Top excellence award for Marine Spatial Plan
The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan (PFOW MSP) has won the Excellence in Plan Making Practice category at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2017.
The awards were held in London on 15 June. The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the planning industry. They highlight exceptional examples of planning and celebrate the contribution that planners and planning make to society.
The PFOW MSP was one of 90 finalists competing across 14 categories and the only entry relating to the marine environment.
The Judging panel commented: “This plan, a first of its kind for the UK, should be held up as best practice for other councils struggling to integrate land and marine planning into a single plan. It is an interesting and imaginative approach to marine planning and given Britain’s maritime heritage, it’s surprising there aren’t more plans like this one.”
Chair of The Highland Council’s Places Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson paid tribute to all the work that staff have done to produce the Plan. He said: “The working group behind this project have put in an enormous amount of top quality work. Their made an outstanding contribution so on behalf of The Highland Council I would like to congratulate them of winning this prestigious award. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the public for their commitment and input during the consultation stages of the Plan. Their knowledge and contribution played a vital role in delivering such a well received and comprehensive Plan.”
In November last year the PFOW MSP received an award in the “Partnership” category of the Scottish Awards for Quality Planning. The Plan provides non-statutory Planning Guidance for making marine planning decisions to support environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development along the north Highland coast and in Orkney. It streamlines the process of preparing and determining marine licences, planning applications, consents and activities as well as providing Marine Scotland’s licensing team and other marine planners with information on the variety of marine activities and their potential interactions in one place.