The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 introduced a new era for the management of Scotland’s seas including provision for local stakeholders to prepare statutory regional marine plans at the local level. A regional marine plan is the marine equivalent of a local development plan, containing statutory local policies and spatial plans to guide marine consenting and management decisions.
Regional marine plans are prepared by Marine Planning Partnerships (MPPs) representing the economic, community, environmental and recreational interests within a local marine region. MPPs are established to enable local ownership of policy development and decision making taking account of local circumstances.
The Council received the delegate functions from Scottish Ministers to develop a regional marine plan for Orkney on 27 November 2020. In February 2021, the Council set up the Orkney Marine Planning Advisory Group (OMPAG) to provide expert advice and guidance during the plan-making process. The Council is in the early stages of preparing the marine plan, with input from OMPAG.