March 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

Aberdeen City Council Building2

Towards the end of January, Aberdeen City Council published their DPS 2018 for LDP 2022. A pre-consultation questionnaire is to be sent out later this month, along with a ‘development options’ form and a sustainability checklist. A Pre-MIR consultation is expected sometime before April 2018. Bidwells will continue to monitor Aberdeen City Council's progress and will advise on timescales as they become clearer.

Angus Council – DPS Update
As noted in January’s issue, Angus Council’s DPS 2018 is currently under review to amend timescales to further tie in with the principles in the Planning (Scotland) Bill. Angus Council have been given until 31st March 2018 to submit their revised DPS to Scottish Ministers.

Argyll and Bute Council (ABC) - DPS Update
ABC published their updated DPS in January 2018 and are currently between the MIR stage and the PLDP stage of the LDP preparation process. ABC are on track for publishing their PLDP2 for public consultation in November/December 2018 and will spend most of 2018 assessing consultation responses that were received during the MIR consultation.

Dumfries and Galloway Council - LDP2 Consultaion
Consultation on Dumfries and Galloway Council's PLDP2, Draft Action Programme, Draft Habitat Regulation Appraisal, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Environmental Report and a number of SG documents will be open until 4pm on 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.

Dundee City Council - PLDP Examination
The PLDP was sent to Scottish Ministers on 13th February 2018 for a period of examination. The PLDP and representations made will now be considered by the Reporter and the DPEA intend to complete the period of examination of the PLDP by 14th November 2018.

Perth and Kinross Council (PKC) Close of Consultation Period
PKC’s final consultation period for their PLDP2 ended on 2nd February 2018. The Council will now consider all the representations that were made and will decide whether to make modifications prior to the PLDP2’s impending submission to Scottish Ministers later this year.

The Highland Council (THC)

Highland-wide: Draft Shopfront Design Guide
THC published their Highland-wide draft SG on a ‘Shopfront Design Guide’ at the end of January. Consultation on this is expected to a close on 23rd March 2018.

Highland wide - DPS Update
The Highland Council's DPS 2018 went to Committee on 1st February 2018 and was approved by councillors. The DPS 2018 can be found on the Highland Council's website and provides an overview of the timescales for preparing land use planning documents across the Highland region. It does not include timescales for the Highland-wide PLDP as they will not be published until the implications of the Planning (Scotland) Bill are formally understood.

The West Highland and Islands (WestPlan)

Mallaig Harbour

The WestPlan is soon to be sent forth to Committee for approval, before it is submitted to Scottish Ministers in Spring 2018. 

Mallaig Harbour Masterplan, Nevis Forest and Mountain Resort Masterplan and the Isle of Rum Community Land Use Plan are to be adopted as part of the Highland-wide LDP. Timescales for this are dependent on the implications of the Planning (Scotland) Bill. 

 A draft Uig Harbour Landward Area Development Brief is to be put to Committee in Summer 2018 and a consultation period will follow thereafter. 

Caithness and Sutherland LDP (CaSPlan)
The Highland Council anticipate feedback from the DPEA examination on the CaSPlan towards the start of March and thereafter, they intend to adopt their LDP in Spring/Summer 2018. 

  • The Dounreay Planning Framework 2 is expected to be carried over to the CaSPlan, pending the outcome of the DPEA examination; and
  • Preparation of the Thurso West Development Brief is expected to commence towards the end of 2018/early 2019.

Inner Moray Firth LDP

  • Feedback from the Inverness East Development Brief consultation is to be considered and a final version of this document will be published later in 2018;
  • Work on the Longman Development Brief is to begin later in 2018; and
  • Interactive consultation events for the Torvean & Ness-side Development Brief are expected to be held in spring/summer 2018.  

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.

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

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