Welsh National Marine Plan - Issue 3

29 October 2018



This is the third 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.

Since our first edition our subscriber list has tripled. For those new to the newsletter you can find our old editions on the website. If you are sharing this newsletter with your own networks they can also subscribe to receive the newsletter on that webpage.

Update on work of the Plan

The marine planning team would like to thank our stakeholders for their ongoing support and advice on marine planning for Wales following the consultation process. Since publication of the summary of responses, we have held a number of follow up workshops and meetings. Looking ahead, we are considering options to address the representations made in response to the consultation draft.

Marine Plan

For example, some of the refinements we are considering include:

  • non-core material moving to Annex’s or supporting documents to reduce length and complexity;
  • more clearly setting out how Strategic Resource Areas work in practice;
  • improving clarity around the definition of Blue Growth;
  • better presenting a balanced suite of planning policy to support sustainable development.

As we continue to work through responses and refine the draft we will continue to consider the need for independent investigation.

Review of the Statement of Public Participation

Under Schedule 6 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (MCAA) there is a requirement to produce and maintain a Statement of Public Participation (SPP) setting out how we intend to enable participation in the development of the marine plan, including the proposed timetable. We published the first SPP in 2014 and updated it in January 2017. We have now updated it to show progress completed to date and some of the activities that will take place as we move towards completion of the final WNMP in 2019.


Tidal lagoon Technical Working Group

Given feedback on the draft WNMP, we've convened a Technical Working Group to consider the Tidal Lagoon Policy and results of the Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulation Assessment. Following the UK Government decision to not support Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, the Welsh Ministers reconfirmed support for marine energy in Wales and their desire to maintain positive momentum of the sector. 


Welsh Government will be holding a marine energy summit later this year and the work of the Technical Group will feed into discussions and the final WNMP policy. The draft WNMP identifies that Wales has great potential for marine renewable energy and that this could provide a wide range of benefits. It also highlights that projects must be sustainable and not have unacceptable impacts upon our environment.  

Sustainable management of marine natural resources project

Effective marine spatial planning requires good quality spatial data that can be used to inform decision-making. To help meet this requirement, the ‘Sustainable Management of Marine Natural Resources’ project, funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and Welsh Government, is developing the environmental evidence base in relation to tidal stream energy, wave energy and aquaculture resources in the Welsh marine area. In particular, the project is examining how use of these resources may affect marine protected areas and other sensitive species and habitats.


The first phase of the project is underway and on target for completion in January 2019 when maps of data coverage, spatial data layers, an evidence review, and a report providing recommendations on addressing evidence gaps will be delivered. Read more

€4.3 million of EU funding support for Ireland-Wales marine observation scheme

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced €4.3 million of EU funding to develop advanced marine monitoring systems in the Irish Sea. The STREAM (Sensor Technologies for Remote Environmental Aquatic Monitoring) project will bring together partners on both sides of the Irish Sea to better understand the impact of climate change; lower the cost of marine observation and accelerate the process of data provision. Read more



£10.3 million EU funding boost for Welsh Marine technology sector

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced £10.3 million of EU funding for the marine technology sector on a visit to Pembroke Dock. The EU funding will support the design and testing of a fully-submerged membrane-style wave energy convertor capable of generating large amounts of electricity – paving the way for the developers, Bombora Wave Power Europe, to construct and commercialise the technology from its Pembrokeshire base. Read more


Land planning

A 12 week consultation exercise for the National Development Framework (NDF) Issues, Options and Preferred Option took place between 30 April and 23 July. We received 86 consultation representations from a range of stakeholders including local planning authorities, public bodies, businesses, special interest groups and professional bodies. The representations are currently being considered and a summary of responses report will be published in due course. The next stage of work is the production of the draft NDF. This will include further engagement and involvement of stakeholders and will be published for a full public consultation in July 2019. Find out more about the NDF


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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