Annex IV distributes metadata forms (questionnaires) to solicit information from researchers around the world who are exploring the environmental effects of marine renewable energy. This page provides a description and contact information related to the research. Content is updated on an annual basis.

Pilot Marine Spatial Plan for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters

Research Study Annex IV

Title: Pilot Marine Spatial Plan for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters
Start Date:
April 01, 2012
Research End Date:
March 01, 2016
Technology Type:
Info Updated:
March 31, 2016
Study Status: 
Princple Investigator Contact Information: 

Name: Shona Turnbull

Address: Highland Council, Planning & Development, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness. IV3 5N3

Phone: +44 (0) 1463 702220


Project Description: 

Marine Scotland, Highland Council and Orkney Islands Council established a working group to develop a pilot non-statutory Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan (the pilot plan).  The pilot plan promotes the sustainable management and development of the marine environment and  incorporates economic, environmental and social considerations into marine development decision making.  The plan aims to establish a strategic decision making framework for licensing and other consent applications in the marine area.  Working with a broad range of stakeholders, this planning process reconciles the aspirations of all marine users including the marine renewable energy sector, inshore fisheries, shipping and navigation, aquaculture, the oil and gas sector, recreation and tourism.  The plan supports sustainable economic growth and ensure that relevant social and environmental factors are taken into account in marine decision making and management.

Funding Source: 

Scottish Government

Location of Research: 

Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters, Scotland, UK

Project Aims: 

The overall goals of the Marine Spatial Plan are as follows:

  • To establish a coherent strategic vision and objectives to achieve sustainable development;
  • To set out policies to support the delivery of sustainable development;
  • To produce and use relevant, reliable and robust information to support the plan policies, inform decision making and support the sustainable management of the marine environment; and
  • To develop a framework for integrating marine planning with terrestrial planning. 
Project Progress: 

Stage 1 was completed and published March 2011.  It consisted of a Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan Framework and Regional Locational Guidance for Marine Energy.  This set out a high level framework for the three stage plan, identified the current status of knowledge in related areas and made recommendations on how to address the subsequent data gaps.  Stage 2 consisted of a suite of research studies commissioned by Marine Scotland undertaken to address the gaps in information identified in Stage 1.


Stage 3 consisted of several steps that provide the documentation necessary to develop the pilot marine spatial plan.  These steps were as follows:

  • The production of a Plan Scheme (published in 2012)
  • The production of a Planning Issues and Options Paper (Prepared for public consultation in summer 2013)
  • Preparation of the Draft Pilot Marine Spatial Plan. (Prepared for 12 week public consultation in summer 2015)
  • Final Pilot Plan and Lessons Learned report published spring 2016
Related Publications: 

Stage 1: Marine Spatial Planning Framework - Final document. 2011 Available [Online]


Stage 2: For a full list of published research relating to Stage 2 see the following link: Accessed 31/03/2016


Stage 3: Pilot Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan Accessed 31/03/2016

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