Pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan. Strategic Environmental Assessment Post-Adoption Statement.
Strategic Environmental Assessment Post-Adoption Statement.
2 The Development of the Pilot Plan
2.1 The Process and Timescales
2.1.1 Between 2008 and mid-2012 the marine spatial plan process for the PFOW area was managed by Marine Scotland. A working group for the development of a Pilot Plan for the PFOW area was created in May 2012, and whilst lead by Marine Scotland, a partnership approach to the delivery of the plan was established between Marine Scotland and the Orkney Islands and Highland Councils. This partnership approach was taken to enable the balancing of local and national issues in the development of the draft and final Pilot Plans, and to manage effective engagement with local stakeholders.
2.1.2 Since 2009, the development of the Pilot Plan was undertaken in three main stages.
2.2 Stage 1 - PFOW Marine Spatial Plan Framework Plan and Regional Locational Guidance ( RLG)
2.2.1 The development of a Marine Spatial Plan for the PFOW began in 2009 with the commencement of work on the PFOW Marine Spatial Plan Framework Plan (the Framework Plan) alongside the specific development of RLG for the PFOW area. The Framework Plan and RLG were published in March 2011.
2.2.2 Together, these documents provided a summary of existing information on different uses of the seas in the area, and allowed the Framework Plan to explore how the many different uses of the coastal and marine space can affect each other. From this process, the Framework Plan made recommendations for future research to ensure that the development of the Pilot Plan was underpinned by relevant, good quality information.
2.3 Stage 2 - Data gaps and research projects
2.3.1 The second stage took forward the recommendations of the Framework Plan and the RLG, and was ultimately aimed at informing and supporting the policy framework proposed for the development of the Pilot Plan. This stage of the process specifically involved the identification of data gaps and the delivery of research studies undertaken to fill these data gaps. This included studies in inshore fishing, commercial shipping and boating, monitoring of marine mammals and sea birds, and tourism and recreation value studies, amongst others.
2.3.2 However, many of the studies commissioned were based on the previously defined PFOW plan area that had been based on The Crown Estate ( TCE) Strategic Area which omitted the western portion of the north Sutherland coast. Based on the development of the Scottish Marine Regions in accordance with the 2010 Act, and from feedback from consultation responses from the consultation on the PIOP, the preparation of the Pilot Plan was subsequently based on encompassing the Scottish Marine Regions of Orkney and North Coast, including the western portion of the north Sutherland coast.
2.4 Stage 3 - Development of the Pilot Plan
Publication of the Plan Scheme followed by the preparation of a Planning Issues and Options Consultation Paper ( PIOP)
2.4.1 In 2012, the Plan Scheme was published and this was followed by the preparation of the PIOP, published in mid-2013. The Plan Scheme acted as first statement of public participation in the preparation of the Pilot Plan and set out how the pilot plan would be prepared and opportunities for stakeholders to get involved. The Consultation Paper presented a range of key issues proposed by Marine Scotland for inclusion in the draft Pilot Plan. Whilst being developed as a non-statutory Pilot Plan, this process followed, as closely as possible, the key steps for the preparation of a regional marine plan set out in Schedule 1 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 (the 2010 Act).
2.4.2 A draft SEA Environmental Report was prepared to accompany the publication of the Consultation Paper. The draft Environmental Report explored the significant environmental effects of the proposals outlined within the Consultation Paper. It was made available for consultation and obtained the feedback of stakeholders, including the Consultation Authorities, on the SEA undertaken thus far. The views expressed by respondents through the consultation process formed the basis for the development of the draft Pilot Plan and its Environmental Report.
Development of the Pilot Plan and Associated Documents
2.4.3 The proposals outlined in the PIOP and its Environmental Report were taken forward in the development of the draft Pilot Plan. The working and advisory groups, set up for the Pilot Plan's development, played an important role in shaping the Pilot Plan and its general and sectoral policies.
2.4.4 The draft SEA Environmental Report was also taken forward alongside the development of the Socio-economic Baseline Review and updated RLG, all of which directly informed the development of the SA. The SA also set out the work undertaken to meet obligations under the EC Habitats Regulations. Alongside the draft Pilot Plan, the SA, Socio-economic Baseline Review, RLG, BRIA and EQIA were published on the Scottish Government's consultation websites for a 12 week public consultation commencing on 15 June 2015 and closing on 6 September 2015.
2.4.5 A series of consultation events were also held to provide an opportunity for stakeholders and the wider public to learn about, and provide comments on, the Draft Pilot Plan. These consultation events were held at the Warehouse Buildings in Stromness (6 th July 2015), Caithness Horizons in Thurso (7 th July 2015) and in the Village Hall in Durness (9 th July 2015).
Lessons Learned Report
2.4.6 A review of the development process was undertaken and the findings were collated and presented in a Lessons Learned Report. This process involved undertaking a detailed analysis of the development process for the draft Pilot Plan, and the consideration of options for improving the process with the benefit of hindsight. It was aimed at informing the development of subsequent Regional Marine Plans.
Preparation of the Consultation Analysis and Modifications Report and Finalisation of the Pilot Plan
2.4.7 After the completion of the consultation, the responses received were collated and analysed in accordance with Scottish Government practice  . A Consultation Analysis and Modifications Report was prepared by the Working Group, providing a summary of the views expressed by respondents to the consultation and during the workshop sessions undertaken on the Draft Pilot Plan, and outlining how these were considered in the finalisation of the Pilot Plan.
2.4.8 The Modifications Report and this Post Adoption SEA Statement have been developed to complement one another, and together with the previous Consultation Analysis and Consultation Report on the PIOP, they outline the views of respondents on the PIOP and the draft Pilot Plan and its associated documents. Together, they also set out how the views of respondents have been taken into account in the development of the final Pilot Plan and its general and sectoral policies.
The Pilot Plan
2.4.9 The Pilot Plan has been finalised and published alongside this Statement.
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