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

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

7. Key Findings from Consultation Analysis

7.1 Overview

7.1.1 There were 30 formal written responses received in relation to the Planning Issues and Options Consultation Paper and 6 in response to the draft Environmental Report. The workshops were attended by 34 participants in Kirkwall and 38 in Thurso and the evening drop in sessions were attended by approximately 24 and 30 people in Kirkwall and Thurso respectively.

7.1.2 Detailed comments were provided by the majority of respondents to the consultation and there was wide ranging discussion on a variety of issues at the workshops and drop in sessions. These have all been analysed in this document and a short summary of the main findings provided at the end of each section.

7.1.3 For the purposes of this section of the report a short list of key findings will be listed below. These were points that were raised several times during the consultation events. They are not presented in any order of priority.

7.1.4 During the next stage of developing the Plan the Consultation Analysis and the detailed comments provided by the respondents will be taken into account. A Consultation Report will be produced that outlines how these comments have been taken account of by the Working Group and how the comments will be addressed in the Draft Plan.

7.2 Key Findings

7.2.1 Vision and objectives. The importance of developing a clear vision and objectives for the Plan was raised several times with respondents noting that setting these out clearly would then set the priorities for the Plan and enable the criteria for the policies to be decided.

7.2.2 Consistency and clarity. The importance of consistent use of terminology and definitions was noted as was ensuring that the links between relevant Scottish Government documents and plans were clear and consistent. A clear definition of sustainable development was consider very important by a number of stakeholders to ensure that this key guiding principle can be delivered in a consistent manner. Some respondents felt the documents needed to be more user friendly and shorter although it was accepted that a lot of detail was required in some cases.

7.2.3 Consultation. The need for on-going consultation with a wide range of stakeholders was emphasised and many of the respondents noted their willingness to be involved in the process of developing the Plan.

7.2.4 Evidence base. The requirement for clarity for what information was being used to inform e.g. the interactions matrix and the evidence base used to inform proposed policies was raised. Several respondents provided links to useful data sets and information where they felt this was missing and some expressed a willingness to share relevant datasets.

7.2.5 Proposed policies. There was general support for the majority of the proposed polices although there were some suggestions for amalgamating or separating some or moving from the sectoral policies to the crosscutting or overarching policies. Respondents provided very detailed comments in relation to the proposed policies, which will be taken into account in the next stage of drafting the Plan. There were also suggestions for additional policies e.g. a "quality of life" and a socio-economic policy.

7.2.6 Balanced approach. The need for a balanced approach in the Plan with no bias towards one sector or another was raised repeatedly as was the need for development to be sustainable. Most respondents felt there was room for compromise but that this would mean engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to be successful.

7.2.7 Plan area. The majority of the respondents supported using the proposed Orkney and North Coast Scottish Marine Regions as the spatial area of the Plan.

7.2.8 Integration of marine and terrestrial planning. The need for the integration between marine and terrestrial planning and clear guidance for how this is undertaken was raised. The Working Group partnership of Marine Scotland, Orkney Islands Council and the Highland Council was noted as an example of how such integration could work.

7.2.9 Existing legislation. Where there is existing legislation the Plan should use or refer to this rather than adding another policy.

7.2.10 Spatial data. There was support for having an overarching spatial policy and suggestions for how this could be achieved. Some respondents, while not wanting zoning at this stage, felt it would be useful to have some areas designated either on a broad basis or by assigning a presumption of use for particular developments.


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