The Welsh Government’s draft plan to manage Wales’s coast – known as the Welsh National Marine Plan – should be applauded for its integrated approach to land use and marine planning, but needs to be ‘slimmed down’, according to the Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru.
In its current form, the plan is too long and unworkable. It is meant to be a policy document but it also contains large amounts of technical information which should be moved into technical appendices. The Institute has warned that unless amended it will be difficult for users to implement ‘on the ground’ because it currently lacks clarity on what the policies are and be unmanageable.
Responding to the Welsh Government’s consultation on the plan, Roisin Willmott FRTPI, Director of RTPI Cymru said:
“While we welcome this ambitious plan we are concerned it is too big and unwieldy. We know from our members’ feedback that it will make it harder to implement. Implementation is also likely to be hampered by the resource constraints already faced by local planning authorities.”
The Institute also recommended greater integration between the draft plan and existing land use plans to ensure effective management of Wales’ coasts.
The Institute highlighted the Pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan – a RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence Winner – as an example of good practice.
The RTPI Cymru developed its response to the Draft Welsh National Marine Plan following feedback from members.
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Image: Three Cliffs Bay - Jamie Chapman/unsplash