Planning Circular: The relationship between the statutory land use planning system and marine planning and licensing

All developments and activities which take place in Scotland’s seas have implications onshore too – ranging from changing infrastructure requirements to the impacts on communities of economic growth or decline.

The Scottish Government has produced a cir


1. This Circular explains the relationship between the marine and terrestrial planning systems, including related regimes such as marine licensing and consenting for offshore energy generation, ports and harbours development, and aquaculture.

2. The Circular is in draft form, and accompanies the consultation on the draft National Marine Plan for Scotland. The Circular will be issued in final form concurrently with the final National Marine Plan.

3. The UK vision for the marine environment is for 'clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas'. The UK high level marine objectives, published in April 2009 and reflected in the UK Marine Policy Statement, set out the broad outcomes for the marine area in achieving this vision.

4. Marine Scotland, a Directorate of the Scottish Government, undertakes marine management in Scotland. It delivers integrated marine management functions - science, policy development and delivery, compliance monitoring and enforcement - whether fully or executively devolved to Scottish Ministers, both inside and outside the territorial waters adjacent to Scotland. Marine Scotland, on behalf of Scottish Ministers, has the primary responsibility for marine planning, licensing and conservation from Mean High Water Springs out to 200 nautical miles.


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