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From windfarms to bustling coastal towns - England’s first ever marine plans focus on the East of England in a bid to boost its £49bn marine economy

PUBLISHED: 11:41 02 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:41 02 April 2014

Scroby Sands Wind farm of the coast of Great Yarmouth and Caister in the North  Sea. Picture: Mike Page.

Scroby Sands Wind farm of the coast of Great Yarmouth and Caister in the North Sea. Picture: Mike Page.

England’s first ever plans for the future of our seas – covering the East coast - have been published today.

The marine plans - which provide guidance for sustainable development in English waters - cover the coast and seas from Flamborough Head to Felixstowe.

They have been developed by the Marine Management Organisation on behalf of the Secretary of State Owen Paterson.

An interactive tool explaining how marine plans affect the area also goes live today – the Marine Information System.

Marine plans will inform and guide decisions on development in marine and coastal areas, while conserving and enhancing the environment and recognising leisure uses too.

The aim is to reduce costs and increase certainty for developers, boosting economic and employment benefits for coastal communities and beyond.

The first two plans cover the East inshore and offshore areas, with a total of 11 plans covering all English waters anticipated by 2021.

Seas have become increasingly busy, with industries such as oil and gas, wind farms, shipping, aggregates and fishing competing for space with each other and with nature. The marine economy is currently worth more than £49bn a year and has the potential to grow significantly.

The East of England was chosen due to its range of marine related activities, from wind farms to bustling coastal towns.

Environment Secretary Owen Patterson said: “UK seas are home to one of the richest marine environments in the world and are currently worth more than £40bn a year to our economy.

“We are making sure that environmental considerations are embedded in every decision about proposed developments along the coast from Flamborough Head to Felixstowe and in our seas out to the maritime borders with the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

“By 2021, marine plans will cover the entire English marine area, supporting an estimated £50m of economic benefit each year and helping to promote sustainable development of the marine area”.

MMO chief executive James Cross added: “These plans are the culmination of years of work by government, industry, environmental organisations and many others.

“We are delighted to be at the forefront of sustainable marine development, cutting red tape for developers while taking full account of social and environmental impacts.”

The UK has one of the richest marine environments in the world, with more than 8,000 species recorded in our seas.

Plans will take full account of marine protected areas, recognising the wealth of species and habitats in our seas.


  • If you consider all the amount of money that has been spent on reports, investigations and other bureaucratic involvement, it is one heck of a lot of money.. For example First East had £800,000 a year allocated for six years. On top of that amount further money was spent on investigating the campus project which I believe finished up costing the Lowestoft taxpayer about £5 million pounds. There is now an investigation into whether Lowestoft needs flood defences and also a third crossing. It is immoral the amount of money that was spent by the bureaucrats to achieve nothing or very little. Lowestoft needs jobs and infrastructure improvements now. Not in 14 years time as the area action plan (another waste of money) projects.

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    Peter Colby

    Sunday, April 6, 2014

  • QUANGO’s and Government Bodies are the cartelist for failures! Which this will be! Why because no Businessman, Commercial Company or any knowledgeable person in North Sea Energy is or has been party to yet another debacle dreamt up by people that try to justify their existence on Taxpayer’s Money

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    John L Cooper

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • If you listen closely, you can hear someone starting a campaign to stop this.

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    Steady On

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • I hate to say it, but it seems that a new planschemewhatever for the economy of the Lowestoft area is proposed every day that begins with T. I'm beginning to wonder if writing planning proposals is the emerging industry that promises jobs and a bright future for Lowestoft. Maybe I should develop a plan about it.....

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    A. Taylor

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • Never mind wind farms,anything that produces energy from hot air would do well on the east coast,that or energy from rubbish. These 'plans' and other tripe like them provide plenty of both yet never come to anything.

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    kevin bacon

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • Stop Press

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • Would those 'Environmental considerations' include the decision (already taken) to allow large scale crude oil tanker lightening operations off Southwold, or the continuation of massive aggregate dredging close to where coastal erosion is such a problem off Yarmouth? Since the start of exploration for gas off Norfolk in the 1960's, much damage has been inflicted on the environment, Past over fishing saw huge impacts on fish stocks and today much of the commercial marine traffic passing along our shores is unmonitored due to the cutbacks in the MCA. So now we are told 'all,s well' as we have another expensive quango to help protect us. Really?

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    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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