Aberdeenshire council adopts amended 2022 local development plan

The finalized 2022 Local Development Plan will now be proposed to Scottish ministers and the plan adopted later this year.

The Local Development Plan review concluded in June this year with a set of conclusions and recommendations from the Scottish Government rapporteur which are normally binding except in limited circumstances.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Regional Committees recently received the review recommendations with their views on whether or not to accept the rapporteur’s changes to the Aberdeenshire LDP 2022 proposal currently under review last Wednesday by the full council.

The finalized 2022 Local Development Plan will now be proposed to Scottish ministers and the plan adopted on a date likely to be the end of October this year.

During the discussion, elected members learned that the plan will guide decision-making on all planning matters and planning applications in Aberdeenshire over the next five years.

This will be the last local development plan to be published before new provisions of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 introduce a new style of ten year plan.

The format of the proposed LDP remains largely unchanged from the existing 2017 Local Development Plan, with a continued vision to help develop a strong and resilient economy, promoting a high quality of life and low-emission sustainable places. carbon. However, both policies, the rules that govern the granting of planning permission and the proposed allocations, where development proposals can take place, have been updated.

It also aims to ensure that Aberdeenshire’s outstanding cultural and natural environment is protected and enhanced. Housing opportunities have been identified including new development sites in Banchory, Portlethen, Kemnay, Echt, Fetterangus, Fyvie, Gourdon, Inverurie, Newburgh, Pitmedden, St Combs and Turriff, among others.

The plan also ensures the delivery of much-needed, high-quality energy-efficient housing, including the potential to create more than 4,000 affordable housing units for which there is a recognized need across the region.

Development continues to focus on the three strategic growth areas along the A90 North and South and the A96.

Aberdeenshire Council has also taken a positive step by removing long-standing sites that have not been delivered.

During the debate, a seconded motion was tabled by Cllr Glen Reid for the protected status of an area of ​​land to the east of Midhill Primary School in Kintore to be restored after the reporter ruled he n There was no justification for a recreational open space. However, following advice from Council Legal Services, the motion was found to have no jurisdiction and was not granted.

Members also heard representations from two residents of Potterton regarding concerns about the impacts future allocated development would have on existing road infrastructure and the environment in and around the village.

Cllr John Crawley, Chairman of the Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: ‘It is with great pleasure that I endorse the recommendations and express my sincere thanks to the officers involved in creating the proposed local development plan in our name.

“Since the very beginning of this process in 2018, officers have helped communities and individuals navigate the complexities of the plan-making system and have worked closely with all stakeholders, including ourselves, on the key decision that this document makes.

“Despite extremely difficult recent events such as the pandemic, EU exit, inflationary pressures, and material and labor shortages, this plan creates the stability and confidence from which our communities can build. develop.

“This plan, like others before it, will direct the right development to the right place and, in doing so, support our communities by facilitating and providing essential services and facilities.”

Seconding the motion, ISC Vice President Cllr Isobel Davidson added: “This plan reinforces the council’s ambition to create sustainable communities and this will be implemented with a focus on creating places , with policies that strive to achieve the highest design standards and the development of master plans for strategic development sites.Combined with policies to safeguard our town centres, reduce travel, promote low-carbon and zero-emissions technologies, as well as securing generous levels of open space in new developments and enhanced biodiversity, it will ensure our ambition is met over the Plan period.

Speaking after the Plenary Council, Council Leader Mark Findlater said: “This plan and its strategies will provide critical certainty to our communities, developers and investors over the next five years and ensure the delivery of approximately 17 000 homes, will allocate land for net-zero and low-carbon production, provide huge employment opportunities and help generate around £6 billion of local economic activity.

“The policies contained in the proposed LDP are intended to ensure the long-term sustainability and prosperity of the region and to direct the right development to the right place in accordance with national policy.

“I would like to personally thank everyone who engaged with us during the consultation process, as you have played an important role in helping to shape a clear vision for the future development of Aberdeenshire.”

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