National Marine Plan Statement of Public Participation


This document outlines the approach to the engagement of the public in the development of Scotland’s National Marine Plan (NMP). 

Application in MSP: 
Applied in an MSP process
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Develop and implement plan
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 

Questions this practice may help answer

  • How were stakeholders and the public involved in the development of the National Marine Plan?
  • What are the legislative requirements regarding public participation in planning in Scotland?

Implementation Context

Scotland’s National Marine Plan (NMP) was developed over 5 years, from 2011 – 2016, to address the requirements for marine planning set out in the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. This statement of public participation sets out the process by which stakeholders were engaged and informed the development of the NMP.

Aspects / Objectives

Outline the approach to public participation in the development of the National Marine Plan in Scotland.


The document is based around the 9 steps of plan development, setting out how stakeholders and the public were engaged at each stage.

Stage 1: Initial meetings to consult stakeholders on the scope and content of the National Marine Plan: June - December 2010.

Stage 2: Preparation of pre consultation draft National Marine Plan and undertaking Sustainability Appraisal (SA), which includes Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA):  October 2010 – March 2011.

Stage 3: Pre consultation of the draft national marine plan and draft SA/SEA (12 weeks): March 2011 - June 2011.

Stage 4: Revision of the pre consultation draft National Marine Plan in response to comments made during the pre-consultation and the SA/SEA pre consultation followed by Scottish and UK Ministerial clearance process: July 2011 - June 2013.

Stage 5: Consultation on the Draft National Marine Plan (16 weeks) and Consultation on the SA/SEA and partial BRIA (16 weeks): 25 July 2013 – 13 November 2013

Stage 6: Revision of the Draft National Plan (including a statement on inclusion of retained functions and that the plan is in conformity with MPS) in response to comments made during the Plan consultation, SA/SEA and partial BRIA consultation followed by Scottish and UK Ministerial clearance process: November 2013 – October 2014.

Stage 7: Laying draft National Marine Plan before Parliament and Parliamentary consideration of the proposed National Marine Plan: 11 December -  February 2015.

Stage 8: Final considerations, adoption and publication of the National Marine Plan. Publication of the SEA Post-Adoption Statement: March 2015

Stage 9: Keep National Marine Plan under review and report in line with the appropriate legalisation.

Main Outputs / Results

The document is available online at:


The document outlines the approach in Scotland but may be of interest to the understanding of public participation to be applied in other contexts.

Responsible Entity

Marine Scotland.

Costs / Funding Source

Scottish Government.

Contact Person

Marine Scotland