Aberdeenshire - Final Local Development Plan

The Aberdeenshire Development Local Plan was agreed by the Council on 24th June.  I did not vote for it but a future post - or perhaps posts - will talk about the issues.  After all, we have until 1st October to lodge our representations on the plan.  My previous post talked about the form required for representations.  This post will discuss the form of the plan itself.

Instead of one document, the Plan has been published as a plan containing just 14 polices, 6 maps and a schedule. One of my colleagues described the plan as vacuous - there is so little detail in the Plan itself that it is difficult to see what objections there could be.  Most of the detail is in the Supplementary Guidance.

In addition to the Plan there are (currently) 51 pieces of Supplementary Guidance, 6 of which are Settlement Maps for each Area within Aberdeenshire and the rest give details on the 14 polices.

Therefore, it is likely that if you wish to make a representation about anything you will need to make two representations - one for the policy in the main plan and one for the relevant Supplementary Guidance.

Aberdeenshire has provided two forms (in two forms, pdf and online), one for the Plan and one for Supplementary Guidance.   But as you are not required to make your representation on the specified form, I would suggest that you  make one representation per issue covering both the Plan and the Supplementary Guidance.  If you follow the 7 required pieces of information from the Schedule 4 form, you will have provided all the necessary information.   The Council can then cross reference your one representation into two parts to cover the Plan and the Supplementary Guidance. 

Over the summer, I'll post some comments on the content of the plan itself.  Remember, you only have until 1st October to make you voice heard.

Local Development Plan - Consultation and Examination

On 24th June, Aberdeenshire Council agreed to publish its new Local Development Plan for public comment and that this plan should have some degree of materiality for planning decisions.

Since the previous round of Local Plans, there has been a change in legislation. This is not a draft plan that will then be turned into a Finalised Plan by the Council and then be subject to a Public Local Inquiry. This is IT. A reporter will be appointed and this plan will be subject to an examination to ensure it is "appropriate and sufficient".

So Representations (objections and expressions of support) will need to be made over the summer with a closing date of 1st October.

The process is new.  The Council will turn your representation into a Schedule 4 form which will contain
  1. Issue Reference and Heading
  2. Development Plan Reference
  3. Body or persons raising the issue
  4. Provision of the Development Plan to which the issue relates
  5. Council's summary of issue
  6. Modifications sought by those submitting representations
andthen the Council will add
  • Summary of Response by Council
  • Any further plan changes commended by Council
    and finally the Reporter will add
    • Reporters Conclusion
    • Reporters Recommendations
      In order to avoid your representation being misinterpreted by the Council and so that you know that you have included all the necessary information, I suggest that you format your representation under Headings 1 to 7 above.  You are restricted to a maximum of 2000 words plus limited supporting productions.

      Thanks to Planning Aid Scotland for the session from which I gleaned the above.  Any errors are mine not theirs!

      In my next post, I will comment on the format of the local plan and what that means for you if you want to make a representation - the form is very different from previous plans.