Planning and development – guidance

East marine plan areas selection

How the decision was made to plan in the East Inshore and East Offshore marine plan areas.

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The decision making process for selecting the first 2 marine plan areas to be planned is based on 7 decision streams that were examined collectively to ensure a robust decision was made. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) received advice from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on criteria that should be considered in determining the first areas for plan making. MMO’s 7 decision streams were:

  • stakeholder engagement in plan area selection
  • assessment of coastal stakeholder partnerships
  • technical report of economic, environmental and social information
  • implications of current and proposed marine protected areas
  • future pressures and their implications
  • implications of planning inshore and offshore together
  • implications of planning with bordering nations

MMO used the decision streams, aligned to the criteria advised by Defra, to conclude that:

  • an inshore and offshore area should be planned together
  • planning at the borders should be avoided until MMO, Marine Scotland and the Welsh Government can align planning timetables – this was not going to be possible by April 2011
  • the East Inshore and East Offshore areas, when planned together, will deliver the greatest sustainable development gain

Planning in the East also offers significant opportunities to deliver socio-economic gain to deprived communities along the east coast of England, even outside the immediate plan area.