The Sound of Mull Marine Spatial Plan provides an authoritative guide for regulators, developers and recreational users, on current marine and coastal activities and interests present in the Sound of Mull. It outlines a policy framework, a range of identified spatial opportunities, and localised area priorities. These aim to guide sustainable use and development of the area whilst safeguarding important natural, historical and cultural areas
Questions this practice may help answer
- How can sectors be developed sustainability in the Sound of Mull?
- What information is available to support the planning and licensing of marine activities in the Sound of Mull?
- How can it be ensured that developments are undertaken in line with national policy?
The Sound is a busy waterway utilised by vital ferry services, both locally and to the western isles, and a range of commercial shipping. Additionally for the communities in the area the wellbeing of the Sound provides crucial economic benefits through local inshore fisheries, aquaculture activities, tourism and a wide range of recreational activities that take place in the area. The Sound of Mull Marine Spatial Plan provides an authoritative guide for regulators, developers and recreational users, on current marine and coastal activities and interests present in the Sound of Mull. It outlines a policy framework, a range of identified spatial opportunities, and localised area priorities. These aim to guide sustainable use and development of the area whilst safeguarding important natural, historical and cultural areas.
This pilot project is one of a number around Scotland, set up under the Scottish Government’s Scottish Sustainable Marine Environment Initiative (SSMEI). Results from these pilots will help inform the future development of MSP in Scotland under the localised statutory planning system under the Marine (Scotland) Act. Therefore the experiences from the production of this final plan in 2010, based on voluntary organisation, regulators and public consultation will be of use in informing the future development of this diverse marine area and the communities that it supports.
The Plan has been developed through the collation and analysis of a wide range of information, and via consultation with the key stakeholders and regulators with interests in the area. The Plan aims to complement and support the local authority development plans for the adjacent terrestrial areas, as well as the operational plans and policies of other organisations such as the SEPA led River Basin
Management Plan. By doing so it seeks to integrate current understanding of marine management, as well as promoting the economic and community benefits of a healthy and productive marine and coastal environment.
Aspects / Objectives
To produce a locally orientated, flexible and transparent plan that will:
• Provide guidance and recommendations to assist current and future planning, regulation and management of marine and coastal activities.
• Encourage a diverse, balanced mix of sectors to operate and develop sustainably with consideration of other interests and environmental capacity.
• Recognise, promote and help safeguard areas important for marine and coastal wildlife, habitats and heritage.
• Enable a better understanding of the socio-economics of the area and incorporate this into management and planning.
• Provide an example of best practice to contribute to ICZM and marine spatial planning development nationally.
• Establish a Sound of Mull Working Group and Liaison Group that includes stakeholders and regulators who have an interest in the marine and coastal environment of the Sound of Mull.
• Develop, produce and implement a Sound of Mull voluntary marine spatial plan that incorporates existing management practices, an environmental capacity and a socio-economic evaluation.
• Conduct an environmental capacity study
• Develop socio-economic profiles for each sector operating in the Sound of Mull.
• Develop a central information source
The Pilot Plan was subjected to an accompanying strategic environmental assessment (SEA) which informed the final version of the Plan.
The project ran from 2007-2010.
Main Outputs / Results
The Sound of Mull Pilot Plan and associated reports are available online at: https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/planning-and-environment/sound-mull-proje...
The project focussed specifically on the Sound of Mull but is informative for the development of MSP elsewhere, particularly in Scotland.
Argyll and Bute Council, Scottish Government.
Costs / Funding Source
Argyll and Bute Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Government, The Crown Estate, LEADER, Highland Council
Marine and Coastal Development Manager
Argyll and Bute Council
Tel: 01631 567972
[LG1]Dates are not included as standard in practice descriptions – is this an omission?