The East Inshore Marine Plan area covers 6,000 square kilometres of sea. It stretches from mean high water springs to 12 nautical miles offshore off the coastline between Flamborough Head and Felixstowe.
The East Offshore Marine Plan area extends from the outer boundary of the East Inshore area to England’s borders with the Netherlands, Belgium and France. This is a total of about 49,000 square kilometres of sea.
As with land-use planning, marine planning is a statutory requirement.
Marine plans must be used in all planning decisions for the sea, coast, estuaries and tidal waters (which sometimes extend a long distance inland), as well as developments that impact these areas, such as infrastructure.
All public authorities are responsible for implementing the East Marine Plans through existing regulatory and decision-making processes.
As well as public authorities, all applicants, third parties and advisors should also consider the East Marine Plans. Proposals should conform with all relevant policies, taking account of economic, environmental and social considerations.
The East Marine Plans are 20 year plans, so it is important that they are regularly assessed.
As with all marine plans, the East Marine Plans are monitored and reviewed every three years, looking at:
the effects of policies in the marine plan
the effectiveness of those policies in securing plan objectives
the progress towards achieving any objectives set out for that region in a marine plan and the Marine Policy Statement
Based on this review, the MMO has concluded that there is no reason to amend or replace the East Marine Plans at this time and Defra has agreed that recommendation. The next formal review of the East Marine Plans is due in 2020. MMO will continue to monitor the plans in the meantime for any significant changes that may bring forward the need for earlier amendment of the East Marine Plans.
Details of how the East Marine Plans are monitored are included in the Implementation and Monitoring Plan.
The development of the East Marine Plans followed a 12 stage process, from plan area selection to implementation and monitoring. It included:
Choosing a plan area
The decision to choose the east marine plan areas for the first English marine plans was based on based on seven decision streams that were examined collectively with the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs.
Have your say
The Statement of Public Participation (SPP) set out engagement during the development of the East Marine Plans. The SPP helps ensure that the marine planning process is transparent, and that stakeholders understand how they can be involved and influence a marine plan’s development.
The Statement of Public Participation (SPP) for the East Marine Plans was revised in July 2013 with Secretary of State approval. The SPP was originally published in April 2011 and a second version was published in May 2012.
More information on how the SPP was developed, and copies of the 2011 and 2012 versions of the reports, is available on The National Archives including consultation responses.
Issues and evidence
Understanding the opportunities and challenges for the marine plan areas is critical to developing meaningful and tailored marine plans.
As part of the development of the East Marine Plans we produced and published an Evidence and Issues report. The report identifies key issues for the east marine plan areas and supporting evidence. It informed the next steps in the plan development process (generating objectives and options) and also met the requirements for scoping for the Sustainability Appraisal.
We also undertook a number of specific research projects. This included a seascape assessment.