New blueprint for Shire planning

The health of town centres is now enshrined in local decision making by Aberdeenshire Council.
The health of town centres is now enshrined in local decision making by Aberdeenshire Council.

Councillors will be asked in March to formally approve a blueprint for future development in Aberdeenshire after Scottish Ministers concluded their assessment of the Council’s vision for the region.

This marks the near completion of a four-year process of identifying how housing and business developments should progress over the next five years to foster continued economic growth.

More than a year after it was submitted to the Scottish Government, Aberdeenshire Council received the results of the examination of its Proposed Local Development Plan (LDP) recently.

The Proposed Plan was drawn up after two years of extensive consultation and engagement with communities.

It is a blueprint for the future development of the area and sets out ambitious long-term and site-specific visions.

The examination considered representations to the Proposed Plan and was carried out by the Government’s Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA), on behalf of Ministers.

Following examination, the DPEA has now submitted a report to the council with conclusions and recommendations on each issue.

This report is largely binding on planning authorities, meaning that they may only depart from the recommendations if there are limited exceptional circumstances.

The examination was conducted by auditing written representations to the proposed plan and there was one hearing session held in August relating to the issue of “Housing Land Supply”.

It focused on whether the plan is “appropriate and sufficient” for the development needs of Aberdeenshire over the next 5-10 years and took just over a year to undertake due to the scale and the complexity of the issues raised.

The Proposed Aberdeenshire LDP 2016 was submitted to the Scottish Government on December 1, 2015 as the settled view of the Council.

The examination considered 73 issues, responding to 840 unresolved representations.

Aberdeenshire Council will now consider the recommendations set out within the Examination Report and will ask local councillors for their views in January and February.

The Report is available at Aberdeenshire Council’s Woodhill House headquarters at: Westburn Road, Aberdeen, AB16 5GB. It will also be available at area planning offices.

The full report of the examination has been published online at: