AngusPlan newsletter: June 2020

Welcome to the AngusPlan newsletter. This issue gives an update on recent changes to the process and timescales for the next local development plan for Angus, outlines what we are working on and lets you know how to stay informed about opportunities to help shape the future of Angus.

AngusPlan

The Angus Local Development Plan (ALDP) (adopted 2016) provides the current framework to guide development in Angus. Our review of this plan is underway, and you may recall we had been working towards having a replacement plan adopted around September 2021. 
Over recent months a number of factors have influenced what we need to do and changed the timescales we are working within. This includes the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 which introduces changes to the planmaking process, extends the plan review period from 5 to 10 years and introduces additional matters for local development plans to cover.

We are calling the next local development plan the ‘AngusPlan’. The ambition is that it will provide a clear ten-year framework within which positive change can be designed and delivered by communities, the Council and other partners, supporting the shared Angus Council/Community Planning Partnership vision that “Angus is a great place to live, work and visit.”

Impacts of change on our process

In a draft 2020/21 Development Plan Scheme (DPS) we indicated our intention to prepare the AngusPlan in line with the new legislation rather than continuing to progress with an ‘old-style’ plan which would quickly be out of date and immediately need to be replaced. 

These significant changes mean we will not be publishing a Main Issues Report at this stage.  A Monitoring Statement is being prepared for publication later this year. It will look at the key changes in policy and in Angus since the current plan was prepared and assess how that plan has performed in supporting the delivery of new development. 

The stages beyond that will need to be progressed alongside the preparation and publication of the new secondary legislation by the Scottish Government. Their timescales have now been affected by the lockdown and preparation of development plan regulations will be delayed beyond the original timescale of late 2021.

The Evidence Report for AngusPlan will likely be published during Winter 2021/2022. The Proposed Plan would follow a successful ‘gatecheck’ (i.e. consideration of the robustness) of the evidence report. 

What we’ve been doing

Over the last few months we have been focussed on a range of different workstreams to assist with the monitoring of the existing plan and to start to form the evidence base for the AngusPlan.

Since the middle of March, like many other people, the development plan team are all working from home, unable to get out on site, hold face to face meetings or engagement sessions. 

The information gathering and monitoring phase of our work lends itself well to the circumstances we all find ourselves in. We can also take the opportunity to develop our thinking about the next phases of the process both in collaboration with other local authorities to help shape the regulations that will come from Government but also specifically scoping out the content and format of the AngusPlan.  


Gathering information and monitoring change

Housing and Employment Land Audits

Each year we carry out audits of the housing land supply and available employment land to inform an ongoing assessment of the scale and location of areas of land needed for homes and jobs and to monitor their delivery. The 2019/20 Housing Land Audit is underway with consultation due to take place in June. The collation of the Employment Land Audit will begin shortly.

Town Centres

This year we are also preparing to update the town centre floorspace survey, to capture the distribution and extent of different types of uses and how this has changed since the previous survey of retail floorspace in 2017. This will be particularly valuable this year, allowing the effects of the coronavirus related lockdown and the general health of our town centres to be reviewed at a future date.

Current Plan Site Updates

We continue to have regular contact with landowners, developers, and utilities providers about the development sites in the current Plan. This gives us an up to date picture of when new development will be completed, and helps us become aware of any issues which will delay those homes and other buildings being delivered.  Our Development Delivery Live Action Programme webpage was updated at the end of March and will continue to be updated at least quarterly. This resource is continually evolving as we work closely with our GIS team to develop improved ways of presenting and managing the data.

Housing Need and Demand Assessment

We have recently started working with the Council’s Housing Service and partners from Dundee City and Perth & Kinross Councils to prepare a new Housing Need and Demand Assessment (HNDA). This will form a key source of evidence to support both the AngusPlan and the new Local Housing Strategy (LHS) and will be available in early 2021.

Blue and Green Networks

A refinement of the methodology has been achieved following initial pilot workshops with partner stakeholders. Identification and GIS mapping of settlement networks is underway. Consultation with partners and local communities will take place later to help clarify the function and value of different parts of the network and opportunities for further enhancement.

Development Boundaries Review

We have completed the monitoring work and undertaken an analysis of the principles behind the existing approach. We’ll be speaking to you further about this in relation to the strategy for our rural areas later this year.

Local Landscape Areas

We have identified draft local landscape areas within Angus following a detailed programme of work and engagement with stakeholders. These will be consulted on further through AngusPlan.

Local Nature Conservation Sites (LNCS)

We are working jointly with Perth and Kinross Council and a fantastic cohort of experts to assess candidate sites through the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership to identify LNCS in Angus. 

A refresh of the Built Heritage guidance for Angus has been completed. 


Opportunities for participation

In developing the AngusPlan we want to ensure that all stakeholders have sufficient opportunity to work with us at the different stages involved.

The change to the programme extends the period now available for engagement about the plan and placemaking. We will explore opportunities to assist different groups to work with us to develop new engagement tools which encourage people to choose to become involved in shaping their places. If you have thoughts about how you’d prefer to get involved in this process or particular topic areas of interest to you then please get in touch with us at ldp@angus.gov.uk

All opportunities will however be widely publicised.

No call for sites

As noted in our previous Development Plan Scheme (DPS) and recent draft DPS we are not undertaking a formal call for sites, particularly due to the changes in our timescale and process for preparing the next plan. There will still be the opportunity to put forward suggestions in the context of wider discussions about the future of each of our places, the rural area and the strategy across Angus.

Early Engagement

Early stages of engagement will be focussed on learning more about our places and how communities want to see them contribute to a successful Angus which benefits everyone. It’s expected that our monitoring and evidence gathering activity will give rise to further opportunities to share information and look at some issues in more detail.

Young People

During 2019 Planning Aid Scotland (PAS) facilitated workshops with schools, communities and other stakeholders. The schools workshops involved around 60 pupils from Arbroath Academy and Brechin High School. A general introduction to ‘What Planners Do’ encouraged young people to think about how planning works in practice and make an assessment of where new development should be located. A variety of activities helped draw out the opinions and experiences of young people living in and around or using facilities in Arbroath and Brechin and how they would like to see these towns develop in the future. We’re using the current time to develop further sessions with and for young people to share their thoughts about the places they live in.

Development Strategy

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. This session was also facilitated by PAS. Around 30 people came along representing the community, landowners, developers and others. A note of the workshop summarises the event. A further workshop, along similar lines, in March had to be postponed and will take place in due course.

Shaping Angus (Social Pinpoint)

In summer 2019, we launched the AngusPlan hub on the Council’s Shaping Angus online community engagement platform. At that time we invited you to share your views on the main issues for planning in Angus over the next 10 years or so. 

Given that our programme and timescales have now changed we have decided to close the Ideas Wall for the time being. Many thanks to those who took the time to contribute. The majority of the 32 comments relate to the New Homes and Jobs topic area. They include:

  • the need for new development to continue to be focussed on our main settlements
  • an appropriate scale and location for new development in the Angus countryside taking account of the need to support local services in rural communities and protect the environment

Concerns were expressed in relation to matters such as littering, public toilets, the quality of the environment in some town centres and the retail offer, the condition of roads and opportunities for more sustainable travel options. The comments will contribute to shaping our thinking for the new Plan, although some relate to matters which are likely to be fundamentally affected by the economic impacts of the lockdown. 

There will be many further opportunities for involvement in shaping the approach to future development in Angus which will be publicised through our AngusPlan mailing list, our hub on Shaping Angus, our website and social media channels.


National Planning Framework 4

The Scottish Government are developing the next spatial strategy for Scotland to 2050. Go to the Transforming Planning website for more information including how to get involved.


Coronavirus impact on Planning and Building Services

We are continuing to deal with building warrant and planning applications, but changes to the way we are able to work at the moment will affect some aspects of service provision. There’s more detailed information on our webpages

If you have any queries please contact us by emailing ldp@angus.gov.uk

Thank you, The AngusPlan Team