South West Marine Plan

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

We are developing a marine plan for the south west marine plan areas. Below includes the latest information on the South West Marine Plan, including any open consultations.

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South west marine plan areas

The south west marine 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 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 area on our Marine Information System’s interactive map.

  1. Marine plan areas in England

    • Map

Developing the plans

Marine plan development follows a 12 stage process, from plan area selection to implementation and monitoring.

Have your say

Questionnaire and workshops: Issues and developing policies

Over the last few months we have been analysing the issues and supporting evidence that were gathered through the Call for Issues with Supporting Evidence (July 2016).

Issues :
As part of this work, the issues have been categorised into ones that are ‘common‘ across all or several marine plan areas and those specific to the south west.

Developing policies:
We have also been looking which policies from the East and South Marine Plans are relevant to the south west marine areas, and if they can be used to support or address the common issues.

We have published the first outputs of this work (iteration 1) which:

You can view the document here.

We are also holding three workshops and an evening drop-in event in the south west marine plan areas. These workshops will discuss in more detail the developing policies.

Statement of Public Participation

The Statement of Public Participation (SPP) for the south west marine plan areas, sets out how and when we will engage with stakeholders as we develop a marine plan. It 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 SPP includes a timetable for engagement, providing more detail on when and how we will engage with stakeholders throughout the marine planning process for these areas.

Issues and evidence

The Issues Database provides a summary of the issues gathered for the north east, north west, south east and south west marine plan areas.

It provides an overview of the issues, which marine areas they apply (including the south west) and which east and south marine plan policies could be used to address them.

You can view all issues with supporting evidence for the south west marine plan areas here.

You can also view proposed draft policies for the south west marine plan area on our Marine Information System (MIS)

Issues for the south west marine plan area were gathered following a Call for Issues with Supporting Evidence, held in summer 2016. As part of the call, we produced issue information sheets, which include environmental, social, economic and governance issues.

If you have any further issues or supporting evidence please contact


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.

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 .

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

    • Statutory guidance

Key documents

Published 10 May 2016
Last updated 6 February 2017 + show all updates
  1. Questionnaire launched
  2. Information on the development of the marine plan updated
  3. Statement of Public Participation published
  4. Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report published
  5. Call for issues with supporting evidence launched
  6. Issues and evidence workshops announced
  7. First published.