Statement of Public Participation in England


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The Statement of Public Participation (SPP) sets out how and when the MMO will engage with stakeholders during the marine planning process.

Sea Basin(s): 
Application in MSP: 
Applied in an MSP process
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Analyse spatial aspects
Develop and implement plan
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 

Questions this practice may help answer

  • What formal mechanism exists for ensuring public participation in marine planning in England?
  • What are the legislative requirements for public participation in England?

Implementation Context

The Statement of Public Participation (SPP) sets out how and when the MMO will engage with stakeholders during the marine planning process. An SPP is required for each marine plan area under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. It helps ensure that the marine planning process is transparent, and that stakeholders understand how they can be involved and can influence a marine plan’s development. All draft SPPs are subject to public consultation before they are submitted to the Secretary of State for approval to publish under Schedule 6 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The publication of an SPP formally commences the start of the marine planning process in the relevant marine plan area. If an SPP is amended during the marine planning process, any revisions must be approved by the Secretary of State before being published.

Responsible Entity

Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

Costs / Funding Source

Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

Aspects / Objectives

  • To outline the process and principles used in addressing public participation in MSP in England.
  • To ensure the requirements of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 in relation to public participation are addressed.


The process and principles for public participation are outlined:

  • involve people early on in the marine planning process and in developing policy within the framework provided by the Marine Policy Statement
  • engage with interested people and organisations at the appropriate time using effective engagement methods and allowing sufficient time for meaningful consultation
  • be adaptable, recognising that different consultation methods work for different people and that a “one size fits all” approach will not work
  • respect the diversity of people and their lifestyles and give people a fair chance to have their voice heard regardless of gender, age, race, abilities, sexual orientation, circumstances or where they live
  • be clear in the purpose and timing of any engagement, and how the public may contribute
  • let people know how their views have been taken into account within agreed timescales
  • make documents publicly available on our website
  • communicate clearly with people using plain English and avoiding jargon and acronyms as much as possible

Main Outputs / Results

SPPs are developed for each relevant process. An online description of the process can be found at:


While the process specifically addresses legislative requirements in the UK, the principles and approach to public participation are highly relevant in other contexts.

Contact Person

Marine Management Organisation