Marine Plans

Marine Planning in the South East!

The Marine Mananagement Organisation (MMO) is running workshops and engagement work in the South East. This has included an introduction to marine planning and demonstrated the Marine Information System (where you can view some of the evidence base gathered so far for the area) and a call for issues with supporting evidence throughout July.

There are 11 English marine plan areas, including inshore and offshore areas. Each area will be covered by a marine plan by 2021 with a 20 year view of activities

Marine planning addresses the key issues for the marine area, including the coast, estuaries and tidal waters, as well as developments that impact on these areas. The plans will include a vision, objectives and detailed policies on how these objectives will be achieved.

Marine plans are used by public authorities as part of the decision making process for all new activities and developments in or affecting the marine area.

Marine plans build on the requirements of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) and the Marine Policy Statement.

 Diagram showing the marine planning process with data, stakeholder engagement and sustainability appraisal being central to the process. The stages are: plan area selection decision, SPP and stakeholder engagement, identifying issues, gathering evidence,

The 12-stage process on how a marine plan is made from selection to implementation and monitoring and how you can get involved (click on image to find out more).

In the South East:

The stages of the South East Marine Planning process includes consultations on the:

a) Statement of Public Participation
(how, when & whom they will engage with for this process) 

b) Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report
(assesses social, economic &environmental impacts)

c) Call for Issues and Supporting Evidence (Aug 2016)


Analysis of issues with evidence for marine plan areas

The MMO has published an issues database for the north east, north west, south east and south west marine plan areas at the same time.

The database provides an update on progress in gathering information and evidence on the opportunities and challenges for the sustainable development of these areas. A consultation summary shows that more than 3000 individual comments were received from a wide range of national and local stakeholders, and provided such a wealth of information that the MMO does not now consider it necessary to have a further round of formal consultation on issues this year.

Further analysis and development of issues will continue until early 2017 - see below - when the MMO will consult stakeholders on the iteration 1 outputs. The outputs are the full list of issues, those identified as being common to more than one plan area.

The evidence that supports the issues is varied, ranging from anecdotal comments to quality assured evidence projects. Quality assurance and follow-up of the evidence sources will be an ongoing. As part of the early analysis the evidence has been assigned a confidence rating as follows evidence listed as:

  • high (H) = quality assured for use in marine plans
  • medium (M) = published report/data/plan not quality assured for use in marine plans, but a level of confidence exists as it has been published.
  • low (L) = unpublished sources, such as anecdotal comments and requires both follow-up and quality assurance.

The MMO did not consult on the database in advance of iteration 1 outputs - with stakeholders having further evidence on issues asked to advise the MMO through (Tel:0208 02 65325) or by contacting our local coastal marine planner for the South East (Tel: 0208 0267 865) 

South east marine plan area (Feb2017) - iteration1


Marine Plan Development Workshops - 2017 

These workshops (March 2017) looked at the published issues and evidence database (gathered in 2016) and explored potential policies and reviewed the proposed new format for the marine plans, which is more interactive, linking to the Marine Information System (MIS). 

Group discussions looked at the marine plan area's economic, social, environmental and governance issues, and whether policies from the South and East Marine Plans are appropriate to address them. 

Marine Planning engagement events - Spring 2018

Your say on future of England's seas

Iteration 2:   These workshops allowed stakeholders to continue their input into the development of marine plan in the south east  (or by online engagement tool, Jan-March 2018) with a focus on the:
  • draft marine plan area visions
  • draft options to address issues in each marine plan area
  • next steps in marine planning
Autumn 2018:  Tom Pavitt has helped with workshops in the south plan which will help in the future with South East Marine Plans’ implementation. He met Dover Harbour Board - who provided recommendations on how MIS could improve its accessibility including an improvement on the statutory harbour authority jurisdiction area layer. 

Tom continues to hold duty to cooperate meetings with the thirty seven local councils that border the south east marine plan area - including Essex and Kent councils that have highlighted their interest in the development of the seascape marine plan policies, so they can align with similar landscape assessments.


Seascape Character Assessment

The Seascaoe Character Assessment for the South East Inshore marine plan area has been published (22 Oct 2018, MMO1134).



South East Marine Plan 

More information about marine plans

Latest marine environment & marine planning newsletter (MMO)

Our local MMO marine contact is is Tom Parvitt:


Tel:      0208 225 8857

Thanet Coast (NEKMPA)

c/o Thanet District Council,

PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent CT9 1XZ
United Kingdom



Tony Child

Thanet Coast (NE Kent Marine Protected Area) Officer

Telephone: +44 (0) 1843 577672

(based in Manston Road Depot)