Welsh National Marine Plan - Issue 2

12 September 2018



This is the second edition of a newsletter which will keep you up to date on the latest developments as we move towards adopting and implementing the first Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP). As we finalise the plan, scheduled for 2019, we want to ensure the views of stakeholders are considered so please get in touch with us or share this newsletter with your networks. Contact details are at the bottom of the newsletter.

Engagement over the Summer

We have had a busy few weeks over the Summer meeting members of the Marine Planning Stakeholder Reference Group on a number of key areas within the WNMP. Workshops were held in Llandudno Junction on 4 and 5 July to look at the key themes emerging from the consultation and we held a workshop on 1 August to look at Marine Planning in relation to the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Ecosystem Approach.


Last week we held a workshop looking further into the Strategic Resource Areas identified in the plan and how these relate to the key themes. Meetings have also focussed on the WNMP structure and content, evidence for marine planning and Blue Growth. Work has also been progressing with stakeholders on our approach to monitoring and reporting. This valuable stakeholder feedback is helping us inform thinking on next steps. We will provide an overview of the way forward in the next newsletter.

Re-formatting the WNMP

Respondents to the WNMP consultation that closed in March 2018 broadly welcomed the Plan including the format. Stakeholder feedback on the initial draft WNMP had previously indicated a need for detailed implementation guidance, which officials included in the draft WNMP. However, many commented that its length and the complexity now masked the key policies and objectives of the plan.

Marine Plan

Over the Summer we have been working with stakeholders to refine the draft WNMP before adoption to reduce its length and promote accessibility for users. We intend to re-structure the draft WNMP to separate out the detailed implementation guidance and underpinning evidence into a supporting framework. 

The shortened core WNMP will focus on vision, objectives and policies, responding to stakeholder feedback on increasing accessibility to key information from a user perspective. The detailed implementation guidance, currently sitting within the draft WNMP, will sit within a suite of supporting guidance. This approach will allow for timely and responsive updates to guidance. It will also support the consideration of up-to-date evidence from the Wales Marine Planning Portal as part of decision making. 

Marine Planning Portal

As part of the marine planning process we have made available a Marine Planning Portal which allows users to view and understand spatial evidence relating to Welsh Seas. As we move to adoption of the Welsh National Marine Plan we will be using the portal to make available the latest information which decision makers may have a regard to in taking planning decisions. For more information on the portal see the explanatory video.

Marine Planning

Relevant Public Authorities meeting

Under S.58 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009), certain Public Authorities will have duties in relation to the WNMP once it is adopted in 2019. Those with regulatory functions (authorisation or enforcement) must take decisions in accordance with the relevant marine policy documents (the WNMP and Marine Policy Statement). In order to help relevant Public Authorities understand their role we held a series of telephone webinar presentations throughout August and a follow up meeting will be held in October. See the invite letter here and contact us via the mailbox below if you think that your organisation takes decisions that relate the WNMP and you would like more information.


Cross border working

Welsh Government representatives contributed to the ‘Across the Sands of Dee’ Workshop arranged by the North West Coastal Forum for the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) on 21 August and presented progress on the WNMP. Rachel Mulholland and Lucie Skates (Natural Resources Wales) took part in sessions on cross-border implications of examples of emerging NW England Marine Plan Policies and on cross-border stakeholder engagement. We are continuing to develop our approaches to cross border working both at sea and across the land  boundary. The draft WNMP received positive feedback from attendees of the workshop for its recognition of cross-border issues and the good working relationship between the Welsh Government and MMO marine planners was welcomed.


Petroleum extraction policy in Wales

Following the Wales Act 2017 Welsh Ministers will take over responsibility for licensing onshore petroleum extraction from the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) on the 1 October 2018. We want your views on our draft policy towards petroleum extraction in Wales and on the evidence that has informed the draft. You have until 25 September to submit your response.  


Contact us

For any queries, relating to this bulletin, or anything else please get in touch with us via the mailbox or visit our webpages:



Please note the website is currently under construction as we move to a new system. If there is anything you want further information on please contact the team.



We are working on the first Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP) which sets out Welsh Government’s policy for the next 20 years for the sustainable use of our seas.

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