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DPS, MiR, EiP: know your way round LDPs Jay Skinner explains why Local Development Plans are important for Scottish landowners. the preparation of Local Development Plans (LDPs) is a detailed process which has huge significance in Scotland for landowners and developers alike. The allocation of land in an LDP establishes the physical land use ‘principle’ of development (whether that be for housing, business/industrial, retail or another use) and affords the site in question a de facto planning permission in principle. This generally significantly increases its value and provides a degree of certainty when marketing it to prospective developers. Each Local Planning Authority (LPA) produces an LDP for its administrative area. Highland Council, given its geographical extent, is an exception in that it prepares a number of LDPs. In addition, Strategic Development Plans are prepared for the city regions of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Given the collaborative nature of the LDP preparation cycle, being well informed on the process and the opportunities for involvement is key. As matters currently stand, LDPs are prepared every five years. These are the key stages in their preparation:

DEvELoPMEnT PLAn SCHEME

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EvIDEnCE GATHERInG & CALL FoR SITES

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MAIn ISSuES REPoRT

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PRoPoSED PLAn PuBLICATIon

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ExAMInATIon

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ADoPTIon

Development Plan Scheme (DPS) At the start of the process, the LPA publishes its DPS. This outlines the timetable for the preparation of the new LDP and the opportunities to be involved in the process. The DPS is updated periodically during the LDP preparation cycle.

and developers to propose sites for inclusion in the new LDP.

Main issues Report (MiR) As its name suggests, the MIR outlines the key issues that the LDP needs to address and is based on the preceding evidence gathering process e.g. the number and location of new housing units for the area. The MIR also sets out the LPA’s preferred options for development as well as some reasonable alternatives. The MIR is published for feedback and the consultation period usually runs for six to 12 weeks.

Proposed Plan Publication Having considered the representations made to the MIR, the LPA publishes its Proposed Plan. At this stage, there is a further period of public consultation (at least six weeks). This is the last opportunity in the LDP preparation cycle when submissions can be made to the LPA.

examination in Public (eiP) If there are any unresolved objections, the Proposed Plan will be subject to an EiP. These are overseen by reporters from the Directorate of Planning & Environmental Appeals (DPEA), appointed by Scottish Ministers, to decide how best to deal with any outstanding objections.

Adoption Once the EiP is complete, and the Reporter has made their recommendations to the LPA, the LDP is formally adopted, provided it is consistent with national planning policy. As noted above, the key points at which representations can be made to a LPA are at the Call for Sites, Main Issues Report and Proposed Plan stages. Representations can be made to: support the retention of, or seek amendments to, an existing site allocation; propose a new allocation on a site-specific basis; seek an extension to an existing village or town; or, request an amendment to a planning policy e.g. to limit developer contributions to help project viability. Reforms to the preparation of LDPs, with plans proposed to be in place for 10 years rather than the current five, are being brought forward as part of the Planning (Scotland) Bill. The Bill is presently at Stage 3 of the legislative process and further amendments are expected before it becomes statute. The proposed longer timeframe for LDPs is important for landowners and developers to bear in mind when seeking site allocations in the future as there would be less frequent opportunities to try to influence the content of LDPs in their favour. The planning team at Galbraith is experienced in the LDP preparation cycle and is on hand to assist clients in the promotion of their land interests through this process.

evidence Gathering & Call for Sites The LPA then gathers background information to inform the Main Issues Report (MIR). While not a statutory requirement, many LPAs hold a Call for Sites exercise at this stage and invite landowners

jay.skinner@galbraithgroup.com 0131 240 6978

Page 8 | Rural Matters | Summer 2019 | galbraithgroup.com

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Galbraith Rural Matters Summer 2019