The frontiers of planning advanced yesterday when the Scottish Parliament passed the Marine (Scotland) Bill. Increased development pressure from renewables along with the fish farms, oil and gas gave impetus to the new legislation. The bill will empower Scottish Ministers to create plans to guide development at sea and to create Marine Protected Areas for historic assets and natural heritage, as well as streamlining the system for licensing development. It is designed to interlock with the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, and if Scotland and London can agree, the Scottish Ministers will be able to make plans from the Scottish shore to 200 nautical miles west of Rockall – room for the Salmon(d) and Sturgeon to roam!
On February 5, 2010