Marine Planning - Issue 19

23 March 2021



This is the nineteenth edition of our newsletter, which will keep you up to date on the latest developments as we implement the first Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP). We published and adopted the WNMP on 12 November 2019. As we implement the plan with decision makers 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 here. Contact details are at the bottom of the newsletter.

Our approach to Monitoring & Reporting

In December we commissioned a User Survey to help us gather information about awareness of the WNMP and how it has been used in the 12 months since it was adopted. We intend to carry out a further survey in this first three year monitoring period. This will enable us to capture trends in the use of the WNMP and its supporting materials, and users’ views on how the WNMP is performing in terms of achievement of its objectives. 


In the first survey we were gathering information on awareness of the Plan and the individual policies. We also asked respondents which of the supporting tools they were aware of and if they had used any of these. The majority of respondents either identified as a decision making authority or an advisory body. Around 60% the respondents had been using the Plan in their decision making. The survey also provided us with useful information about what tools attendees had been using and how users were responding to our communication methods. Thank you to all those for completing the survey and providing us with this valuable feedback.

Minister announces £2.3m resilience funding for fisheries, aquaculture and coastal communities

Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs has announced a £2.3 million investment in Welsh coastal communities to support the seafood industry, harbour infrastructure and the marine environment. £1.3 million has been allocated to the Welsh Seafood Sector Resilience Scheme. The scheme will be open to applications between 17 and 31 of March.


The £1 million Small Scale Coastal Infrastructure Scheme will be made available to all Port Authorities and Local Authorities around Wales to apply for grants of up to £100,000 for capital investment. This scheme will provide targeted environmental, operational, safety and security benefits for all users of Welsh ports and harbours by improving the overall performance, sustainability, safety and well-being of industries and the general public.

Find out more here.

Progressing Marine Renewables

We continue to work to support the transition to a low carbon economy including the development of marine renewable technologies. Welsh Government are part of the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme which is working to support the development of offshore wind around the UK and we’re contributing to a review of the offshore transmission network.


In Wales, we are working to develop Sector Locational Guidance for wave and tidal stream energy and, separately, have begun exploring the identification of Strategic Resource Areas to support the sustainable development of the sector. To support renewable consenting and address issues in a joined up and strategic way we are collaborating through Marine Energy Wales and the recently established Science and Evidence Advisory Sub-group (SEAGP) to develop a shared understanding of evidence issues and solutions to help consenting in line with WNMP policy. Find out more about the SEAGP on the Welsh Government website.  


The Marine Planning Decision Maker’s Group comprising Relevant Public Authorities (RPAs) who use the WNMP in their decision making met virtually on 11 February. The group discussed Plan implementation and use of both the WNMP and the implementation guidance, approaches to monitoring and reporting and the supporting tools available to help RPAs implement the Plan. A summary of the meeting can be found here.


At the last meeting of the Group attendees had asked for a document they could share with their applicants around the relevant WNMP policies that would apply for low impact activities. Welsh Government have produced an infographic that looks at when and how marine planning policy might be relevant to land-based planning applications.

There is also another infographic that shows how the WNMP works alongside Future Wales: the National Plan 2040.

Future Wales - A twenty year vision

Julie James MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government, has recently published Future Wales – the National Plan 2040, which sets out the direction for development in Wales to 2040 to help deliver decarbonisation, ecosystem resilience and inclusive, fair economic growth. An update to Planning Policy Wales has also been published which reflects recent legislative, policy and guidance updates. More details can be found here.

Future Wales

The Sustainable Management of Marine and Coastal Sediment

NRW is developing a position statement on the sustainable management of marine and coastal sediment. Sediment is a fundamental component of the marine and coastal environment and a valuable natural resource which provides a range of ecosystem goods and services upon which we depend. The sustainable management of marine and coastal sediment is required to ensure that the benefits derived from this natural resource are maintained for current and future generations.


The position statement will help to: support delivery of relevant legislation, plans and policies; inform partners of NRW’s approach and influence best practice approaches. The audience for the guidance is NRW staff and external customers. An expert group has been established to draft the position statement including NRW specialists, with additional peer review secured through formulation of a supporting group with a wider range of internal and external specialists. The intention is to finalise the position statement by early Summer 2021.

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.



We published the first Welsh National Marine Plan on 12 November 2019. It sets out our policy for the next 20 years for the sustainable use of our seas.

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