ABERDEENSHIRE councillor Martin Ford is highlighting the start of a public consultation marking an important stage in the production of a new Local Development Plan.
Consultation begins this week on the first stage in preparation of one of the most important planning documents for Aberdeenshire.
The Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2016 will be a planning blueprint for the future of the area.
It will include policies and proposals to determine where new development such as housing and offices will be carried out from 2017 until 2027.
Residents, developers and anyone else with an interest is now able to comment and give views on a Main Issues Report.
The consultation period for the ‘Main Issues Report’ lasts from Monday (October 28), until Friday, January 31, 2014.
The Main Issues Report is written by Council planners and sets out proposals for possible changes from the existing Local Development Plan. The responses received during the consultation on the Main Issues Report are then considered during the production of the proposed new Local Development Plan.
Said Cllr Martin Ford, “The Local Development Plan adopted in 2012 allocated more land for new housing – and enough to accommodate development, at forecast build rates, in the years ahead too. So there is not the same need to identify new sites for inclusion in the next Local Development Plan.
“The Main Issues Report though does include proposals for changes to planning policy, and there are changes proposed in respect of sites allocated for development. Given that the next Local Development Plan will certainly not be the same as the current one, the Main Issues Report consultation is important. I hope as many people as possible will have their say by responding to the consultation.”
Aberdeenshire Council’s planning service is holding a series of 42 public meetings across Aberdeenshire to help people make representation to the Council on the Main Issues Report. Amongst the first of these meetings will be ones in Inverurie (Acorn Centre, November 4), Kintore (Kintore School, November 6) and Tarves (Aberdeen Arms Hotel, November 6). All meetings start at 7pm.
Cllr Martin Ford is one of the councillors for the East Garioch ward which includes Kintore. Cllr Ford said, “I certainly hope Kintore residents will take the opportunity to respond to the consultation on the Main Issues Report. The public meeting in Kintore School on November 6 is intended to help people make representation by allowing discussion and questions to planners on key issues. But people can put in their comments to the Council any time until 31 January.
“Of course, for Kintore, it is universally agreed that the town’s increased population means there have to be more community facilities and public services. The planning question is where these should be sited to foster a cohesive community, recognising that existing public buildings and shops form a natural town centre, but that existing development also imposes limitations.”
Comments to Aberdeenshire Council on the Main Issues Report can be submitted by e-mail, letter, via the Council’s website at http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/ldp or on a Response Form available from public libraries and at the public meetings being held by the planning service.
A new Local Development Plan, to replace the one that came into force in 2012, is expected to be adopted late in 2016.