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Options generation

Why consider different options?

It is necessary to consider different ways of achieving the plan objectives and vision, and addressing the key issues for the plan, in order to ensure that the choices made about how the plan is developed and implemented have been well thought-through, including the implications of any choices.

In order to do this, it is necessary to go through stages of (spatial and non-spatial) analysis that start with some broad-scale choices (options) that address a key issue that can drive change. Then look at any implications of those choices for other key issues and then formulating responses to any implications as well as any further implications that may arise as a result of these responses. Through this process options are developed and become more detailed and, as part of it, some may be ruled out or amended significantly from their starting point. This is to better address the key issues, vision and objectives.

Once fully developed, they can be more formally appraised – for example, against sustainability criteria – before a preferred option is derived. The preferred option may be one option or a combination of options. A preferred option will then be further developed and formally appraised, before confirming supporting policies as the basis for a draft, becoming a plan.

Initial options

Unlike terrestrial planning which has well-established key issues such as housing and employment land, it is necessary to identify the key issues for marine planning based on the evidence and stakeholder input. The key issues are considered to be those that are likely to drive or be subject to change in the plan areas and which can be (partly) addressed by planning.

As a starting point for options analysis, it was considered most effective to focus on a couple of key issues and on those for which potential future change, including potential spatial footprint, could be meaningfully described. As a result, we identified wind and aggregates as the starting point for options development, with subsequent consideration of implications for other key issues and how best to address those.

Pread a more about the initial options (PDF 34 KB).

Contact information

Marine Planning Team
Marine Management Organisation
Lancaster House
Hampshire Court
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel: 0191 376 2790
Email: planning@