Draft Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy

Closed 25 Mar 2020

Opened 18 Dec 2019

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring secure, reliable and affordable energy supplies within the context of long-term decarbonisation of energy generation. Continued growth of the renewable energy sector in Scotland is an essential feature of the future clean energy system and a potential key driver of economic growth.

In November 2017, Crown Estate Scotland (CES) announced their intention to run a further leasing round for commercial scale offshore wind energy projects in Scottish Waters. This initiative is consistent with the Scottish Energy Strategy which envisages further offshore wind developments as playing a key role in Scotland’s future energy mix.  To inform the spatial development of this leasing round, Marine Scotland, as Planning Authority for Scotland’s Seas is required to undertake a planning exercise, in accordance with relevant EC, UK and Scottish legislation. 

The draft Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind aims to identify the most sustainable options for the future development of commercial-scale offshore wind energy in Scotland.  The draft Plan seeks to contribute to the achievement of Scottish and UK climate change policy objectives and targets, through the provision of a spatial strategy which seeks to maximises the benefits for Scotland, our communities and our people, whilst minimising the potential adverse effects on other marine users, economic sectors and the environment resulting from further commercial offshore wind development.

The development of the draft Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind has included a full Sustainability Appraisal (encompassing a Strategic Environmental Assessment, a Habitats Regulations Appraisal and a Social and Economic Impact Assessment) as well as significant planning and stakeholder engagement.

Why your views matter

A previous “Scoping” consultation was carried out in 2018 which sought views on the initial screening, scoping and methodological work for the Sectoral Marine Plan and the Sustainability Appraisal.  It also sought views on the results of an initial scoping exercise to identify “Areas of Search” to take forward into the planning process.

Since then, the draft Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind has continued to develop both through iterations of the Areas of Search and through the findings of the Sustainability Appraisal which have all informed the planning process to date. 

The purpose of the consultation is to seek views on the draft Plan, the draft Plan Options therein, and the suite of assessments captured under the Sustainability Appraisal. 

In particular we are seeking your views on the following:

This consultation will seek your views on each of these reports ensuring that the plan development is as transparent as possible and that all stakeholders have the opportunity to contribute to the planning process.

Read the draft Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind

What happens next

Following this consultation, the written responses received will be reviewed and analysed.  The draft Plan will be reviewed in response to comments made during the consultation.  In the event that substantial changes are required as a result of this consultation process, further assessment and consultation may be required.

The final Plan will be prepared and presented for approval and adoption by Scottish Ministers.  The final Plan will be published along with relevant supporting information such as an Appropriate Assessment and Post Adoption Statement as soon as possible thereafter.

The final adopted Plan will be subject to iterative plan review which will ensure that the Plan remains reflective of current scientific understanding and knowledge, as well as the wider regulatory and policy context. 

The Consultation Analysis Report was published on 22 July 2020. 


  • Energy
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Marine and Fisheries