development plan update

April 2018

Our planning team in Scotland continually monitors the status of Strategic and Local Development Plans (SDPs and LDPs).

Every month, we provide you with the latest updates on SDP / LDP adoptions and pending consultations, which may lead to development opportunities.

We hope that you find the information useful and if you have any queries, please do get in touch!


  • Development Plan Scheme (DPS) - sets out a programme for preparing and reviewing local authority LDPs. These documents are generally reviewed once a year and provide updates on the LDP's progress.
  • Call for Sites (CfS) - the first formal stage of the LDP process. Local authorities invite applications from landowners (or individuals with an interest in land) for allocation of land for housing, mixed use, employment etc.
  • Main Issues Report (MIR) - a key stage in the consultation process, documenting the pertinent changes and issues facing the local authority since the previous plan was adopted
  • Proposed Local Development Plan (PLDP) - representative of the local authority's views, but not yet approved by Scottish Ministers.
  • Local Development Plan (LDP) - sets out the vision and strategy for development in one local authority area.
  • LDP Adoption - the final stage in the LDP process, whereby the plan is fully implemented.
  • Strategic Development Plan (SDP) – representative of the region's view on development (across many local authorities).
  • Division of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) – a Scottish Government division responsible for the administration of over 20 different types of casework. 
  • Supplementary Guidance (SG) – expands on existing policies found within LDPs. Local authorities publish SG documents on various topics which are often referred to when assessing relevant planning applications. 

 Aberdeen City Council – DPS Update
Following our March update Aberdeen City Council has since opened their pre-MIR consultation phase. Comments are invited on any issues considered significant to the City, and any comments received will inform a MIR which is set for publication later in 2018. The consultation period has been extended until Monday 28th May 2018.

Aberdeen City & Shire - SDP
The consultation period for the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Plan MIR is open until 21st May 2018, focusing on a review of the SDP adopted in March 2014. Several issues have been identified, including the spatial strategy, regional economy, housing and employment land. Comments are invited on the MIR and the supporting Environmental Report.

Aberdeenshire Council - LDP
In preparation for LDP 2021, Aberdeenshire Council recently invited ‘call for sites’ nominations from applicants. This stage closed on 31st March 2018 with more than 500 nominations received from landowners, developers and agents. Aberdeenshire Council will now begin work on assessing all submitted bids, before drafting a MIR which is expected to be published later in 2018.

Angus Council
Following on from previous updates regarding Angus Council’s DPS, Angus Council has confirmed their intention for the next LDP to be a: 

“Place Plan based on strategic masterplanning of settlements to set out an overall spatial strategy, linking the high-level ambitions for Angus.”

The Council has confirmed that they do not intend to host a specific ‘call for sites’, rather they intend to host small, focused sessions to explore development strategies within each locality, supported by interactive online engagement.

The Bidwells planning team are liaising with Angus Council regarding a number of sites and are available to discuss any proposed development opportunities you may have.

Clackmannanshire Council
As part of the Council’s Call for Sites (September 2017 – January 2018) 36 parties submitted representations, and a summary of these is due for publication shortly. These representations will be considered by the Council before a MIR is published in May 2018.

Dumfries and Galloway Council – LDP2 Consultation
As reported within our last update, the consultation period for the Dumfries and Galloway proposed LDP2 and draft supplementary guidance will close on Monday 30th April 2018.

Please get in touch if we can assist you in respect of your development aspirations – we would be delighted to make representations on your behalf.

East Lothian Council
On 14th March 2018 the DPEA completed examination of the PLDP, and their Report of Examination that outlines the suggested modifications to the PLDP has been issued. Over the coming weeks East Lothian Council will consider what amendments to make to the PLDP before deciding their intention of whether to adopt the PLDP.

Falkirk Council
Following publication of the MIR in 2017, the Council are scheduled to publish the PLDP in May 2018 for comment/representation. Please continue to monitor our monthly LDP update for further information.

Inverclyde Council
The Inverclyde PLDP was approved by Committee on 28th March 2018, and is due for publication by the end of April 2018. Comments will be invited on the PLDP after publication.

 Shetland Islands Council

The Shetland Isles PLDP MIR is expected to be published by the end of 2018 for consultation, accompanied by a monitoring statement, draft environmental report and consultation on MIR.

 Bidwells will continue to monitor progress and update accordingly via our LDP bulletin.

North Ayrshire Council
Following publication of the MIR and interim Environmental Report, North Ayrshire Council are preparing their PLDP, which is due to be published in the forthcoming months. Following publication, a period of consultation will open, and Bidwells will continue to keep readers updated on timescales. 

 South Lanarkshire Council
Consultation on the South Lanarkshire PLDP is anticipated to commence in Summer 2018.

 Stirling Council 


 Stirling Council has now received the DPEA Report of Examination for their new LDP and it is anticipated that a modified version of the PLDP will be presented to the Council in April or May 2018.

South Ayrshire Council
The South Ayrshire PLDP is due for publication imminently. Following publication a consultation period will take place, and comments will be accepted for a limited period. Please contact the Bidwells planning team if you have any development aspirations within the area.

West Lothian Council
Following publication of the DPEA’s principal Report of Examination in December 2017, on 22nd March 2018 West Lothian Council resolved to accept all of the modifications recommended within the Report of Examination, and agreed to adopt the LDP (as modified). The LDP has since been submitted to Scottish Ministers for consideration and it is expected that the plan can be adopted by the Council 28 days after submission, unless expressly directed not to by Scottish Ministers.

Making representations

It is incredibly important to make written representation at an early stage in the preparation of LDPs, as this maximises the opportunity for your development aspirations to be realised. Bidwells would be delighted to make representations on your behalf and our planning team are available to discuss any development opportunities you may be considering.

For clear, rationalised representations on any of the above, please do not hesitate to  get in touch.

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