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UK East Inshore and East Offshore Marine Plans: Developing sustainable uses and activities

Created: 2/22/2017 - Updated: 5/09/2019

Photo attricuted to: Nigel Freeman / The beach at Felixstowe / CC BY-SA 2.0.  Incorporated here under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. No endorsement by licensor implied.


The United Kingdom established the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, requiring the development of marine plans under the guidance of the Marine Management Organization. Approximately eleven plans will be developed for the sustainable development of various uses and activities in ocean regions around England by 2021. The first two developed were the East Inshore and East Offshore Marine Plans; both plans were designed to be compatible with other relevant coastal policies and plans, such as Local Development Frameworks, River Basin Management Plans, Shoreline Management Plans, Estuary Management Plans, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty management plans, and the Broads Authority plan.

The East Inshore planning area includes the area of coastline stretching from Felixstowe to Flamborough Head, extending offshore to 12 nautical miles. This includes areas subjected to mean high water spring tide (i.e. estuaries, rivers, channels). The East Offshore planning area extends beyond the 12 nautical mile mark out to the Exclusive Economic Zone boundary, which includes maritime borders with France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Both planning areas are intensively used for shipping routes, offshore wind farms, fishing, cables and telecommunications infrastructure, recreation and tourism, and carbon capture and storage.

The marine plans identify eleven objectives to guide decisions in these areas. Objective 9 encourages that all marine uses and activities incorporate climate change impacts over the lifetime of projects and contribute to climate adaptation and mitigation. Two policies guide climate-informed decision making in the East Inshore and Offshore planning areas: Policy CC1 and Policy CC2. Policy CC1 requires that proposals account for (1) how they may be affected by and respond to climate change over the lifetime of projects, and (2) how they may affect any other climate adaptation policy or measure over their lifetime, and evidence of how the project will aim to reduce potential impacts. This policy requires that new coastal and marine development incorporate climate change projections and consult with agencies responsible for coastal erosion and flood risk management during project planning. Policy CC2 requires that proposals minimize greenhouse gas emissions to the maximum extent practicable by accounting for (1) emissions directly generated from the proposed project (i.e. construction, operation), (2) emissions indirectly related to the proposal (i.e. increased journey length for vessels), and (3) the impact that the proposed activity may have on existing mitigation measures (i.e. carbon offsets, renewable energy). This policy requires that projects consider energy efficiency and low carbon alternatives to minimize unintended consequences on carbon emissions. 


Gregg, R.M. 2017. UK East Inshore and East Offshore Marine Plans: Developing sustainable uses and activities. Summary of a project of the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Retrieved from CAKE: (Last updated February 2017)

Project Contacts

The UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy.


Scale of Project: 
Regional / Subnational
Sector Addressed: 
Land Use Planning
Habitat/Biome Type: 

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