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SNP Councillors Attend Local Development Plan Consultation

>> 4 December 2013

Peterhead’s SNP councillors Anne Allan and Fiona McRae (Peterhead North) and Stuart Pratt and Stephen Smith (Peterhead South) attended the latest consultation event for the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan, held in the Palace Hotel.

The meeting opened with a presentation by Policy Team Leader Piers Blaxter, who outlined what a Main Issues Report is and the steps to produce the next Local Development Plan.

The audience heard the importance of making a submission to the Main Issues Report, as this is the main opportunity to get involved in shaping planning policy.

Fiona Thompson, Policy Planner, discussed proposals for future development in Peterhead, Boddam, St Fergus and Longside.

Cllr Stuart Pratt raised an issue about one of the main issues in Ellon, which is out-of-town retailing, and the impact that this could have on Peterhead. Discussion also focused on proposals for development submitted by landowners and developers across local settlements.

Commenting, Cllr Stuart Pratt said:

“While it’s only fair that people in Ellon express their aspirations for their own community, we need to look at things as a whole and if Aberdeenshire Council is serious regarding the regeneration of Peterhead then I fear what impact a new out-of-town retail site in Ellon may have on efforts to attract new business to Peterhead.

“This was recognised by the planners and, as with most things relating to planning, a balance will need to be struck which protects Peterhead and allows it to be an attractive option for new businesses, while allowing Ellon to develop according to the needs of people there.”

Cllr Stephen Smith added:

“I think it’s probably fair to say that there are less changes required for the new Local Development Plan than was the case when we were overhauling the previous plan in 2008.

“However, the plan will, once adopted, remain in place and be the main source of council policy on planning matters for years to come so I’d encourage people to have a look online and submit any comments they have regarding their own communities.”

If you haven’t had a chance to get involved, details of further consultation events and a response form can be found at: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/ldp.

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