Publication - Progress report

Planning Scotland's Seas: 2013 - The Scottish Marine Protected Area Project – Developing the Evidence Base tor Impact Assessments and the Sustainability Appraisal Final Report

Published: 19 Aug 2013
Part of:
Marine and fisheries

This report provides Marine Scotland with evidence on economic and social effects to inform a Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) for each possible NC MPA, and a Sustainability Appraisal for the suite of proposals as a whole.

358 page PDF

3.8 MB

358 page PDF

3.8 MB

Planning Scotland's Seas: 2013 - The Scottish Marine Protected Area Project – Developing the Evidence Base tor Impact Assessments and the Sustainability Appraisal Final Report
C.9. Military Activities

358 page PDF

3.8 MB

C.9. Military Activities

C.9.1 Introduction

This appendix provides an overview of existing and potential future activity for military activities relating to Scottish waters and outlines the methods used to assess the impacts of potential MPAs on this activity.

C.9.2 Sector Definition

The military defence sector makes use of the Scottish coastline for the location of bases and training and use of the sea for training, test and evaluation activities and the surveillance and monitoring of waters to detect and respond to potential threats. In this assessment military interests comprise the use of the coast and seas by the Royal Navy (submarine bases, jetties and exercise areas), Army (training camps and firing ranges), Royal Air Force (bases, coastal Air Weapon Ranges and Danger Areas) and MoD (Defence Test and Evaluation Ranges to trial weapon systems) (Baxter et al, 2011).

C.9.3 Overview of Existing Activity

A list of sources to inform the writing of this baseline is provided in Table C9.1.

Table C9.1 Military Activities Information Sources

Scale Information Available Date Source
Scotland Scottish Naval Exercise Areas Information 2010
Scotland Defence Analytical Services and Advice. DASA Quad Service. 4 2010
UK Military Practice Areas Current SeaZone / UKHO
UK Military low flying zones Current MOD (
UK Munitions Disposal Sites (Chemical, Radioactive, Disused) 1945-1956 (Radioactive - no dates) MOD
UK Expenditure across relevant departments 1992-2011 UK Defence Statistics, MOD
UK Military ports owned by MOD 2010 CP2

C9.3.1 Location and intensity of activity

Military activities occur in both inshore and offshore waters around the Scottish coast. All coastal military locations and the full area available for military training and other defence activities are shown in Figure C12. Principal marine-related defence activities include sea transport by naval vessels and sea training. Activities relating to maritime transport are mainly associated with naval bases and the only naval base in Scotland is Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde at Faslane. Sea training is carried out within defined military practise and exercise (PEXA) training areas. Although the PEXA cover large areas of sea, military exercises cover only a proportion of these areas at any one time and are restricted temporally to a number of weeks per year. A major training exercise each year is the Joint Maritime Course in which Navy, Army and RAF exercises are conducted off the Scottish North West coast and which last for two weeks (UKMMAS, 2010). Two major NATO training exercises (Joint Warrior exercises) also take place each year in April and October. It is also noted that there is a regular military low flying area which partially overlaps with the Small Isles potential NC MPA.

C9.3.2 Economic value and employment

Defence activities do not generate a tangible output and therefore cannot be valued. However, one can examine the expenditure within relevant departments, e.g. the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) Navy Command which is responsible for the operation, resourcing and personnel training of ships, submarines and aircraft (UKMMAS, 2010).

UKMMAS (2010) estimated that in 2007/08, the UK military defence expenditure for the operation of marine activities was £1,796m with a GVA of £468m. Using the same methodology, the 2009/10 value has been recalculated using the Department Expenditure Limits (DEL) for the C-in-C Navy Command based on the UK Defence Statistics 2011 provided on the Defence Analytical Services and Advice website [43] . In 2009/10 the resource DEL allocated to the C-in-C Navy Command was £2,294m. Based on the assumption that the majority of this budget was for the operation of marine activity, and that 17.7% of this total budget ( i.e. £406m) would be allocated to the C-in-C Naval Home Command for shore based operations, it can be estimated that expenditure for the operation of marine activities was £1,888m with a GVA of £491m. It is not possible to estimate what proportion of this value can be attributed to military defence activities in Scotland.

In terms of employment, at July 2011, there were 11,910 military (armed forces) personnel and 5,430 civilian personnel based in Scotland. The armed forces comprised 4,680 Navy, 3,200 Army and 4,030 RAF personnel (MOD, 2011a).

C9.3.3 Future trends

Specific defence projects may provide significant employment opportunities. For example, with respect to future aircraft carriers, building the hull sections and outfitting the vessels will provide work for about 10,000 people, including 3,500 at the two Clyde yards and 1,600 at Rosyth, Fife at the project's peak (UKMMAS, 2010).

Owing to the confidential nature of military defence activities it is difficult to assess likely future trends, however future employment will be governed by the forth coming spending cuts within the Ministry of Defence. In addition there are plans to build the next generation of submarines, which may be constructed in Scotland as in the past.

C.9.4 Assumptions on Future Activity

In the absence of information on future activity levels, it is assumed current locations and levels of usage will continue throughout the period of the assessment.

C.9.5 Potential Interactions with MPA Features

Many of the activities of the MoD have the potential to interact with MPA features. Underwater noise associated with SONAR use and military weapons trials may impact MPA features, and litter such as spent ammunition, depth charges and rockets will enter the marine environment. Weapons trials may cause surface and sub-surface abrasion to the seabed habitat and species, in some cases resulting in a direct loss of habitat. Associated synthetic pollutants may also enter the water column. Of lesser concern is the death or injury of mobile species by collision with military vessels, and the possible introduction or translocation of non-indigenous species ( JNCC & NE, 2011).

Despite the potential for such interactions with MPA features, the infrequency of military activities and existing MoD procedures should ensure that environmental impacts are minimised.

C.9.6 Assumptions on Management Measures for Scenarios

As a public authority and operator, MoD is required under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 to carry out its functions and activities in a way that will further, or least hinder, the conservation objectives of MCZs. The Secretary of State for Defence's Safety, Health, Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development in Defence policy statement directs MoD to introduce management arrangements which, so far as is practicable, ensure that outcomes are at least as good as those required by the European Union's Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, from which military activities are exempt ( JNCC and NE, 2011). To assist in meeting its environmental obligations, MoD has developed a Maritime Environmental Sustainability Appraisal Tool ( MESAT). This will include operational guidance to reduce significant impacts of military activities on MPAs.

For the purposes of this assessment, it is assumed that MoD will incur additional costs in adjusting MESAT and other MoD environmental assessment tools in order to consider whether its activities will impact on the conservation objectives of MPAs. It will also incur additional costs in adjusting electronic charts to consider MPAs.

For the purposes of the assessment, it is assumed that MoD will mitigate the impact of military activity on MPA features through additional planning consideration during operations and training (as provided through the revisions to MESAT) and during coastal military activities covered by Integrated Rural Management Plans.

For the MCZ IA, MoD provided a national estimate of cost impacts associated with meeting its obligations as a public authority (Annex H10 of Finding Sanctuary et al, 2012). It was not possible to break this information down by site owing to the confidential nature of military activities.

Similar assumptions have been adopted for the Scottish MPA assessment, for both the 'lower' and 'upper' scenarios and this will also be presented as the 'intermediate (best) estimate'. After MPA designation, the management of activities in MPAs will be decided on a site-by-site basis and may differ from the assumptions in this assessment.

C.9.7 Assessment Methods

  • Initial revision of MESAT (and other MoD environmental tools) and additions to electronic charting by the Hydrographic Office are estimated to cost £25k in year 1 of the MCZ IA 20-year period of analysis (Annex H10 of Finding Sanctuary et al, 2012);
  • Additional annual maintenance costs are estimated to be £5k (Annex H10 of Finding Sanctuary et al, 2012); and
  • Mitigation measures:
    ˉ As MoD is operational throughout Scottish waters and as MPAs are likely to be extensive and have varied management measures, it has been assumed that consideration of MPAs will be undertaken as part of planning for all MoD maritime activities. MoD estimated the proportion of staff time it anticipates it will need to do this for MCZ is £10k per year in the first four years of the IA period, reducing to £5k p.a. from year 5 onwards (Annex H10 of Finding Sanctuary et al, 2012). The same assumption has been applied for Scottish NC MPAs.

C.9.8 Limitations

  • Uncertainty concerning the location and scale of future activity; and
  • Uncertainty concerning the nature of any possible mitigation measures.

C.9.9 References

Baxter, J.M., Boyd, I.L., Cox, M., Donald, A.E., Malcolm, S.J., Miles, H., Miller, B., Moffat, C.F., (Editors), 2011. Scotland's Marine Atlas: Information for the national marine plan. Marine Scotland, Edinburgh.

Finding Sanctuary, Irish Seas Conservation Zones, Net Gain and Balanced Seas, 2012. Impact Assessment materials in support of the Regional Marine Conservation Zone Projects' Recommendations. Annex H10 National Defence.

JNCC and NE, 2011. General advice on assessing potential impacts of and mitigation for human activities on MCZ features, using existing regulation and legislation. Advice from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Natural England to the Regional MCZ Projects. June 2011. 107pp.

MOD, 2011a. TSP 10 - UK Regular Forces Stationed Location. Edition 01 July 2011. Released 11 August 2011. Available online: &topDate=2011-08-11

United Kingdom Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS), 2010. Charting Progress 2 Feeder Report Productive Seas. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs on behalf of UKMMAS (Eds. Saunders, J. and McKie, J.) 472pp Available online: