Marine Plan User Guide (England)


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This guide details who should use marine plans, when and how they should be used.

Application in MSP: 
Taken into account in an MSP process
Not sector specific
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Develop and implement plan
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 

Questions this practice may help answer

  • What are marine plans (in England)?
  • Who should use a marine plan?
  • How and when should marine plans be used?

Implementation Context

To support the development of marine planning in England, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the responsible authority for marine planning, undertook a number of activities to facilitate marine planning across the six marine plan regions (which will total 10 marine plans).

Marine plans are to be applied to decision making concerning activities and developments taking place in or affecting a marine area - both inshore and offshore (from 0 to 200nm) and up to the mean high water spring mark or the tidal extent of an estuary.


Aspects / Objectives

This guide details who should use marine plans, when and how they should be used.


This guidance document was drafted by the MMO in 2015.

Main Outputs / Results

User guide available online at:


This user guide focusses on the process in England, but may be of interest, from a process perspective, to other countries implementing marine planning.

Responsible Entity

Marine Management Organisation

Costs / Funding Source

Marine Management Organisation


Contact Person

Marine Management Organisation


Lancaster House

Hampshire Court

Newcastle upon Tyne


Tel: 0300 123 1032