Overview of MSP related maritime uses

Current main uses:

Offshore renewable energy Shipping
Ports Nature conservation
Fisheries Aquaculture
Military Scientific research
Coastal protection Cables and pipelines
Underwater cultural heritage Tourism and leisure

Which marine spatial plans exist?

Legal framework

The EU MSP Directive was originally transposed into national legislation by way of regulations made in 2016 (SI 352 of 2016). Since the regulations were made under the European Communities Act 1972, they were strictly limited to measures required to transpose the Directive.

In October 2018, the regulations were repealed and replaced by Part 5 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018. Part 5 re-transposes the Directive in primary legislation and contains a number of measures that are additional to those required by the directive, including:

  • Adoption of the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF) by both Houses of the Oireachtas
  • Review and replacement of the NMPF every six years
  • Obligation for marine regulatory bodies to secure the objectives of the NMPF when making policies, plans or granting consents
  • Enforcement powers for the Minister if the foregoing obligations are not being fulfilled


Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Mr. Tom Woolley – Marine Planning Advisor

Custom House,
Custom House Quay,
Dublin D01 W6X0, Ireland

Last updated: June 2020
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