relating to this section. There were 6 from the public sector, 5 from recreation sector, 4 from the fisheries/aquaculture sector, private individuals, 2 each from the commercial sector, non-government agencies and a private individual and 1 from a forum.
2.32.2 The responses to this section (as with Section 11) followed a different format as the respondents were able to comment on each of the proposed policies and also provide any alternative policies they may have. Many of the responses were very detailed and suggested changes to the text of the policy or different approaches to dealing with the policy. The detailed suggestions will be taken into account during the drafting of the Plan but for the purposes of this Consultation Analysis an overview of the main points in given below.
2.32.3 Each policy is taken in turn and the main comments and responses against each analysed. Where alternatives have been suggested these are included as well.
2.32.4 One respondent (a private individual) suggested an alternative approach would be that many of the policies (numbers 11/12/13/15/17) should be dealt with locally but provided no further comment.
2.32.5 Proposed Policy 11: Marine renewable energy
There were 11 responses to this policy. There were 4 from the public sector, 3 each from the commercial sector, 2 from private individuals and 1 from the recreation sector.
2.32.6 There was generally support for the policy although some respondents (recreation, commercial and public sectors) suggested text to make the policy more clear. This will be taken into account in the drafting of the Plan.
2.32.7 The main points raised were:
- The need for clarity in the drafting of the policy.
- The importance of the wave and tidal industry, two commercial sector respondents welcomed the suggestion to consider the Agreements for Lease area as "planned development at the licensing stage".
- The importance of taking the Scottish Government's Sectoral plans was noted by some respondents.
- A respondent from the commercial sector felt there should be a presumption of use for marine energy developments in the plan options contained in the Scottish Government's Sectoral plans.
- One respondent from the public sector noted there was a need to consider a review of material planning considerations.
- One response from a private individual provided information about recreational sailing to be taken into account when drafting the policy and also provided a correction to a reference.
- A response from the public sector noted that in some cases impacts cannot be avoided or mitigated against and that in some circumstances renewable development should not be allowed.
- The importance of early consultation with users of the area was noted by respondents from the fisheries and commercial sector and on-going work to achieve this was highlighted.
2.32.8 The proposed alternative approach of "zoning areas" was not supported although two respondents (public and recreation sector) thought there may be a need to 1) review the option areas within the Sectoral plans and 2) to take into account that some activities will always be incompatible. One respondent from the commercial sector commented that the it is too early in the development of the marine renewables industry to consider a zoning approach.
2.32.9 Proposed Policy 12: Electricity infrastructure to support marine renewable energy projects
There were 8 responses to this policy. There were 4 each from the public sector, 3 from the commercial sector and 1 from the recreation sector.
2.32.10 One of main points made by the respondents was that electricity infrastructure was not just of importance to the development of the marine renewable industry (although that is the driving force currently) but to many other industries and the wider economy as well.
2.32.11 One respondent from the commercial sector provided alternative text to make the policy more clear in terms of mitigation measures. This respondent also noted that following existing cable corridors could present technical challenges for existing cable operators and encouraged close consultation with the industry to develop an approach that would take this into account. A reference to some previous work on the routeing and spacing of transmission cables for offshore wind farms was also provided.
2.32.12 One respondent from the public sector suggested combining this policy with Policy 18 (Development of new telecommunication cables), owing to the similarity of potential impacts on the natural heritage and other sectors.
2.32.13 Other concerns raised were the need to consider the environmental effects of noise and electrical fields from power cables (recreation sector) and the cumulative impact in the coastal zone and for effective integration with terrestrial planning to safeguard the natural heritage of the coast (public sector).
2.32.14 Proposed Policy 13: Shipping, Navigation and Marine Safety
There were 9 responses to this policy. There were 3 each from the commercial and recreation sectors and 1 each from the public sector and a private individual.
2.32.15 The respondents from the recreation sector highlighted the importance of safety for all vessels and that there may be an increased risk owing to the "proliferation of offshore developments" and the associated construction and operations and maintenance. One respondent suggested additional text to make clear that commercial and recreational vessel activity should be taken into account. A response from a private individual suggested weather conditions had not been properly considered.
2.32.16 Another respondent from the public sector noted that safety to recreational users may not be restricted to impacts on navigation and could include the impact of water pollution or development impacts on coastal processes that make participation in an activity more dangerous.
2.32.17 Two respondents from the commercial sector noted on-going work that should be taken into account for this policy such as the Strategic Area Navigation Appraisal Project ( SANAP) being undertaken on behalf of the Crown Estate and the work of the Nautical and Offshore Renewable Energy Liaison Group ( NOREL).
2.32.18 A respondent from the commercial sector noted that the policy appeared to focus on developments and that all new activities should be taken into account.
2.32.19 Proposed Policy 14: Ports and harbours
There were 11 responses to this policy. There were 5 from the public sector, 2 each from the recreation and commercial sectors and 1 each from the fisheries/aquaculture sector and a private individual.
2.32.20 The respondents raised similar points in relation to some issues and these are listed below:
- The importance of including all users and sectors within the policy e.g. the need to take into recreational use into account.
- The need to take the National Renewable Infrastructure Plan ( N-RIP) into account was emphasised and it was noted the work carried out so far would provide useful information for this policy.
- The links between this policy and the N-RIP work need to be made clear and there should be cross-referencing between the Strategic Environmental Assessment ( SEA) for this Plan and that for the N-RIP.
- One respondent from the public sector noted that there were other developments e.g. the Oil Supply base at Scrabster and others outwith the area that would support activities in the Plan area.
- A respondent from the commercial sector noted that the sustainable growth of port and harbour infrastructure is key for the growth of the marine renewable energy sector.
2.32.21 A respondent from the public sector noted that this policy was an opportunity for a joined up approach to decision making with regard to port and harbour works and that this should be stated more clearly in the policy.
2.32.22 The same respondent noted that the alternative approach of developing fine scale planning around key ports could be used in situations where there was evidence of unresolved conflicts between users and wider interests. However, the respondent suggested this would be an additional element to more strategic policies rather than an alternative policy approach.
2.32.23 A respondent from the aquaculture sector noted that continuing uncertainty about the Scapa Flow Transhipment Hub should not prevent the area being used for other forms of development such as fish farming.
2.32.24 A response from a private individual expressed the view that fishermen were being ignored as the harbours were only interested in oil or wave money.
2.32.25 Proposed Policy 15: Oil and Gas
There were 2 responses to this policy both from the public sector.
2.32.26 One response indicated support for the policy and the other noted that the recent agreement to build an Oil Supply base at Scrabster should be referenced as should the use of Wick John O'Groats airport as a transport hub for oil workers and ship crews.
2.32.27 Proposed Policy 16: Marine aggregates and dredging
There were 5 responses to this policy, 2 from the public sector, and 1 each from the commercial and fisheries/aquaculture sectors and a private individual.
2.32.28 One respondent from the public sector supported the preferred option but suggested that consideration is given to developing both the preferred option and the option currently suggested as an alternative i.e. supporting sustainable aggregate extraction and safeguarding marine aggregate resources. The respondent considered that these could be complementary approaches.
2.32.29 Two respondents (commercial and public sectors) suggested the policy be expanded to cover all aggregate activities rather than just port and harbour operations. One respondent provided a reference to some work carried out to map sand and gravel resource on the UK continental shelf.
2.32.30 A respondent from the fisheries sector commented that any new sites for dredging and dumping would need a full ecosystem assessment of their impact on commercial fisheries.
2.32.31 A response from a private individual expressed the opinion that submissions to Marine Scotland were ignored.
2.32.32 Proposed Policy 17: Development of coastal protection and flood defence infrastructure
2.32.33 There was 1 response to this policy from the public sector and the respondent supported the policy but noted the need to ensure that any protection or flood defence works do not result in additional flood risk elsewhere.
2.32.34 Proposed Policy 18: Development of new telecommunication cables
There were 4 responses to this policy. There were 3 responses from the public sector and 1 from the fisheries/aquaculture sector.
2.32.35 One respondent from the public sector (Scottish Water) expressed a wish to be consulted on the use of existing pipeline corridors for co-location in cases where their assets may be affected. The respondent felt there would be a requirement to look at each proposal on a case by case basis.
2.32.36 Another respondent from the public sector noted that may be plans for further development within the Plan area for telecommunication cables and this should be taken into consideration with respect to existing exclusion zones around cables.
2.32.37 A respondent from the fisheries sector suggested that engagement with Subsea Cables UK would be appropriate.
2.32.38 Proposed Policy 19: Commercial fisheries
There were 7 responses to this policy. There were 3 responses from the fisheries/aquaculture sector, 2 from the public sector and 1 each from the commercial sector and a private individual.
2.32.39 Two respondents from the fisheries sector used the same text in their response and noted there was an error with regard to the value of landings stated in the report. The respondents are thanked for bringing the error to our attention. This was an editing error that was only picked up after the report was published. These respondents also suggested an alternative approach to a fisheries policy based on that contained within the Shetland Marine Spatial Plan.
2.32.40 The same respondents welcomed the proposed alternative approach towards a presumption against development in spawning and nursery grounds and this was also supported by other respondents from the fisheries sector and the public sector. Another respondent from the public sector suggested it could be included as part of the preferred policy option rather than an alternative policy.
2.32.41 A respondent from the public sector noted the need for further involvement of fisheries policy staff in Marine Scotland to develop this policy. This will ensure integration of Scottish Government policy goals. This could include cross referencing the role of Inshore Fisheries Groups in the Plan. This respondent also noted the opportunity to consider implications for other interests such as Priority Marine Features of any potential displacement of fisheries from currently used areas. A key strategic issue is the need to reflect fisheries interactions with existing or future Marine Protected Areas and European marine sites.
2.32.42 Another respondent from the public sector noted the importance of the fishing industry to the area and the importance of collecting information on areas of interest to them. The proposed approach of collecting data through a number of different routes was welcomed but this respondent was unsure as to whether this would capture information about the important inshore crustacean fishery.
2.32.43 The importance of consultation with fishermen was raised and one respondent from the commercial sector highlighted the work of the Fishing Liaison with Offshore Wind and Wet Renewables ( FLOWW) and the Scottish Government's Fishing Liaison Group to aid co-existence. A respondent from the fisheries sector noted that working with local stakeholders was important but that in some cases it would also be important to engage at a national level. A response from a private individual felt there was very little consideration given to fishing.
2.32.44 Proposed Policy 20: Aquaculture
There were 7 responses to this policy. There were 2 each from the public and commercial sectors, and 1 each from the recreation and aquaculture/fisheries sectors and a private individual.
2.32.45 A respondent from the public sector supported the preferred policy but noted there will be a need for the policy to additionally consider Priority Marine Features and Marine Protected Areas.
2.32.46 Four respondents suggested that there was a need to consider commercial cultivation of macroalgae and also harvesting of natural stocks of seaweed. The Scottish Government's Seaweed Policy Statement should be referenced.
2.32.47 Two respondents (both from the public sector) thought offshore aquaculture sites were unlikely given the exposed nature of the environment in the area. Both also highlighted the need to refer to related policies and plans e.g. Local Development Plans etc.
2.32.48 One of the respondents from the public sector also expressed the view that the potential for aquaculture sites developing in conjunction with renewables may not be possible and there may not be a need for detailed examination of such developments within the Plan.
2.32.49 The opposite view was expressed by a respondent from the aquaculture sector who noted that in their opinion the presumption against all fin fish farming on the north and east coasts of Scotland has no scientific basis and that there was potential for fish farming to take place further out to sea and in conjunction with other forms of marine development. The respondent also provided a correction to one of the references.
2.32.50 One response from a private individual expressed the opinion that finfish farming creates ecological and social problems e.g. pollution, infections in wild fish, marine litter and diesel engine pollution and have been sometimes been sited in areas that had previously been anchorages or safe havens. The respondent felt Closed Containment Systems should be used onshore to prevent this.
2.32.51 A respondent from the recreation sector also noted the loss of sites to aquaculture and provided a reference to a position paper produced by the Royal Yachting Association that discusses how fish farming and aquaculture can coexist.
2.32.52 A respondent from the commercial sector would like to see the Plan support sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry by encouraging Local Planning Authorities to consider at a strategic level the most viable areas are for development and how to ensure that environmental, social and economic objectives are met.
2.32.53 Another respondent from the commercial sector requested more clarity on the use of the term "foreseeable future" in relation to the Plan's 20 year vision.
2.32.54 Proposed Policy 21: Tourism and Recreation
There were 10 responses to this policy. There were 5 from the recreation sector, 3 from the public sector and 1 each from the commercial sector and a private individual.
2.32.55 Two respondents from the recreation sector reiterated previous comments that tourism and recreation should be separate policies. The remaining respondents from the recreation sector supported the preferred policy and, in some cases, provided information that should be taken into account e.g. guide books for sea kayaking. Some noted the importance of the marine environment for the tourism and recreation industry and contribution to quality of life.
2.32.56 A respondent from the commercial sector noted that all new activities and expansion within any sector need to be taken into account within this policy. A response from a private individual felt that harbours were only interested in big businesses.
2.32.57 A response from a public sector respondent felt the policy should give greater weight to the importance of informal opportunities for recreational access to the sea and coast and felt this should be irrespective of the potential commercial value of such activities. This respondent (and one other public sector respondent) also noted the link to quality of life. Another response from the public sector highlighted the importance of considering both land based coastal interests and those that are marine based.
2.32.58 A response from a public body (SportScotland) suggested a number of points that should be taken into account:
- The importance of understanding the qualities that are integral to participation e.g. type and quality of waves, lack of pollution in terms of noise and water quality, the landscape etc.
- Assessment of the importance of some sites for an activity e.g. Thurso East or Scapa Flow wrecks are internationally important.
- This respondent strongly supported land based facility development for recreational use.
- The importance of qualities important from a tourism perspective and those important from a sport and recreation perspective. The respondent did not suggest separating these into two policies (as suggested by other respondents above) but recognised the needs were different.
- A suggestion that tourism and recreation is put at the start of the Plan to ensure concerns about this sector not being taken as seriously as others are alleviated.
- Concerns over the use of the words "due regard" and the need to use stronger wording.
- There was generally support for the preferred policies although some alternatives were also suggested.
- Respondents expressed differing views regarding the Aquaculture policy.
- There was a suggestion that Tourism and Recreation should be separate policies.
- In some cases respondents noted the wording of the policy needed to be more clear and in some cases corrections were provided.
- It was noted that the policies need to take into account all existing and potential new users of the area.
- Some respondents provided detailed comments and references and these will be taken into account during the drafting of the Plan.