What We Do

Mission statement

“Solent Protection exists to ensure the ecological and environmental well-being and wise management of the Solent area, its natural beauty and amenities, so that these may continue to be enjoyed by present and future generations.”

The wider Solent area, including harbours, foreshores and surrounding lands, extends from Chichester Harbour in the east to the Needles channel in the west.

Please report to the Secretary any matters of relevant interest or concern in  your area.

Most of the work of the Society is undertaken by the Council. Council members often represent a region of the Solent (e.g. Isle of Wight, Chichester Harbour, etc), or have a specialist expertise such as planning or environment management.

The Council works with the membership in the following ways:-


  • News collation – see our News and Blog sections
  • Explaining how Solent works (like interviews with ABP, Solent Forum, etc)
  • Guest blogs by well informed and authoritative authors
  • Analysis of new legislation
  • Exploit the flickr asset
  • Entertain with pictures,videos  and extracts from other media (flickr, facebook, twitter)
  • Report our successes and failures


  • Web Forum
  • Questionnaires and surveys

Conferences and Events

  • Major annual conference
  • Sponsoring other conferences
  • Winter lecture programme
  • Member visits and organised trips in the Solent area

Supporting other local bodies


  •  responses to Government and other local consultations
  • Only NGO member of Solent Forum Steering Group
  •  on Planning applications – see below

Assessing planning applications, development plans and other development proposals

 The objective of the Society is to protect the Solent for future generations.  There are one million people who live on or near its shoreline and it is enjoyed by millions of visitors, both ashore and afloat.  It is also a major economic resource and home to two major ports.  It is therefore subject to numerous, conflicting development pressures.

At its monthly meetings the Council of the Society reviews development proposals for the Solent, its harbours, estuaries and shores.  The proposals are considered against the factors set out below with the objective of reaching a balanced decision which takes account of the implications for the Solent as a whole in accordance with the objectives of the Society.

The assessment is wide ranging, from international obligations to concerns about the effect on the view from the sea and the potential impact on ecosystems (both marine and terrestrial). . Proposals will also be considered from the land side where they impact on the enjoyment of the Solent.  Although the Council has considerable expertise in planning and environmental science, on occasions, it seeks expert advice on a proposal before making formal representations.

The Society also welcomes the opportunity to discuss development proposals before they are formally submitted.


The following factors are taken into account when considering the impact of a development proposal and whether it will have a significant beneficial, neutral or adverse effect on the Solent:-

  • the visual or aesthetic enjoyment of the skyline, of the coast or of the open sea
  •  the quality of the Solent waters
  •  coastal protection, both above and below high water
  •  the natural environment including the effect on protected areas such as SSSIs, Ramsar sites or  AONB
  •  the historic environment including the protection of cultural and heritage assets such as                listed buildings, conservation areas, historic wrecks
  •  coastal access whether for enjoyment of the coastline or the waters of the Solent
  •  navigation whether recreational, commercial or naval
  •  quality of life or environment; for example the cumulative effect of a development or the   effect of noise, light or air pollution
  •  fisheries
  •  obligations under international treaties, such as European Landscape Convention and EU directives; National Strategies, such as the National Policy Planning Framework and the Marine Policy Statement, and all statutory and non-statutory plans.



By joining Solent Protection Society, you can have your say in our Forum and tell us which issues are important to you.