Application of marine spatial plans
The marine spatial plans are the Government’s overall guidance to authorities, municipalities and regions when planning and in licensing processes for the use of the sea. The considerations of the marine spatial plans are strategic and long-term. This means that the marine spatial plans provide the alignment for the use of the sea. In the marine spatial planning process, the suitability for different uses has been assessed overall. In the event of a subsequent permit assessment, a more detailed project- and site-specific assessment of the use in an area is carried out.
Marine spatial plans in licensing processes
The marine spatial plans are a guiding basis for permit assessments and other matters in accordance with the Environmental Code (1998:808). Each authority or municipality applying the Environmental Code must ensure that the marine spatial plans are available in the case when examining an activity or action within the marine planning area. In matters relating to new or changed use of a marine area, the Environmental Code shall be applied. In the interpretation of what is most suitable use under these regulations, the marine spatial plans are indicative.
The marine spatial plans are also a guiding basis for permit assessments under other laws, such as the Act (1992:1140) on the Swedish Economic Zone and the Act (1966:314) on the Continental Shelf .
The County Administrative Board has an important role as it is responsible for the initiatives needed to take into account chapters 3 and 4 of the Environmental Code in planning and licensing processes. When chapters 3 and 4 of the Environmental Code are to be applied in the examination of a case, the County Administrative Board shall in particular work to serve and achieve national interests. In areas covered by a marine spatial plan, the County Administrative Board’s work must be based on the marine spatial plan pursuant to section 3 of the Ordinance (1998:896) on land and water management.
The marine spatial plans' role in municipal planning
According to the Planning and Building Act (2010:900), municipalities must have a comprehensive plan for the entire municipality, including the territorial sea. The national marine spatial plans are indicative for municipal planning. In the area of the territorial sea where national and municipal plans overlap, both plans apply, in the outermost sea area only the national marine spatial plans applies and in the coastal area only the municipal comprehensive plan applies.
The interaction between national marine spatial plans and municipal comprehensive plans is important in order for well-functioning land sea interactions. Comprehensive plans are important for showing local and regional considerations and claims that may be of relevance to national marine spatial planning.
National marine spatial plans consider local claims and intentions regarding the use of the sea that are clearly stated in municipal comprehensive plans. In municipal planning, the national marine spatial plan is a source of information about the state’s view of future use of the sea. The same applies in relation to regional plans. If the marine spatial plan’s positions are out of date, for example if new knowledge has emerged since the plan was adopted, there may be reason for the municipality to deviate from the national marine spatial plan in the comprehensive plan.
The County Administrative Board has an important role in paying attention to if the municipal comprehensive planning is consistent with the national marine spatial plan. The County Administrative Board shall report national and inter-municipal interests to the municipality and submit a review statement on a proposal for a comprehensive plan.