1. This Circular explains the relationship between the marine and terrestrial  planning systems, including related regimes such as marine licensing and consenting for offshore energy generation, ports and harbours development and aquaculture.
2. The Circular expands on and explains the arrangements outlined in the National Marine Plan on marine and terrestrial planning.
3. The UK vision for the marine environment, agreed between the UK Government and devolved Administrations, is for 'clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas'. The vision and UK high level marine objectives, first published in April 2009, are reflected in the UK Marine Policy Statement and set out the broad outcomes for the marine area in achieving this vision.
4. Marine Scotland, a Directorate of the Scottish Government, undertakes marine management in Scotland. In support of the vision for the marine environment, Marine Scotland delivers integrated marine management functions; science, policy development and delivery, compliance monitoring and enforcement, whether fully or executively devolved to Scottish Ministers. Marine Scotland, on behalf of Scottish Ministers, has the primary responsibility for marine planning, conservation  and licensing from Mean High Water Springs out to 200 nautical miles.
5. Terrestrial planning authorities (Strategic and Local Planning Authorities and National Park Authorities) are responsible for all terrestrial planning matters down to Mean Low Water Springs and for marine fish farming (finfish and shellfish) where planning consent is required out to 12 nautical miles.
6. In the intertidal zone, between low and high water springs, terrestrial planning authority overlaps with Marine Scotland's responsibilities for the marine area.
Email: Planning and Architecture Division, Chief.Planner@gov.scot