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The Spatial Planning Programme for the Territorial Sea of Lower Saxony

Lower Saxony, Germany 


The spatial planning programme of Lower Saxony (LROP, 2008 and with amendments from 2012), includes provisions concerning wind power production and nature conservation, offshore electricity transmission, and shipping. The programme covers both sea and land, i.e. the whole territory of Lower Saxony, including shares of inland waters, the islands of Ostfriesland and territorial sea within the 12 nm-zone in the North Sea. Objectives of the LROP that apply to both the territorial sea and coastal zones include sustainable development, consideration of stakeholder perspectives from multiple groups and geographies, and reversible measures. 

2008; amended 2012

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:


legal basis

The legal base for spatial planning is the Lower Saxonys’ Law on Spatial Planning (Niedersächsisches Gesetz über Raumordnung und Landesplanung, NROG). 

impact on planning and decision-making

The spatial planning programme of Lower Saxony (LROP), in its revised version promulgated in May 2008 and with amendments from 2012, includes provisions concerning wind power production and nature conservation, offshore electricity transmission, and shipping. It is the basis for future specific maritime spatial plans. 

area covered

The NROG covers the entire “Land”, including the territorial sea within the 12 nm-zone in the North Sea (see Fig. 1).  Article 2.4 states additional principles for the territorial sea, the islands and the coastal zone.


These areas should be developed through an integrated coastal zone management. Ecological, social, economic and cultural concerns have to be included. The NROG also states that additional provisions of content, issue and extent for the regional spatial plans (RROP) can be described in the spatial planning programme of Lower Saxony (Landes-Raumordnungsprogramm, LROP). There it is referred to an integrated development of coast, islands and the North Sea.

The programme already takes into account the following issues - also reflected in the requirements of the EU MSP Directive:

-  Environment aspects 

-  Socio-economic aspects

-  Safety aspects

-  Co-existence of uses 

-  Stakeholders

-  Ecosystem-based approach 

-  Resilience to climate change

Designated uses

The LROP includes activities such as coastal protection, sand extraction, nature protection especially in the Wadden Sea, cultural heritage, shipping, wind energy and submarine cables and special regulation concerning the islands. Particularly in the space of the Wadden Sea National Park the requirements of the LROP are strongly limiting other uses. 

Lower Saxony also established a non-binding statement of planning principles for key stakeholders in 2005 (Spatial Planning Concept for Lower Saxony’s coastal area - ROKK). Formerly these principles served to implement the EU Recommendation on ICM. 

public participation

For LROP-amendments, which could also include regulations concerning the sea, a wide participation of public authorities, stakeholders and the general public is designated.

For preparation and realisation of spatial plans and relevant projects and planning public authorities, people of private law including NGOs and people from the economy shall cooperate. 

transboundary consultation

There exists transnational consultation with the Netherlands. On national level consultation took part with the Federal government and other German Federal States. 

contact person

Ms Petra Sewig

Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection