Independent Investigation in Marine Spatial Planning: necessary or discretionary?

Heather Ritchie, Jim Claydon , Linda McElduff, Anne-michelle Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Downloads (Pure)


Public Inquiry is an established process for effective testing and scrutiny of plans in terrestrial planning and is regarded as a means of providing credibility and accountability. Independent Investigation is its marine equivalent and was included as a provision in the UK marine planning regime and subsequent legislation since its inception. However, it has been noticeably absent in practice. This paper investigates the reasons behind this situation within the context of the proposed and actual role of II in the marine planning process in the UK. It additionally considers the future use of II in enhancing the quality and effectiveness of the marine planning system. This paper concludes that as the use of the marine resource of the UK becomes increasingly contested and controversial, II could be utilized to enhance marine plans and marine planning decisions and thus warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-425
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number2
Early online date16 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 16 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • marine spatial planning
  • independent investigation
  • discretionary
  • decision making


Dive into the research topics of 'Independent Investigation in Marine Spatial Planning: necessary or discretionary?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this