Am I going mad?

This is the latest release from the Marine Management Organisation and cannot possibly have been written by Joseph Heller because he died 14 years ago.

But it is the sort of thing that his character in Catch 22, Major Major Major Major might have drafted:

‘Future plan areas
We are engaging with the future plan areas across the rest of England while the planning process for the first plans for the East Inshore and East Offshore areas takes place over the next two years.

Engagement with the other plan areas is vital as it will allow us to form relationships and foster early engagement with key stakeholders in each plan area. Also, this approach will benefit future plan making by gathering initial evidence and data for each plan area.

Stakeholders are essential to this process as the development of effective future plans will rely on collaborative working between sectors. Their advice and influence will help us to ensure consistency, benefiting plan making in future plan areas.

We will encourage all interested parties across England affected by marine planning to engage with us and understand the process as early as possible.

How we are working with stakeholders

Currently, we are planning our engagement in the future plan areas and responding to requests from interested parties. We are visiting the future plan areas and evidence gathering by engaging with locally interested groups in each future plan area. In particular, we are building links with key forums and partnerships allowing us to extend our knowledge of stakeholders so we can include them in the planning process.

Also, we are working closely with those established contacts in future plan areas to build capacity in existing organisations to provide the vital evidence that will support the planning process. We are engaging with these groups through methods such as visits, newsletters and answering queries.

The reporting area

The reporting area refers to the stakeholders outside a plan area that will be affected by decisions made within that plan area. This is an important area to address as these stakeholders, users both commercial and recreational are likely to be affected by decisions made for the plan area and may wish to inform the content of the plan It is vital we can take on board the views of those stakeholders in the reporting area.

An example of the reporting area would be a port that is located outside the current plan areas, but has shipping routes through the plan areas. These shipping routes could be affected by decisions made in the plan area and therefore, the port would need to be consulted on the impact of the plan on their activities.

If you think you are included in the reporting area for the current plan areas (East Inshore and East Offshore), please contact us and we will include you in our reporting area engagement.

How you can get involved

The future marine planning unit have been visiting key stakeholders in future plan areas and providing updates on the marine planning process and how you can get involved in the process. If you would like more information from the future marine planning unit please contact’

You have been warned.

Pic: Graham Bates