Mel Nicholls, Senior Marine Planner at the MMO, explains how consultation views are considered:
The South Inshore and Offshore Marine Plans are currently being developed for the coast and seas from Folkestone to the River Dart in Devon.
We recently consulted stakeholders on a draft vision and objectives for the plan areas, and these detail a 20-year-vision and how we will achieve it. The consultation in late July was supported by four workshops held along the south coast that were delivered in partnership with the Solent Forum, Dorset Coast Forum and Devon Maritime Forum.
More than 140 individuals representing over 100 national and local stakeholder organisations with interests in the South marine plan areas responded through the workshops and online. This has provided our planning team with a wealth of information to help us refine the vision and objectives and continue with development of the marine plans. We have published a summary of these responses to highlight the range of views that are represented. These include sectors such as tourism, recreation, ports and shipping, aggregates, local authorities, private consultancies, conservation and coastal forums.
So what do we do next? In January 2015 stakeholders will have another opportunity to input to the South marine plans through consultation, and a short series of workshops, on the development of options for policies. We hope to see many of you then, to discuss these options in more detail.