The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is seeking feedback on policies to update guidance on Marine Protected Area (MPA) assessments.

In July 2021, Defra consulted on best practice guidance for developing compensatory measures in relation to MPAs.  The UK government department are now consulting on draft policies to inform updated guidance using this feedback to ensure MPA assessments are proportionate, compliant and robust and allow them to meet dual net zero and biodiversity goals.


Photo: Lewis Ashton


Why views are important

The final guidance will apply to all industries proposing a development that may negatively impact MPAs or their features. Defra are seeking views on the draft definitions and principles in the consultation to help improve the effectiveness of the final guidance to support the delivery of compensatory measures at a strategic scale for marine industries planning to apply for consent within the next 18 months.

Defra wish to know what respondents think about the proposed updates. They are particularly keen to hear from marine industries affected by the consenting and planning process on:

  • how applicable and feasible the guidance is
  • whether you think this would reduce delays to the consenting process

The updates have been developed for:

  • regulatory bodies
  • statutory nature conservation bodies
  • other public authorities whose functions may affect MPAs
  • marine developers

Further information on the ‘Consultation on policies to inform updated guidance for Marine Protected Area assessments’ can be read here. The consultation is open until 22 March 2024.

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