Consultation in land and marine planning : understanding methods and public opinion
Bucker, Alice May
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This study explores the topic of consultation within the context of land and marine planning. Historically, participation developed within land and marine planning as a way of building trust with the public and as a result of bottom-up and top-down drivers. Previous research has shown consultation faces multiple challenges, including consultation fatigue and ‘tick-box’ consultations. Using Orkney as a case study, public opinions to consultation are examined and compared to the wider literature. An in-depth examination of opinions towards the Community Voice Method as part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Oceans of Value Project explores how new, creative consultation methods might work in the Orkney context. This research was driven by the need for further research into public opinions around consultations. Findings show that opinions towards consultation are mixed. Evidence exists that genuine consultation and community engagement occurs in Orkney, but wider challenges persist. The issues highlighted within Orkney can be applied across Scotland. This research is relevant for designing engagement in future Regional Marine Plans, such as in Orkney. Possible improvements to the consultation process based on public opinions are suggested. The importance of using a range of methods is emphasised alongside understanding the local context when conducting consultation.