The Proposed Local Development Plan (LDP2) [not a Draft Local Development Plan as reported in some of the press] has now been published by the council and is available for representations to be submitted. The LDP is in two volumes: Volume 1: Policies and Volume 2: Settlement Profiles. LDP2 is available for comment from 2 November 2020 to 25 January 2021.
Prior to submitting representations, the public are being invited to watch a short introductory video which sets out the background to the LDP and how you can get involved (it lasts for approximately 5 minutes). The video, with background views of the beautiful borders, is well worth listening to although the volume of the narrator is somewhat variable. A more detailed ‘Story Map’ provides an overview of the LDP and a link to an interactive map where the proposed site allocations for development can be located.
Those interested in submitting representations are asked to submit these online, by email or in writing (online is the council’s preferred option). According to the council’s website, during the representation period a further online video will be prepared in response to frequently asked questions; details to be shown on the council’s webpage Local Development Plan (Proposed).
So now is your chance to have your say on the council’s proposals. As the video explains, at the end of the representation period (25 January 2021), when all representations have been received, if the council cannot resolve all the objections, any unresolved objections to the Proposed LDP will be referred to the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) and an Examination will then be conducted by a Reporter appointed by DPEA. The Reporter will make recommendations as to whether any modifications should be made to the LDP to address the outstanding objections [these are largely binding on the council]. Once modifications have been made, the LDP would then be submitted to the Scottish Government and adopted by the council as the blueprint for the future use and development of land over the next 10 years. It is anticipated that it will be late 2021/early 2022 before the LDP is adopted [although it could be later depending on circumstances such as the length of the COVID-19 Pandemic].
I can’t wait to see what the response is to the policies and proposals in the LDP, some of which will no doubt prove controversial. Whilst we are restricted in what we can do because of COVID-19, there is now plenty of opportunity to read and digest the wide-ranging policies and proposals in the LDP. Don’t miss this opportunity to influence the future of the Scottish Borders.