Councillors to have say on development plan

A four year plan for the development of the next version of a key planning guidance document for Aberdeenshire is to be considered by councillors.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee are to be asked to approve and publish the 2013 Development Plan Scheme at its meeting in Woodhill House today

This new development plan will set a framework for development of land in Aberdeenshire for the period from 2016 to 2021 and beyond

Although the current Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan was only adopted in July 2012, planning officers have noted that the production of a development plan is a long process, with three stages of formal consultation to inform the final product.

As such, the proposed programme of activities includes a period of informal engagement with community and stakeholder groups to result in a ‘Main Issues Report’ in October 2013.

This document will set out what needs to change from the current plan, and set out preferred options alongside reasonable alternatives. This will include changes to the policies used to determine planning applications as well as changes to land allocated for development.

Formal engagement on these options would take place late this year and lead to the production of a ‘proposed Local Development Plan’ scheduled for October 2014. This would represent the settled view of Aberdeenshire Council where development should take place in the period beyond 2015, and the policies which should govern applications for planning permission.

Finally, a public examination will take place, led by the Scottish Government, to scrutinise objections to the proposed plan. The lead up to and conclusion of the examination is estimated to take approximately 18 months.

The proposed scheme outlines the importance of detailed engagement with all with an interest in the plan.