Archived Consultations

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                                                                       Devonshire Cup Coral © Howard Wood COAST


If you want to influence government decisions and policies relating to issues you are concerned about within Scotland, then responding to government consultations is one way to do so.

Consultation responses are a good way to get your community’s voice heard on local and national issues that are important to you, and they can also help with organising your group or seeking clarity and consensus around issues your community want to speak on collectively.

This page archives consultations which have been relevant to the Coastal Communities Network since the launch of the website – follow the links within the text to view the responses on the Scottish Government Consultation Hub, or from Network groups (where present).

Scotland’s finfish aquaculture sector relies on Scotland’s high quality environment and abundant freshwater resources. SEPA have unveiled ‘firm, evidence-based proposals’ for a revised regulatory regime and, at its heart, a new sector plan that outlines how they propose to do this. 

The draft plan outlines enhanced standards for organic waste and a strengthened approach for licensing medicines. The plan also details strengthened monitoring and assessment processes and a more comprehensive approach to ensuring fish farm operators comply with all these requirements.

Recognising the diverse range of views on finfish aquaculture, SEPA are keen to hear directly from individuals, interest groups, NGOs, communities, companies and others with a view on the regulatory proposals. Across November and December SEPA will gather feedback to shape the future of how to regulate the finfish aquaculture sector. SEPA want communities to inform and enrich the decisions they take every day to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment.

Read more, and submit your response online here.  Read CCN’s response here.

Opening Date: 7th November 2018

Closing Date: 24th December 2018

Responses published on: TBC

The project to improve protection given to PMFs outside the MPA network was initiated in May 2017. This followed an incident in Loch Carron in April 2017 when a flame shell bed was damaged by scallop dredging activity, and resulted in the designation of the Loch Carron MPA. The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change, and Land Reform also requested that necessary steps were taken to ensure that Priority Marine Features (PMFs) were being protected in accordance with the National Marine Plan.

The principal aim of the project is to ensure that the necessary fisheries management measures are in place to ensure protection of PMFs, and comply with the relevant policy in the National Marine Plan. Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) identified 11 habitats which are particularly sensitive to impact from bottom contacting mobile fishing gears.

Whilst the focus in this project is on managing fisheries to ensure the conservation of these important habitats and species, it is anticipated that the SNH advice documents form part of a wider context. It is expected that the advice in the assessment of each PMF will have relevance to all industries and regulators. Separately, SNH is also developing more detailed guidance on those habitats and species which are regularly assessed in relation to development proposals.

The purpose of the consultation is to seek views on the scope of the project to improve protection given to PMFs outside the MPA network. It seeks views on the scoping report, methodology, data and advice sources, management approach and potential alternatives. This consultation is not asking whether measures should be implemented. Another consultation will follow where measures will be proposed and it will be accompanied by a Sustainability Appraisal. Read more here.

Read the response from Friends of the Sound of Jura.

Read the response from Fauna & Flora International.

Opening Date: 5th July 2018

Closing Date: 31st August 2018

Responses published on: TBC

An online discussion seeking input to the development of an Environment Strategy for Scotland. This takes forward the commitment in the 2017/18 Programme for Government to develop a strategic approach on environmental policy to protect and enhance our environment, safeguard natural capital and continue Scotland’s leading role in addressing environmental challenges.

Responses will help to inform the development of an Environment Strategy for Scotland. In particular, feedback is invited on:

  • a draft vision and set of outcomes to achieve through Scotland’s environment and climate change policies
  • a series of knowledge accounts that will help guide decisions over priorities for action to achieve this vision

Read more online here.

Opening Date: 29th June 2018

Closing Date: 24th August 2018

Responses published on: TBC. Strategy due in late 2018.

The purpose of this consultation is to gather views from stakeholders on the addition of secondary legislation under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to introduce a ban on the manufacture and the sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds. The proposed bans aim to further protect our seas from plastic pollution.

The Scottish Government is seeking the views of any organisation or individual with an interest in these matters to ensure introducing secondary legislation fully addresses the environmental threat of plastic pollution caused by plastic-stemmed cotton buds entering our seas.

Read more online here.

Opening Date: 27 April 2018

Closing Date: 22 June 2018

Responses published on: TBC

Loch Carron was designated as an emergency MPA in May 2017, following confirmation of damage to sensitive seabed habitats in the area. An urgent Marine Conservation Order (MCO) was put in place at the same time to manage fisheries activity.

The existing urgent MPA and MCO are still in place in Loch Carron. However, an MPA designated on an urgent basis only lasts f or a maximum of two years. Normal procedures for protected area designations, including public consultation, need to be undertaken to designate a permanent MPA.

Therefore, the two items below are the subject of this public consultation:

  • Proposal to designate Loch Carron as a nature conservation Marine Protected Area (MPA) to protect flame shell beds and maerl beds with an updated site boundary.
  • Proposal to make a Marine Conservation Order (MCO) to further the stated conservation objectives for the Loch Carron MPA

Read more here.

Read FFI’s response here.

Opening Date: 20 March 2018

Closing Date: 13 June 2018

Responses published on: Expected 15 Dec 2018

What: The REC committee’s remit is to consider the current state of salmon industry in Scotland, identify opportunities for its future development and explore how the various fish health and environmental challenges it currently faces can be addressed. More details and documents here.

The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee invites all interested individuals and organisations to submit written evidence to its inquiry into salmon farming in Scotland. During the inquiry, the Committee intends to:
  • gather information on the current state of the industry;
  • identify opportunities for its future development; and
  • explore how the various fish health, environmental and other challenges it currently faces can be addressed.

Read the written response from Fauna & Flora International

Read the written response from Friends of the Sound of Jura

Read the written response from CAOLAS

Opening date: 08 February 2018

Closing date: 27 April 2018

Responses published on: Can be read here.

What: CES are currently developing a new pilot scheme that will improve their understanding of how local authorities, development trusts and other bodies can manage assets in their local area. Their three-year corporate plan sets out the commitment to test different methods of managing assets, empowering communities and giving local people more say in decisions that impact the land, coastline and sea near where they live.

They have appointed Argyll-based Sarah Brown of C2W Consulting to support by providing advice, defining criteria for selecting pilots and ensuring the scheme is informed by consultation and engagement. Sarah has established a set of draft criteria and clear process and CES are now seeking views from tenants, community organisations, local authorities and others. The aim is to launch a scheme that is inclusive, robust and transparent, in summer 2018.  View the report and feedback information here.

Opening Date: 5th March 2018

Closing date: 16th April 2018

Responses published on: Scheme launched June 2018.

What: The Committee is seeking responses to the following questions on this issue:

1. How important are the EU principles of:

  • the precautionary principle
  • preventive action
  • environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source
  • the polluter should pay
  • animal sentience.

2. How and where have these principles had an impact on environmental and animal welfare policy in Scotland?

3. Views on the appropriateness of retaining/adopting/enshrining these EU principles in law or alternative principles/approaches that could be adopted.

4. Views on if and how environmental principles could and should be enshrined in law in Scotland and enforced.

5. Examples of where key environmental principles have been enshrined in domestic legislation elsewhere.

Written submissions requested by email – more here.

Opening date: 5th March 2018

Closing date: 29th March 2018

Responses published on: view responses

What: The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, wants to hear from you on the general principles of the Scottish Crown Estate Bill which the Scottish Government introduced on 24 January 2018. Full details can be read here.

The Committee is keen to hear views on the content of the Bill as drafted. Specifically, the Committee would like comment on:

• Does the Bill allow Crown Estate Scotland, or a delegated manager, to appropriately manage the Scottish assets?
• Are the powers to allow the transfer of the management function appropriate?
• Are the managers’ powers and duties as listed in the Bill appropriate?
• Should any additional power or function of the Scottish Crown Estate not currently provided for in the Bill which should be included?

SCEB Written Evidence Response – Fauna & Flora International

Opening date: 09 February 2018

Closing date: 23 March 2018

Responses published on: view responses

What: On 25 May 2017, the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, announced the Inshore Fisheries Pilots initiative. The aim of this initiative is to explore alternative approaches to managing inshore fisheries, in order to ensure our coastal communities are making the most of our waters.

The pilots will investigate two different methods of fisheries management:

  • A localised approach to fisheries management, where fishing interests are involved in developing distinct local arrangements
  • The impact of separating different methods of fishing, such as creeling and trawling, within specified areas.

The commercial fishing industry was invited to submit proposals for sites that should be considered for the initiative and, following an assessment by Marine Scotland, five different proposals have been brought forward for public consultation.

The intention is that, following this consultation, new management arrangements will be introduced at two sites for a two-year period. Read the consultation paper here.

Opening date: 30 November 2017

Closing date: 22 February 2018

Responses published on: 25 June 2018 view responses

What: The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee has agreed to undertake an inquiry into the environmental impact of salmon farming in Scotland.The ECCLR Committee is carrying out this work in advance of the Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) Committee’s forthcoming inquiry on aquaculture in Scotland.

The ECCLR Committee’s focus is the report commissioned by SPICe and undertaken by SAMS Research Services Ltd (SRSL). This report contains a review of literature on the environmental impacts of salmon farming in Scotland, the scale of the impacts and approaches to mitigating the impacts.

The ECCLR Committee is interested in receiving views directly on the SAMS Research Services Ltd report and its contents. The Committee will not be considering wider issues in relation to the salmon farming sector as this is a matter for the REC Committee. Only written responses will be accepted by email or post, via the details here.

View the submissions from SaveSeilSound, David Ainsley, Jean Ainsley, Scottish Salmon Think Tank and Friends of the Sound of Jura.

Opening date: 25 January 2018

Closing date: 08 February 2018

Responses published on: Published here.

What: The four year (2014-2017) trial is almost complete and the Scottish Government is considering the impacts of the trial and seeking views on the future of the inshore mackerel fishery.

The consultation paper provides a background to the creation of the inshore mackerel fisheries and reviews the impacts of the 2014-17 trial period of expanded access and quota allocation. Please click here to read the consultation document in full.

Opening date: 1 November 2017

Closing date: 13 December 2017

Responses published on: 10 April 2018 view responses

What: Argyll and Bute Council is preparing a new Local Development Plan (LDP2), which will set out its planning and development proposals for the next 10 years from 2020 and a vision for 20 years. The public consultation, called the Main Issues Report, is the first stage of the process to develop a new Local Development Plan.  This report sets out, through a series of questions, how the proposed new LDP2 might differ from the existing Local Development Plan and asks people’s views on those proposals.  Of particular interest may be MIR 14 and 15: Explore the possibility of a new coastal/marine National Park on Argyll’s west coast and its islands.

Opening date: 16 October 2017

Closing date: 11 December 2017

Responses published on: TBC

What: Poor air quality – predominantly caused by road transport – remains an issue at a number of hotspots in Scotland’s towns and cities. The Scottish Government has committed to, with local authorities, introduce Low Emission Zones (LEZs) into Scotland’s four biggest cities between 2018 and 2020 and and into all other Air Quality Management Areas across the country by 2023.

Opening date: 06 September 2017

Closing date: 28 November 2017

Responses published on: view responses

What: SEPA’s role is to ensure that aquaculture in Scotland’s marine environment operates responsibly and with minimum environmental impact.  As a result, SEPA intend to modernise and strengthen the way they regulate aquaculture.  They have prepared draft proposals and want your views on these.

Opening date: 26 June 2017

Closing date: 30 September 2017

Responses published on: TBC

What: The Islands (Scotland) Bill was introduced by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, on 9 June 2017. It is a Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision for a national islands plan; to impose duties in relation to island communities on certain public authorities; to make provision about the electoral representation of island communities; and to establish a licensing scheme in respect of marine development adjacent to islands. The Committee has launched a call for evidence and a survey on the Bill and are seeking for views.

Opening date: 26 June 2017

Closing date: 25 Sep 2017

Responses published on: 3 Nov 2017  view responses

What: Climate Change Bill – the Scottish Government intends to introduce a new Climate Change Bill with ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts

Opening date: 30 Jun 2017

Closing date: 22 Sep 2017

Responses published on: 18 Dec 2017  view responses