Consultation period extended for development plan

Woodhill House, Aberdeen.
Woodhill House, Aberdeen.

The consultation period for the 2016 Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan has been extended for a further six weeks, Aberdeenhire Council have revealed.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC) agreed the extension, following a round of area committee meetings and publication by the Scottish Government on June 23 of a revised Scottish Planning Policy (SPP).

The committee was advised of a small number of contentious issues requiring further debate, some arising from the revised SPP.

One such issue is the reduction by the Scottish Government of the separation distance from planned wind turbine developments – from 2.5km to 2km.

As well as the revised spatial framework for wind-turbines, a policy on the provision of “heat networks” to future-proof new development for low-carbon heating also requires discussion.

Opportunity is also being taken to re-examine issues of land supply, so that the most up-to-date position can be used to inform allocations in the Local Development Plan.

A number of minor site changes are also to be aired, mostly involving specific allocations of parcels of land within existing settlement boundaries.

Following approval by ISC, it is anticipated an addendum to the Main Issues Report will be published on August 8, with submissions required by September 19, 2014.

The document will be available at local libraries and in area offices. It can also be seen online at Aberdeenshire Council’s website: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

Head of Planning and Building Standards, Robert Gray, explained: “This additional period of consultation allows for full and open scrutiny of the forthcoming local development plan and even for those relatively minor issues such as ensuring there are employment opportunities in Portsoy, or in Tarves.

“It also allows public input into the way we think that we can implement the new Scottish Planning Policy, particularly with reference to the new emerging issue of heat networks and the transformation to a low-carbon society.”

The proposed plan is due for publication on November 20, 2014 and the consultation period on it is likely to be from January 23 to March 6, 2015.