Marine plan is hailed a success by elected members

A regional marine plan for Shetland has been hailed as an example for other areas to follow.

Councillors on the SIC’s development committee discussed the document during their meeting on Monday afternoon.

It comes after ministers directed the council and the NAFC Marine Centre to draw up the regional plan in March 2016.

Coastal zone manager Simon Pallant said a draft document had previously been drawn up, and the final version was now ready for submission to Scottish ministers.

Once adopted, the Shetland Islands Regional Marine Plan – which will govern future developments in waters around the isles – will be the first of its kind in Scotland.

It should serve as a stand-alone policy and will replace the current marine spatial plan, which dates back to 2015.

Head of development Neil Grant said the report was the equivalent of the local development plan for the sea.

Development chairman Alastair Cooper said Shetland’s track record on marine policy had been widely recognised.

“What cheered me up was that so many statutory consultees said they were very happy with the plan, and what was in it,” he said.

Adding he was “very, very happy” to see it, he moved the plan be approved. He was seconded by South Mainland councillor Allison Duncan.


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