12th October 2012
A new approach to planning local development
Shetland Islands Council has given its backing to the Shetland Local Development Plan which will guide decisions on all future development in the isles – from identifying sites for future house building, to protecting the natural environment.
The Local Development Plan establishes a completely new framework for land-use planning, which will replace the existing Structure and Local Plans.
The LDP has been prepared in consultation with stakeholders and the community. It identifies the most appropriate areas for different kinds of development and gives greater clarity on where development should take place. The public have already been consulted widely on its content – but now have a further six weeks to comment.
Chair of the Development Committee, Alastair Cooper, says: “This decision represents a major milestone. The Council has now set out how Shetland should develop and how policies should balance community and development aspirations, while seeking to protect Shetland’s environment. I believe we have a good document in the LDP and I look forward to progressing onto the next stages. We are keen for the public to engage in the six-week period for representation to ensure it is owned by everyone.”
From 19 October, the LDP will be available for a six-week period in a number of locations, including Council offices and leisure centres, as well as on the Council’s website, for representations from the public and stakeholders. Councillors will then take a final decision on submitting it to Scottish Ministers for approval.
At the same time, Supplementary Guidance on topics such as business and industry and natural heritage will be made available for a 12-week consultation period.
Political Leader, Gary Robinson, says: “The new LDP identifies sites for development and gives some degree of certainty that it will happen. The previous Structure and Local Plans gave no weight to areas that a landowner might wish to sell. This meant that all too often available land wasn't zoned for development and land that was available often wasn't suitable or in demand. The new LDP is much more development friendly as required by the new planning act.”
Convener Malcolm Bell adds: “I’d like to thank all staff involved for the work which has gone into producing such a valuable document.”