Council considers innovative planning scheme for Peterhead

A Simplified Planning Zone (SPZ) has been proposed for Peterhead South
A Simplified Planning Zone (SPZ) has been proposed for Peterhead South

A planning based initiative, aimed at supporting business growth and encouraging economic activity is to be considered by Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee next week.

A Simplified Planning Zone (SPZ) has been proposed for Peterhead South, at the northern gateway to Energetica, a 30-mile development corridor stretching from Aberdeen to Peterhead.

The initiative, which if approved will target business and employment uses, is designed to strengthen the town’s position as a key strategic investment location, complementing works aimed at regenerating the town centre.

The SPZ would have a clear boundary, and remove the need to apply for planning permission for commercial development that complies with the SPZ Scheme.

There is a requirement to notify Aberdeenshire Council of development proposed under the terms of the SPZ Scheme, and also at the commencement of works and on completion of the development.

The duration of a SPZ is ten years from its adoption, with monitoring and review on an annual basis

Energetica development manager, James Welsh explained: “The Energetica corridor is a strategic growth area and a target location for inward investment.

"Aberdeenshire Council is committed to creating conditions to support and encourage private sector investment. As the region looks to diversify during a challenging period for the local economy we are investigating innovative solutions such as simplified planning to support that aim.

“The introduction of a Simplified Planning Zone in Peterhead has the potential to bring time and cost savings for investors, streamlining the process of getting their projects off the ground without a loss in development quality.”

The report will go to the Infrastructure Services Committee on Thursday, February 2.