A series of public workshops will be held in January

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is
holding a series of public workshops in January to discuss marine plans for the
south coast.

The MMO announced in August this year that
the coastline which stretches from Folkestone to the River Dart, called the South
Inshore Area and the South Offshore Area, will form the next section of the
comprehensive marine planning system that is being developed in England.

According to the MMO marine plans aim to
inform and guide marine users and regulators, manage the sustainable
development of marine industries, such as wind farms, shipping, marine
aggregates and fishing, alongside the need to conserve and protect marine
species and habitats and recognise leisure uses too.

The first areas to be selected for marine
planning were the East Inshore and East Offshore marine planning areas which
have been progressing since 2011 and are due for completion in 2013.

The public are invited to three workshops
where they can meet the MMO team for an introduction to marine planning, discuss
the ways in which they can get involved in the plans and raise awareness of any
key issues.

The workshops will help inform the
Statement of Public Participation (SPP) – a public guide on how to get involved
with planning – which will need to be approved by the Secretary of State before
the MMO officially begins planning later in 2013.

Caroline Price Royal Yachting Association
(RYA) planning and environment advisor said the RYA has been engaged at both
the national and local level on marine planning since the Marine and Coastal
Access Act came into force in 2009 to ensure that the importance of
recreational boating around the coast is understood.

She said: “Recreational boating can
co-exist with most other marine activities quite happily but there are circumstances
that are not so straightforward and it is essential that the MMO understand

“For example allowing commercial and
recreational traffic to remain separated is important for navigational safety
and the ‘squeeze’ effect of numerous offshore renewable energy developments can
make this challenging, particularly on the east coast.’

“Although the marine planning process can
take up to two years it’s important that everyone involved in recreational
boating gets engaged in the whole process so that we can collectively ensure
that the MMO takes the navigational safety requirements for recreational
boating into account in its planning.”

Find out more at

Dates and location of MMO workshops
Email planning@marinemanagement.org.uk if you would like to attend one of the workshops by December 21.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Please state your preferred location and if you have any dietary requirements.
Exeter – January 28 2013, from 10am to 4pm, Exeter City Football Club, St. James Park Stadium Way, Exeter EX4 6PX

Southampon – January 29 2013, from 10am to 4pm, Hilton Southampton Hotel, Bracken Place, Chilworth, Southampton SO16 3NG

Brighton – January 30, from 10am to 4pm, Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel, 149 Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2PP