South West Marine Plan

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

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

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South west marine plan areas

The south west marine plan areas includes the south west inshore and the south west offshore marine plan areas.

The south west inshore marine plan area covers an area of approximately 2,000 kilometres of coastline stretching from the River Severn border with Wales to the River Dart in Devon, taking in a total of over 16,000 square kilometres of sea.

The south west offshore marine plan area includes the marine area from 12 nautical miles extending out to the seaward limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a total of approximately 68,000 square kilometres of sea. You can see more details of the south 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 south 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 south west plan areas.

The Sustainability Appraisal contractors have completed the assessment of options for the South 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.

You should also consider the draft South Marine Plans as they border the south west marine plan areas.

  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. South West sustainability appraisal options assessment report added
  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.