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Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs

First published:
7 December 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Today I am launching a 16 week public consultation on introducing the first Welsh National Marine Plan.

My commitment is to secure a joined up and sustainable approach to the planning and management of our coast and sea and to help achieve our vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse seas.

Whilst strategic planning for the sea is new, land planning started early in the 20th Century and has continued to develop ever since. Over time, marine planning will similarly develop and evolve as we learn from the implementation and monitoring of this new planning regime whilst reporting on its effectiveness.

Developing the draft Welsh National Marine Plan has been challenging, both for Welsh Government and the broad range of stakeholders who have worked closely and in collaboration in its production.  I am grateful for the input we have received from the many public events.

The Plan accommodates the particular characteristics of our seas which are three-dimensional, extensive and wild in nature.  The Plan has been developed alongside marine planning being undertaken in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and beyond, learning from good practice whilst building on the wider Welsh policy and legislative context.

This single integrated plan, in conjunction with the UK Marine Policy Statement, will guide decisions on development proposals.  Planning will work with and support our marine licensing regime as well as other consenting processes.

In Wales, tourism, transport, marine energy, fisheries, aquaculture, telecommunications, and aggregates industries amongst many others are vitally important for our maritime economy. The Plan supports these industries and our coastal communities, by providing an enabling framework for the sustainable use of Wales’ marine resources.

Our approach will help us to realise our ‘Blue Growth’ ambition here in Wales whilst ensuring the resilience of our marine ecosystems are maintained and enhanced as they provide continued support to current as well as future generations.

Our guiding objectives in developing the Welsh National Marine Plan are we will achieve more by working together with stakeholders to preserve our coastal communities, awe inspiring coast, seas and wildlife whilst developing our maritime economy.

I welcome yours and your constituents’ views on this draft plan.  We will continue to hold public sessions to discuss the plan during the consultation period.