North West Marine Plan

Information and documents on the development of the North West Marine Plan.

We have included below the latest information on process to develop the North West Marine Plan.

If you would like further information please subscribe to newsletter.

North west marine plan areas

The north west marine plan areas include the north west inshore and the north west offshore marine plan areas.

The north west inshore marine plan area covers an area of approximately 1,280 kilometres of coastline stretching from the Solway Firth border with Scotland to the River Dee border with Wales, taking in a total of approximately 4,900 square kilometres of sea.

The north west offshore marine plan area includes the marine area from 12 nautical miles extending out to the seaward limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone, a total of approximately 2,200 square kilometres of sea.

You can see more details of the north west marine plan areas on our Marine Information System’s interactive map.

  1. Marine plan areas in England

Developing the plans

Marine plan development for the north west, north east, south west and south east areas follows an iterative process, from plan area selection to implementation and monitoring.

Have your say

Online engagement:

Our Iteration 3 online engagement will be open from Monday 21 January 2019 until Friday 29 March 2019. This is the most comprehensive way to view and provide comment on the Iteration 3 products:

  • preferred draft policies;
  • draft supporting text for policies including on implementation; and
  • the next steps in marine planning.


We are holding workshops in the north west marine plan areas between 29 January and 28 February 2019 to support the Online engagement and provide an opportunity to comment on the Iteration 3 products.


Preferred draft policies and supporting text have been developed following feedback from the Iteration 2 Options engagement in early 2018 and the Call for Issues with Supporting Evidence in 2016. This is an opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to the development of the preferred marine plan draft policies ahead of the statutory consultation on the draft marine plans in late 2019.


Marine plans place sustainability at the centre of all decisions.

Sustainability Appraisal

The Sustainability Appraisal provides an independent assessment of economic, social and environmental sustainability. The Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report is the first stage of the Sustainability Appraisal. It sets out what issues the appraisal will consider. This work has contributed to the identification of issues in the north west plan areas.

The Sustainability Appraisal contractors have completed the assessment of options for the North West marine plan. This assessment is informing the production of the next iteration of marine plans.

Habitats Regulation Assessment

Under the EC Habitats Directive, all marine plans must have a Habitats Regulation Assessment. The Habitats Regulation Assessment looks at what impact a plan could have on the objectives of a European conservation site. It includes:

  • pre-screening review
  • screening review
  • an appropriate assessment information report

We have completed the pre-screening review for the north east, north west, south east and south west marine plan areas. It has determined that an HRA is required and also has identified which European/Ramsar sites are to be screened into the assessment.

Using the marine plans

Until this marine plan is adopted you should use the Marine Policy Statement, which is the relevant policy document to be used when making decisions and proposals.

  1. UK marine policy statement

Key documents

Published 10 May 2016
Last updated 21 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. Iteration 3 information added
  2. Iteration 3 details added
  3. North West sustainability appraisal options assessment report
  4. Text updated
  5. Questionnaire launched
  6. Information on the development of the marine plan updated
  7. Statement of Public Participation published
  8. Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report published
  9. Call for issues with supporting evidence launched
  10. Issues and evidence workshops announced
  11. First published.