The Marine Conservation Zone Project Board has agreed to allow more time for the four regional MCZ projects to deliver their responsibilities. At its board meeting on 7 December 2010, James Marsden, Chair of the Project Board, said: “In response to stakeholders’ concerns, the increased scope of Defra Guidance Note 1 and on taking advice from the four regional MCZ project teams, I’m delighted that the Board has agreed extra time to enable the regional projects to complete their MCZ recommendations and impact assessments.”
The revised timeline is now as follows:
- 28 February 2011 (unchanged date): the four MCZ regional projects submit their third progress reports to the Science Advisory Panel.
- 1 June 2011 (unchanged date, but changed scope of what is to be delivered at this time): On receiving feedback from the Science Advisory Panel, the four MCZ regional projects will be required to deliver draft final proposals, including site boundaries and conservation objectives.
- 31 August 2011 (extended date): the four MCZ regional projects will deliver their final MCZ recommendations to the Science Advisory Panel and the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies – which are the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Natural England.
- 30 September 2011 (extended date): the four regional and cumulative impact assessments must be delivered to the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies.
- 30 November 2011 (unchanged date): the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies must deliver their final advice to Government, to enable designation of MCZs by 2012.
Joanna Redhead, Net Gain Project Manager, said: “This is good news. It demonstrates that the stakeholder process is working, but there is still a lot more work to do.”