Development Plan Scheme 2020/21

The annual Development Plan Scheme was agreed by Angus Council at the meeting of 10 September 2020. The scheme sets out the timetable and work programme for the next Local Development Plan for Angus to replace the current plan adopted on 23 September 2016. A revised scheme had been due to be reported to Council on 19March 2020 but that meeting was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new Local Development Plan (AngusPlan) will be prepared under the new legislative requirements of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019. In line with current timescales for implementation of the Act this is likely to see a new Development Plan adopted in late 2023/early 2024.

The Participation Statement included in the DPS would normally set out how, when and with whom engagement opportunities will be developed. As we are awaiting the publication of secondary legislation we are not yet able to develop our participation statement but will work with stakeholders over the coming months to start and develop this.

A Development Plan Scheme (DPS) is prepared annually, setting out the programme for preparing and reviewing our Local Development Plan and includes:

  • Update on implementation of the current Plan
  • Information about the process and timescales for preparing a new Local Development Plan
  • A participation statement which sets out how and when people can expect to be involved in the preparation of the new Local Development Plan and how we will undertake community and stakeholder engagement

The Development Plan Scheme is available to view online.

Contact us at ldp@angus.gov.uk to sign up to the AngusPlan updates.

Follow us on Twitter  @AngusPlan

Get involved through our engagement platform at Shaping Angus.

A key aim of development planning is to provide a vision for the future of the area and a land use framework within which investment and development can take place with confidence.

Under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 as amended decisions on where and how development will take place in Scotland are influenced by three tiers of statutory document:

  • National Planning Framework 3 was published by the Scottish Government in June 2014. It sets out Scottish Ministers’ strategy and priorities for spatial development of Scotland. Early engagement on NPF 4 is already underway. When approved (anticipated early 2022) NPF4 will form part of the development plan and incorporate Scottish Planning Policy.
  • Strategic Development Plans (SDP’s) were prepared for the four city region areas around Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. They set out a long term (20 years or more) view on key land use and development issues that go beyond local planning authority boundaries. Angus lies within the Dundee city region (TAYplan) area. The new Planning Act removes the requirement to prepare Strategic Development Plans and introduces provisions for Regional Spatial Strategies.
  • Local Development Plans (LDP’s) are prepared by local authorities and set out detailed policies and proposals to guide development. These plans must be consistent with the approved Strategic Development Plan.

The Current Development Plan Position in Angus

The TAYplan Strategic Development Plan was approved by Scottish Ministers in October 2017 and covers the period from 2016-2036. It provides the direction for the whole Tayside area.

The Angus Local Development Plan (ALDP), adopted in September 2016, covers all of Angus, except an area which lies within the Cairngorms National Park. The ALDP sets out the strategy for Angus and allocates land for development and protects the environment and assets, it is supported by a range of supplementary guidance, planning advice and development briefs.

Under the current system a Local Development Plan requires to be updated at least every 5 years and the replacement of the current Plan would be due by September 2021.

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 received Royal Assent in July 2019 and makes significant changes to the Town And Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 including alteration of the system of development planning.

Secondary legislation to enable implementation of the new Act has begun to come forward (with some sections of the Act already commenced). It was originally expected to be largely complete by 2021, however the current coronavirus pandemic has seen the timescales shift to mid 2022. The regulations to guide the preparation of new style local development plans are now expected in the early part of 2022. The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 will have implications for Local Development Planning in Angus. Appendix A sets out the key changes.

Given the emphasis of the new planning system is placemaking and development delivery rather than constant process-driven plan making, our considered view as a planning authority is that there is greater benefit in preparing a plan in the context of the new legislative framework.  This will remove the risk of having to immediately prepare a further plan in the period following adoption.

A new style plan will also result in closer alignment with the wider national priorities, the Development Plan at the national level as well as other key local authority workstreams such as the next Angus Local Housing Strategy, due to be replaced by 2022.

Implementation of the Current Plan

Since the Plan was adopted in September 2016 we have continued to focus on its implementation.

Ongoing discussions with landowners and developers of land allocated in the ALDP aim to assist in bringing sites forward. Regular contact ensures that we have an ­up to date understanding of market conditions, development progress and delivery issues enabling a proactive response by officers to help address issues quickly. Information on progress towards delivery of allocated sites and other development sites with planning permission is in our ‘live’ database on our website.

We continue to attend biannual strategic affordable housing delivery meetings and monthly affordable housing project updates with the Council’s Housing and Legal Services and active RSL partners as well as Scottish Government to focus on the delivery of projects contained within the Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP).

Monitoring and Evidence Base

Work has been undertaken on a number of the policy actions identified in the action programme which will be taken forward through the new Plan.

We have drawn together site delivery, charrette and locality plan work and collated information on what is currently happening. We have been working alongside our Communities colleagues to analyse environmental and social data to help identify areas with potential for change and enhancement.

Monitoring of housing and employment land supply and collation of information on Vacant and Derelict Land continues to be undertaken annually and submitted to Scottish Government as required.  A range of research activity to help inform the implementation and evolution of our planning framework is ongoing, including work on the green and blue network, rural development, town centres, local nature conservation sites and heat and energy efficiency. This is being collated into a position statement to help inform the direction of the new plan and will be published by the end of 2020.

Engagement

The 2019 DPS highlighted our intention to work with all stakeholders and undertake focused engagement sessions at the early stages of the plan making process.  

Angus Council brought together key business interests in Montrose to discuss their aspirations for growth, a collective vision for Montrose and north Angus over the next 10 - 20 years and what might be required to support this. The outputs from these stakeholder session will help shape planning policy and masterplanning for the area and Tay Cities deal.

During 2019 Planning Aid Scotland (PAS) have facilitated workshops both with schools, communities and other stakeholders.  The schools workshops involved around 60 pupils at Arbroath Academy and Brechin High School.  A general introduction to ‘What Planners Do’ encouraged pupils to think about how planning works in practice and make an assessment of where new development should be located.  A variety of activities were carried out to obtain the current opinions and experiences of young people living in or using Arbroath and Brechin and how they would like to see these towns develop in the future.

In November 2019 we hosted a ‘Planning for your Area, Planning for your Future’ workshop in Birkhill to discuss the potential for growth in the South Angus area.  The session was also facilitated by PAS. Around 30 people came along representing the community, landowners, developers and others. A note of the workshop activity summarises the event. We are intending to hold further workshops in due course.

We have continued to meet with key infrastructure providers over the last year, including Scottish Water, Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Gas Networks. Discussions have also taken place with Transport Scotland and the requirement to undertake a revised Transport Appraisal for the next Plan. A draft methodology has been agreed.

Given that the new plan will set a 10 year framework for decisions that affect our communities it is vital that it is developed with an understanding of wider issues including:

  • the potential effects of climate change.
  • opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of people.
  • the appropriate level of growth that can sustain and enhance our local economy and communities.
  • protecting those environmental and cultural assets that contribute to the quality of life that is possible here

The closer alignment between community planning and land use planning is now set in legislation. Since April 2018 the development plan and communities team of Angus Council has been developing a closer working relationship that will assist the creation of the new LDP (AngusPlan).

The Angus Community Plan (2017 – 2030) is our Local Outcomes Improvement Plan – a tool put in place to tackle the things that matter most to people coordinated through the Angus Community Planning Partnership.   The vision: “ Angus is a great place to live, work and visit.”, the three cross – cutting themes of economy, people and place and the identified priorities - Reducing child poverty / Improving mental health and well-being / Improving accessibility and connectivity – underpin an approach to our places which the Local Development Plan helps to deliver spatially.

As well as the legislative requirement for closer alignment under the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, the relationship between the Local Development Plan and the Community Plan is strengthened through a shared ambition to further develop place based approaches to future development and service delivery.  This also means involving communities directly in the decisions that contribute to their quality of life and the agreed local outcomes:

  • an inclusive and sustainable economy
  • attractive employment opportunities
  • improved physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing
  • an enhanced, protected and enjoyed natural and built environment
  • a reduced carbon footprint
  • safe, secure, vibrant and sustainable communities

The Place Principle underpins the ambition to develop the AngusPlan as a broader place plan intended to strengthen the co-ordination and integration of all place-based activity in a visual way. Places are shaped by the way resources, services and assets are directed and used by the people who live and invest in them. The AngusPlan has the potential to co-ordinate the place focussed activity of the Council and wider Community Planning Partnership. It is envisaged as the product of a truly collaborative approach to placemaking which recognises the broader context set out above, delivers land allocations to meet identified needs for developments such as housing as well as helping to deliver the wider ambitions our communities have about the kind of lives they want to live.

Our approach will address the need for new development, the role and function of our settlements and relationships between them, their capacity for additional development or the scope for redevelopment of existing areas, and the nature and potential of the rural parts of Angus.

In moving to preparation of a new style plan under the emerging system, we now have a longer lead-in period in advance of the submission of an Evidence Report and a Proposed Plan.  The inherently fluid nature of this transitional period creates challenges in setting out our work programme and engagement activity in any great detail.  We need to build in enough flexibility to be able commit resource to contribute to the evolution of the legislation itself as well as maintain some momentum in our plan making processes and all that is involved in developing an approach suitable for Angus which also fits within the new Act.

In the immediate period our priorities are developing a programme for working with our communities and our partners about their places, taking account of all complementary work in associated policy areas and continuing to gather monitoring results and necessary new evidence to inform the preparation of an Evidence Report.

New regulations and guidance relating to Local Development Plans are programmed to be published in early 2022 by the Scottish Government. Timescales for preparing out next Plan will be included in a future Development Plan Scheme when further information is available from the Scottish Government.

A detailed Participation Statement for the next Local Development Plan will be prepared once a draft and details of the relevant regulations and guidance for Development Planning are available.  

We will however use the current time to get stakeholders speaking about their Places and issues that are important to them for the next Development Plan. This will assist to inform the Participation Statement.

Who are our stakeholders?

Local Communities, Employers and their Employees, Individuals, Community Councils, Community Planning Partners, Elected Members, Development Industry, Community and Interest Groups, Infrastructure Providers, Landowners, Key Agencies, Angus Council Departments.

 

Current Ways to Keep Informed and Get Involved In Discussions About Place

We will work alongside our stakeholders in a variety of ways. The level and method of engagement will be tailored to address/explore the issues being considered. We are looking to incorporate different and innovative techniques to make it as easy as possible for all to get and stay involved.

Interactive Online Engagement

Angus is a largely rural area and we want to engage/enable all communities and stakeholders to work with us in developing our approach to the next Plan. Equally we are aware that people have busy lives and don’t always have the ability to devote time to a full workshop session. People working, studying or who are parents and carers have an important role in determining the future of their places and we are keen to utilise opportunities to engage with these groups. We have developed Social Pinpoint© as our dedicated online engagement platform ‘Shaping Angus’, and will further develop and promote this tool and alert people to these opportunities through social media and other channels. The Shaping Angus platform provides a central point for all consultations and allows for different consultations on a variety of issues to run concurrently. The platform is a user friendly, interactive online based map tool providing for conversation between all participants. We are also able to use this platform to prioritise options, seek ideas or raise questions about various issues. It can be accessed on mobile, tablet, laptop and PC devices.

What if I don’t or can’t go online?

We recognise that not everyone has access to an online facility or broadband and some people may choose not to use them.  We will seek to create opportunities for people to contribute to any online engagement by enabling access during direct workshop or discussion sessions.

Raising Awareness, Updates and Sharing Information

We will use as many ways as possible to make stakeholders aware of opportunities for involvement and provide advance notice of specific dates and events.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Use of our own and the Council’s twitter account and Council Facebook page.

Links and shares to these channels from our engagement platform.

E BULLETINS

All stakeholders will have the opportunity to be included on our stakeholder database where we will provide regular bulletins updating on what we are doing.

DIRECT COMMUNICATIONS

We will provide direct correspondence to stakeholders through bulletins highlighting key dates such as stakeholder sessions and direct invites.   

WEBSITE

Our main website page will include updates, links to our engagement /participation platform and key documents.

BRIEFING SESSIONS

These will be undertaken with key stakeholder groups as required. These may include community council and developer forums or attendance at meetings.   

ELECTED MEMBERS

A series of elected member briefings and workshops will be held throughout the pre plan period to provide updates and seek views on particular issues.   

Stakeholder Discussion Workshops

A number of workshop sessions will also be undertaken where a specific topic area needs to be explored or to bring together particular types of stakeholders or a cross section of interests to undertake geographically or topic themed activities.

Whilst the implementation of the Act is still at an early stage there are key changes relating to development planning which set a revised context for our work programme as set out in this Development Plan Scheme:

  • The purpose of planning is now set in legislation “… to manage the development and use of land in the long term public interest”, which can include anything which contributes to sustainable development and achieves the national outcomes.
  • The next National Planning Framework will incorporate Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) and be part of the ‘Development Plan’ and is subject to Parliamentary approval.  Work on the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) – a spatial strategy for Scotland to 2050 began in January 2020. An extension to the timeline for this work, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, will see a draft expected to be laid before Parliament in September 2021, and in final form during spring/summer 2022. Scottish Ministers can direct planning authorities to provide information to assist in the preparation of the Framework on a range of defined matters.
  • The requirement for Strategic Development Plans for the four city regions will be removed, and replaced with a requirement for all authorities, working together as they see fit, to prepare Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) setting out strategic development priorities. The NPF4 is required to have regard to these RSS. Work is underway on the preparation of an Indicative Regional Spatial Strategy for the Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross areas.
  • The Act aims to make Local Development Plans (LDP) more effective, prepared with greater community involvement and with more focus on delivery of development.  The LDP sets out the spatial strategy for the development and use of land in the area to lead positive change.  It sits in the context of the purpose of planning and must take account of the Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP) and the National Planning Framework. LDPs are moved to a 10 year cycle rather than the current 5 year period. There will continue to be requirement for Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitat Regulation Assessment of the Plan