Marine Plans

Marine Planning in the South East!

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is running workshops and engagement work in the South East.

These started with an introduction to marine planning and demonstrated the Marine Information System where you can view the evidence gathered so far.

There are 11 English marine plan areas - including inshore and offshore areas in all except the south east. Each area will be covered by a marine plan by 2021 with a 20 year view of activities.  Marine plans build on the requirements of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) and the Marine Policy Statement.

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 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.

 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 the image to find out more).

In the South East:

The stages of the South East Marine Planning process included 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 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 continued until early 2017 when the MMO consulted 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.  

South east marine plan area (Feb2017) - iteration1


Marine Plan Development Workshops - 2017 

Further 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

Iteration 2:   Your say on future of England's seas. These workshops allowed stakeholders to continue their input into the development of marine plan in the south east  (or by the online engagement tool, Jan-March 2018) with a focus on the draft marine plan area visions; draft options to address issues; and next steps
Autumn 2018:  Tom Pavitt helped with workshops in the south plan which will help in the future with South East Marine Plans’ implementation, including meeting 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 work 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 Seascape Character Assessment for the South East Inshore marine plan area has been published (22 Oct 2018, MMO1134).


Marine Planning engagement (Iteration 3) - 2019

This is your chance to comment on draft policies and supporting documents on the development of the local South East Marine Plan.  Navigate your way through the south east's story map at:

This includes a full-day public engagement workshop in February covering:

- preferred draft policies;
- draft supporting text for policies including implementation; & the
- next steps.

For the South East, you can book on a workshop for either:

  • Chelmsford, Essex County Hotel 12/02/2019
  • Chatham, Kent  George Hotel 13/02/2019  {click here to book} 

More information about the iteration 3 engagement for the NE, NW, SE & SW marine plans can be found at:




South East Marine Plan 

More information about marine plans

Latest marine environment & marine planning newsletter (MMO)


Our local MMO marine contact 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)