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Devon County Council recognises the importance of the coast and seas around Devon to its communities. It is only by careful and informed planning and management that we will be able to use these environments to our benefit in the long term and not degrade them. We wish to support discussion, leading to action, with key players both here in Devon and further afield and these will underpin the possibility of a rich, dynamic, diverse and productive maritime environment for the long-term.

Maritime Role and Action Programme

Hartland Point

Devon County Council has prepared a series of Role and Action Programmes. These set out a strategy for delivering the statutory duties and discretionary services of the County Council under the themes of landscape, biodiversity, tourism, maritime and historic environments. They establish five-year agendas and their action programmes are reviewed on an annual basis.

The planning and management of activity in the maritime environment is shared by many organisations and needs to take account of community and user needs, the sustainable economic development of the coast and environmental factors both natural and historic. It is the purpose of this document to record this role, state the relevant policies and to commit the Council to a continued programme of action. Recognising the strength of partnership, there is much to be achieved by working with others.

Further information:

To order copies of the Maritime Role and Action Programme please complete this Maritime Role and Action Programme order form.

Devon Maritime Forum

The Devon Maritime Forum was established in 2005 as a strategic county-wide partnership that acts a ‘champion of the sea’ for Devon and the South West. Devon County Council is a funding partner of the forum, along with Natural England, The National Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust, South West Water, Environment Agency, Plymouth Marine Sciences Partnership and the University of Plymouth. The forum facilitates communication between a network of marine stakeholders - providing a coherent ‘voice’ for maritime Devon, raising the profile of marine and maritime concerns and promoting broad debate in order to achieve sustainability on our coasts and seas.

Further information:

Marine & Coastal Access Act and Marine Planning
The Marine and Coastal Access Bill received Royal Assent on 12 November 2009. The Act contains a number of measures which affects Devon County Council. These include, marine planning, coastal access, marine nature conservation, marine licensing, fisheries management and marine enforcement. The new marine planning system (a Marine Policy Statement and series of marine plans) for UK waters has sustainable development of the UK marine area at its heart. Marine planning will be one of the major functions of the Marine Management Organisation, which will have responsibility for preparing marine plans in accordance with the policies and objectives set out by the Government.

Marine plans in coastal areas will overlap slightly with the area of jurisdiction of local authorities. Plans will cover the area up to mean high water spring tide whereas local authorities’ responsibility run down to low water mark. It is important that local authorities play a key role in the marine planning process and are involved fully throughout. Devon County Council works in partnership with district councils and with the Marine Management Organisation to develop a consistent approach between terrestial and marine plans.

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Devon County Council
Lucombe House
County Hall


01392 383019


01392 381459

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