Welsh National Marine Plan - Issue 11

25 October 2019



This is the eleventh edition of our 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 Autumn 2019, we want to hear your views so please get in touch with us or share this newsletter with your networks. For those new to the newsletter you can find our old editions on the website. Contact details are at the bottom of the newsletter.

Decision making

Once we have published the plan, Relevant Public Authorities (RPAs) will have a statutory duty to take decisions in line with it, unless there are other relevant considerations. The details are set out in section 58 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009):

  • S.58(1) – A public authority must take any authorisation or enforcement decision which affect or might affect the whole or any part of the UK marine area in accordance with the appropriate marine policy documents* unless relevant considerations indicate otherwise. Some examples of these types of decisions might include: a marine licence, a planning permission; an authorisation to discharge or impound water or extract water; Environmental Management Plan; Fishery licences.
  • S.58(3) – A public authority must have regard to the appropriate marine policy documents in taking any decision which relates to the exercise of any function capable of affecting the whole or any part of the UK marine area. Some examples of these types of decisions might include: management measures, marine resource strategic management, fisheries management, policy making, nature conservation designation, funding decisions and permitting.

*The appropriate marine policy documents are any marine plan and the Marine Policy Statement.

We have set up a Marine Planning Decision Maker's Group to inform organisations of the forthcoming Marine Plan and help RPAs consider how they might meet their statutory responsibilities (for example, for decisions taken on land or across borders that may affect the UK marine area), and in doing so enable the effective, efficient, timely and consistent implementation of Wales’ first Marine Plan. The group first convened in October 2018. For more information on the group or if you think your organisation should be a member visit our webpages.

Wales Marine Evidence Strategy launches

In collaboration with NRW the Welsh Marine Evidence Strategy was launched at the “Environment Evidence 2019 – Marine Evidence conference' hosted by Environment Platform Wales in September. This five year Strategy sets out our high level marine evidence priorities needed to support marine policies and plans of the Welsh Government and NRW and aims to bring together Marine stakeholders across Wales, the UK and internationally to share expertise and enable an efficient and holistic approach to evidence gathering across the Marine sector.


Welsh national marine energy test facility opens

Marine Energy Wales has officially opened phase 1 of its Marine Energy Test Area (META) project for business. With eight pre-consented sites located in and around the Milford Haven Waterway, META aims to help developers deploy, de-risk and develop their marine energy technologies to harness the enormous energy of the ocean further afield. The £1.9 million project is being supported by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government, alongside the Coastal Communities Fund. Counsel General and Brexit Minister, Jeremy Miles attended the launch event in Pembroke dock. Listen to the Minster here and read the press notice here. 


What Marine Guidance do you need?

NRW are running a survey on how their current marine guidance could be improved. They want to understand what guidance stakeholders actually need and the survey is a useful way to capture the information through their wider Marine and Coastal Casework Guidance project. Find the survey on the NRW Marine and Coastal Guidance webpage and through these links: Complete in English or complete in Welsh.



Marine Evidence conference

Our Marine Planning colleagues presented at the “Environment Evidence 2019 – Marine Evidence” conference in Swansea in September. Adrian Judd was part of the session titled "looking at the sustainable use of our seas through marine planning in Wales” which explored how evidence is used to support marine planning. Rachel Mulholland facilitated a workshop session on cross-border considerations in marine planning and management led by the Severn Estuary Partnership as part of the MMOs ‘promoting stakeholder engagement’ project.


Cross border collaboration

Representatives from the Welsh Government (WG) Marine Planning team and Marine Management Organisation (MMO) presented jointly on the importance of estuaries and cross-border considerations in planning and management at the Across the Sands of Dee workshop in September. Rachel Mulholland from WG gave an overview of the WNMP and an update on progress and the MMO’s Ed Wright presented updates on the North West England Marine plan and the other English plans. As our Marine Plans progress we continue to have strong links with the MMO particularly as the North West and South West plans are being developed.


Ireland, Wales and Cornwall combine to capture floating wind opportunity in the Celtic Sea

A collaboration agreement outlining a commitment to work together to progress floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea, which has the capacity to deliver about one third of the UK’s additional renewable energy requirements whilst supporting low carbon targets, has been signed by organisations in Ireland, Wales and Cornwall. The commitment was signed by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Marine Energy Wales and Marine Renewables Industry Association Ireland and announced by Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs at the Ocean Energy Conference in Dublin. Read more.


Consultations: Have your say

Technical Advice Note 15: Development, flooding and coastal erosion

Welsh Government want your views on new guidance for development in areas at risk of flooding and coastal erosion. The aim is to:

 * replace the development advice map with a new Wales flood map;

 * place a greater emphasis on the development plan and the value of strategic flood consequences assessment;

 * integrate guidance on coastal erosion with flood risk issues in TAN 15;

 * provide guidance for regeneration initiatives affecting communities in flood risk areas.

Have you say by 17 January 2020.


Draft National Development Framework (consultation period extended)

The National Development Framework (NDF) is a new land development plan which will set the direction for development in Wales from 2020 to 2040. The NDF and WNMP will identify opportunities and guide development both onshore and offshore, supporting integrated decision making and collaboration across marine and terrestrial interfaces and boundaries. The links between the two planning regimes are explained in this infographic.

Have your say by 15 November



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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