The RYA has contributed to workshops as part of the Marine Management Organisation’s draft policy consultation process, sharing views and representing the interests of recreational boaters.

The workshops were designed for organisations, which also included UK ports and conservation charities, to have their say on iteration 3 of planning in England’s north east, north west, south east and south west marine plan areas. 

Nine workshops, allowing stakeholders to comment on preferred draft policies, were supported by online engagement. Input is now being analysed and will contribute towards the draft Marine Plans for which public consultation will open in late 2019. Marine Officers continue to hold regular meetings in their plan area on request.

Feedback on the process highlighted the challenges of commenting on policies when viewed in isolation and the need to ensure consistency where appropriate, both across policies and between marine areas or plans. Participants felt policies would be easier to analyse once they are supported by spatial data sets and maps. Stakeholders felt the policies themselves had improved as the stages of engagement had progressed. 

The RYA is working to ensure that no marine plan policies restrict boating or discourage the development of improved facilities and access and will continue to represent boating interests as the development of UK marine plans progresses. 

Phil Horton, RYA Environment and Sustainability Manager, said: “We continue to support the development of marine plans, where they provide clarity on decision making in the coastal zone and reduce uncertainty. However, they should not increase regulatory burdens on the maintenance or improvement of recreational boating facilities and should ensure that existing activity is protected from development proposals.”

For more information on marine planning, visit the RYA Current Affairs hub.

A summary of the engagement period is available to view.