Marine Spatial Planning Update

June 16, 2014 by No Comments | Category Marine Planning, Marine Renewables

Pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan

A Working Group consisting of Marine Scotland, Highland Council and Orkney Islands Council have been working on developing a pilot marine spatial plan for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters, see The Working Group produced two documents last year that went out for consultation. The documents were a Planning Issues and Options Paper which set out the suggested planning options to support the preparation of the draft pilot marine spatial plan and an associated draft Environmental Report which was part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment process to consider the effect of public plans, programmes and strategies on the environment. In order to ensure that there were opportunities for the public and organisations to comment on the proposed approach the Working Group held consultation events in Kirkwall and Thurso. The results of the whole consultation process were written up in a Consultation Analysis which was published in November 2013 and a Consultation Report which was published in April 2014.

The Working Group is now in the process of taking the results of the consultation into consideration while drafting the policies that will be included in the marine spatial plan and deciding how to present the associated spatial data in a useful and informative manner. It is likely that the draft marine spatial plan itself will be available for consultation towards the end of 2014.

Marine Spatial Planning Forum

As there is a lot of work being undertaken in relation to marine spatial planning Marine Scotland hosted a forum at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen to allow for discussion on a wide range of topics. The forum was well attended by marine planners from all over Scotland and the topics discussed included development of mini marine atlases, stakeholder and community engagement, marine governance, integrated sectoral policies, whether marine zoning is a possibility in Scotland and finished off with a discussion of lessons learned both within Scotland and internationally. The group felt the meeting was very useful and intend to hold another forum towards the end of 2014. If there is interest in contributing to this work or attending to learn more about marine spatial planning then please get in touch with

Article by Tracy McCollin


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