The article identifies some of the challenges facing local structure planing of sea areas since the mid-1980s, and asks what has been achieved. This question concerns the quality of plans as tools for spatial ordering and development. On the basis of theories of communicative and strategic planning, a framework of assessment is evolved round two main concepts: the legitimacy and the flexibility of plans. These are supplemented with a conformance concept applicable to project planning. The article then examines specific planning problems and assesses processes and achievements in selected fish-farming communes on the coast of West and North Norway.
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