LDP will see extensive community consultations

Aberdeenshire Council is to embark on extensive consultation with community groups, other stakeholders and councillors as the work detailed in the latest Local Development Plan Scheme gets underway.

The four year project will lead to the creation of a new Local Development Plan that will set a framework for development of land in Aberdeenshire from 2016-2021 and beyond.

The current plan was adopted in July 2012 and provides detailed information up to 2016. Development of the next plan will involve three key stages of consultation.

The main focus for 2013 is informal engagement with community and stakeholder groups to result in a ‘Main Issues Report’ in October 2013.

This document will outline 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 additional land allocated for development.

An invitation has already been issued to the development industry and landowners to advise Aberdeenshire Council of which sites they think should be in the Local Development Plan, and why.

It is not expected that there will be significant additional allocations of land in the next plan, although some sites in the existing plan that haven’t been developed may be replaced.

Dates for Community Council, Stakeholder and Area Committee seminars to scope potential main issues have been set for March and April 2013.

The Main Issues Report will also take account of views expressed by Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Water, Scottish Enterprise, NESTRANS, and Grampian Health Board.

Following publication of the Main Issues Report there will be public engagement which will lead to the production of a proposed Local Development Plan towards the end of 2014.

Thereafter, the Scottish Government will lead public examination of objections to the proposed plan. Assessing formal objections and holding the examination is estimated to take around 18 months.

The new Local Development Plan and associated supplementary guidance is expected to be adopted in April 2016.

Publication of the Local Development Plan Scheme was approved at the recent meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee.

ommittee chairman Cllr Peter Argyle said: “We were pleased to see a great amount of public interest in the creation of the Local Development Plan approved in 2012. What we want to do now is build on that success to ensure as wide a range of views as possible is gathered to shape the next plan.

“Although this is a council-led process, it really is the input from those we consult with that makes the final plan such a relevant and valuable guidance document.”

Committee vice-chairman Cllr Allan Buchan said: “The creation of a local development plan is one of the most comprehensive pieces of planning that any council undertakes.

“This is why we’re beginning the process now, so that all interested groups get the chance to inspect, comment upon, understand and help shape the next plan.”

More information on the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan can be found at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/planning/plans_policies/plan.asp

Updates on the Local Development Plan Scheme, including details of public events, can be found on Twitter at @ShireLDP