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Marine planning: socio-economic study


Independent study to help marine planners, developers, local authorities and others to understand issues affecting coastal communities. Includes national level information and more detailed information for the East of England.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
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Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
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Questions this practice may help answer

  • How do we measure the effects of marine planning in socioeconomic terms?
  • How can the socioeconomic benefits for coastal communities be maximised from marine planning?
  • What are the likely effects on coastal communities?

Implementation Context

To support the development of marine planning in England, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the responsible authority for marine planning, undertook a number of activities to facilitate MSP mechanisms across the six marine plan regions (which will total 10 marine plans). This included investigations into the socio-economic effects of marine planning.

The socioeconomic study, conducted independently in 2011, is a resource that helps marine planners, developers, local authorities and others with an interest in sustainable development in the marine area to understand various issues affecting coastal communities. It takes a national view of the socio-economic factors currently driving coastal communities in England, from planned developments to tourism, and then looks in more detail at the East of England – the area where the first 2 marine plans were being developed (at the time).

Marine planners will use the study alongside other forms of evidence, data and stakeholder engagement feedback to develop marine plans and maximise the benefits of sustainable marine development for coastal communities. The study will be used to discuss with stakeholders, particularly local authorities, the land-based opportunities marine planning can bring to specific areas.

The study also provides marine planners with detailed information about the marine-related aspirations of local authorities in the East of England plan areas. This work supports the MMO’s decision-making during the planning process and ensure we can understand, and give consideration to, the socio-economic impacts of marine planning in coastal communities, in addition to other data such as environmental factors.

Aspects / Objectives

  • Maximise the socioeconomic benefits of marine planning for coastal communities
  • Provide a resource to support understanding of the effects of marine planning on communities
  • Identify gaps and challenges in measuring the effects of marine planning


Analysis of the social and economic processes at work in coastal communities, then identifying how different marine activities can affect coastal socio-economic performance, developing a typology of coastal communities and identification of issues and recommendations regarding the planning process, including how the effects of the marine planning process can be measured and gaps in the evidence which need to be addressed.

Main Outputs / Results

Reports provided online at:…

The following reports are available:

  • Maximising the socio-economic benefits of marine planning for English coastal communities
  • The East marine plan area: maximising the socio-economic benefits of marine planning
  • Coastal typologies: detailed method and outputs


The report focusses on the English coastline, with a more detailed analysis of the Eastern marine region. However, there are many useful insights which are of wider relevance in considering the understanding and measurement of the effect of marine planning more broadly.

Responsible Entity

This report was been written by Roger Tym & Partners with Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion on behalf of the Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

Costs / Funding Source

Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

Contact Person

Marine Management Organisation

Lancaster House

Hampshire Court

Newcastle upon Tyne


0300 123 1032 (info[at]marinemanagement[dot]org[dot]uk)