Consultation, urgent designation, representations etc.
Section 75 - Publicity and consultation etc. before designation
115.Section 75 requires Scottish Ministers, before making a designation order, to publish notice of their proposal to do so. This must be published in such a manner as the Scottish Ministers consider most likely to bring the proposal to the attention of any persons likely to be affected by the making of the order, they must contain a statement of the terms of the proposed order, and they must indicate where a plan or chart identifying the area’s boundaries can be obtained or inspected.
116.The Scottish Ministers are also required to consult any persons they consider are likely to be interested in or affected by the making of the order - these include in particular any local authority whose area is adjacent to the boundaries of the area proposed to be designated, and also persons specified in section 27(4)(a).
Section 76 - Publicity in relation to designation orders
117.Section 76 requires that if Scottish Ministers seek to designate, amend or revoke an MPA they must publish notice of the order. They must do this in the way most likely to bring the order to the attention of persons likely to be interested in or affected by the order. They must provide an address at which the order may be inspected, ensure that it is available for inspection at this address at all reasonable hours, and provide a copy on request to any person. A fee may be charged for providing a copy on request.
Section 77 - Urgent designation
118.Section 77 provides that, where there is an urgent need to protect a marine area, Scottish Ministers may make a designation order without being required to publish notice of their proposals or to consult. Such an order can remain in place for up to 2 years. But if an order specifies a period in excess of 6 months this order must be reviewed by the Scottish Ministers after 6 months has elapsed to assess whether it is still required.
119.Even in the case of urgently designated MPAs, Scottish Ministers will still be bound under section 76 to adequately publicise the designation order once made.
120.Upon expiration of the urgent order, Ministers may not re-designate the area, or any part of it, without publishing notice of their proposals under section 75(1)(a) and consulting under section 75(1)(b).
Section 78 - Representations and hearing in relation to proposed designation order
121.Section 78 provides that Scottish Ministers may, before deciding whether to make a designation order, give any person the opportunity to make oral or written representations. This section also gives Scottish Ministers the power to make regulations providing for the procedure to be followed at any hearing held under this section. It should be noted that section 77 confers discretionary powers on Scottish Ministers. Formal consultation duties on Ministers for non-urgent MPAs are set down in section 75.