Marine planning for England formally begins today (12 April). The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is now producing plans to inform and guide marine regulators and users from Flamborough Head down to Felixstowe, and has also published a guide on how the public can have their say.

The Statement of Public Participation outlines how and when people can get involved with plan-making, including a timetable for the two-year process.

The statement has now received approval from Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, signalling the formal start of marine planning in England for the first time.

A web portal will also be launched shortly, allowing anyone interested in the plans to go online, see how plans are progressing and contribute to their development.

The East Offshore and East Inshore marine plan areas are the first two areas in England to be selected for planning, and England is one of the first countries in the world to plan across all marine activities, for all its territorial waters.

Steve Brooker, Head of Marine Planning at the MMO, said: “This is an important milestone for the future of our seas, as marine planning formally begins.

“Activities in and around our seas affect us all, and I would like to invite all those with an interest to look at our Statement of Public Participation and see how they want to get involved. We will be holding workshops and open days around the region, and the web portal will also be another way to have your say.

“These plans will help the MMO and others to take decisions about development of the marine area, which will include protection of the marine environment and benefits for coastal communities.”

Tthe Statement of Public Participation can be read online at

A sustainability appraisal has also started today, gathering key information to help ensure marine plans are developed to meet the aims of sustainable development.