South East Marine Plan

Information and documents on the development of the South East Marine Plan.

We have included below the latest information on process to develop the South East Marine Plan.

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South east marine plan area

The south east marine area includes the inshore marine plan area only; there is no south east offshore marine plan area. The south east inshore marine plan area covers an area of approximately 1,400 kilometres of coastline stretching from Felixstowe to near Dover, taking in a total of over 3,900 square kilometres of sea.

You can see more details of the south east marine plan area on our Marine Information System’s interactive map.

  1. Marine plan areas in England

    • Map

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 2 online engagement will be open from Monday 29 January 2018 until Thursday 29 March 2018. This is the most comprehensive way to view and provide comment on our Iteration 2 products.


We are holding further workshops in the south east marine plan area in Spring 2018. These workshops will allow input into the options process and determine a preferred option. We need your views on preferred options and the emerging south east marine plan area vision.


For each plan area, issues have been grouped with a number of options to address them. These may include: an existing policy or drafting a new policy to address the issue, signposting to existing legislation, or a response separate to the marine planning process.


A vision defines what is distinctive about marine plan areas and what the areas will look like after 20 years of marine plan implementation. By considering the issues and aspirations in an area the vision provides local context for marine plan preparation and policy development.

Causes and effects of issues:

In summer 2017 we assessed the causes and effects of issues to help us understand how marine plans might respond to issues. We checked our work on causes and effects through focused engagement with targeted stakeholder groups.

Iteration 1: Common policies and digital format:

In spring 2017 we engaged on our first products of the process that will lead to the development of the North East Marine Plan. We presented the current policy thinking for stakeholders to consider where issues were potentially addressed by existing policy and presented marine plan products in a digital format. You can view the engagement summary here.

Issues and evidence:

We held a call for issues with supporting evidence in 2016. The Issues Database is a summary of the issues gathered for the north east, north west, south east and south west marine plan areas. As part of this work, the issues have been categorised into ones that are ‘common ‘across two or more marine plan areas and those specific to the south east.

You can view all issues with supporting evidence for the south east marine plan area here.


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 south east plan area.

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.

You should also consider the draft South Marine Plans and the East Marine Plans as they border the south east marine plan area.

  1. UK marine policy statement

    • Statutory guidance
  2. East Marine Plans

    • Statutory guidance

Key documents

Published 10 May 2016
Last updated 26 January 2018 + show all updates
  1. Text updated
  2. Questionnaire launched
  3. Information on the development of the marine plan updated
  4. Statement of Public Participation published
  5. Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report published
  6. Call for issues with supporting evidence launched
  7. Issues and evidence workshops announced
  8. First published.