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Local Development Plan

A Local Development Plans (LDP) is prepared by the local planning authority, in this case West Lothian Council. It sets out a local interpretation of the requirements of national and strategic policy. In particular it must conform to the approved Strategic Development Plan (SDP) which has been prepared by the strategic planning authority (SESplan) and its purpose is to implement requirements on a more detailed site-specific basis than exists within the SDP.

The Plan comprises a written statement detailing a spatial strategy, including policies and proposals together with a Proposals Map.

LDP's are intended to provide the vision and strategy for how communities will grow and develop in the future and also to provide certainty for communities and prospective investors about where development should take place and where it should not. LDP's also identify the supporting infrastructure required for growth and set out detailed policies and proposals which are the basis for decision making on future planning applications.

How has the West Lothian Local Development Plan been prepared?

There are a number of distinctive stages in the preparation of LDPs and these can be viewed by clicking on the tabs below.

Development Plan Scheme (DPS)

The DPS sets out the timetable for the preparation and publication of the LDP and also what is involved at each of the stages. It includes an outline of how the council proposes to involve people in the process. The Development Plan Scheme is reviewed at least every year and provides an up-to-date picture of how the plan is progressing. The most recent scheme is Development Plan Scheme No.10 which was published in March 2018.

Call for sites

 Preparation of the new LDP commenced with the council undertaking a 'Call for Sites/Expressions of Interest' exercise in 2011 which invited land owners, developers, agents or any other interested parties to submit proposed sites for consideration and which generated more than 200 submissions.

Main Issues Report (MIR)

The MIR set out what officers identified as the key land use planning issues in West Lothian and was the principal opportunity within the plan preparation process for consulting stakeholders on the content of the new plan and for involving the public. The MIR was not however a draft version of the plan; It focused on the key issues that were changing from the adoption of the last plan (the West Lothian Local Plan 2009) and set out general proposals for development in the area, in particular where development should and should not occur. The MIR identified a preferred option and a reasonable alternative, and was informed by a sound evidence base. The MIR was also important for aligning development planning with Strategic Environmental Assessment.

The West Lothian Local Development Main Issue Report is the key consultation stage and was published in August 2014. was published on 5 August 2014 and an eight week consultation period was observed for the receipt of representations between 25 August and 17 October 2014.

Proposed Local Development Plan (LDP)

The Proposed Plan represented the council's 'settled view' as to what the final adopted content of the plan should be and was prepared after having had regard to more than 250 representations received on the Main Issues Report. 

The West Lothian Local Development Plan Proposed Plan was approved for consultation by the Council Executive at a meeting on 15 September 2015 and representations were invited over a six week period between 12 October 2015 and 20 November 2015. In the event, more than 720 submissions were received. These were reported to and considered by the Council Executive at a meeting on 29 June 2016 when it subsequently authorised officers to proceed with the submission of the Proposed Plan to Scottish Ministers.


The West Lothian Local Development Plan Proposed Plan was submitted to Scottish Ministers on 28 October 2016 for examination of its content and policies and for consideration of unresolved representations. It was commenced by the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) on 18 January 2017. Independent Reporters decided the format the examination took (by written submissions) and their Report of Examination setting out their findings was published on 13 December 2017 concluding this stage of the process.

Post Examination Modifications

Following the Council Executive's decision on 22 March 2018 to proceed to adopt the West Lothian Local Development Plan (as modified), the LDP was notified to Scottish Ministers for consideration on 5 April 2018.

The plan, in the form that the council propose to adopt:

For ease of reference you can also view here how the plan has been modified:

There was an initial expectation that the council would receive confirmation as to whether or not it could proceed to adopt the plan within 28 days of that date but in the event Scottish Ministers extended the time available to them. 

On 27 June 2018, Scottish Ministers issued a Direction under section 20(5) of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 inviting the council to consider modifying the LDP in accordance with the requirements of an accompanying Annex. As a consequence, the council is currently unable to adopt the plan unless and until these modifications are made to the satisfaction of Scottish Ministers.

The council is now taking time to consider the modifications and will advise Scottish Ministers of its response in due course. A further update will be provided at that time. 

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of modifications

The Council has a statutory requirement to undertake Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on LDPs under the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005. SEA was initially undertaken when preparing the LDP Proposed Plan and was subsequently updated to take account of the Reporters' recommended modifications. 

The updated SEA concluded that the modifications proposed to the plan could be implemented with no significant environmental effects and a Screening Determination was made on 03 April 2018 to this effect and was submitted to the three Consultation Authorities (Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) via Scottish Government's SEA Gateway. 

A second Screening Determination was made on 18 October 2018 with regard to a modification made to the LDP by Scottish Ministers - the addition of Policy NRG 1a relating to Low and Zero Carbon Generating Technology.

In accordance with section 10(2) of the 2005 Act, a copy of the determinations and the reasons for these determination can be viewed here and also at the offices of West Lothian Council, Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, EH54 6FF. Copies of documents can also be requested by emailing

(1)    SEA Screening Determination : Modifications by the DPEA Reporter

(2)    SEA Screening Determination : Modification by Scottish Ministers


West Lothian Council adopted the West Lothian Local Development Plan on 4 September 2018 after Scottish Ministers confirmed the council could do so. It now forms part of the Development Plan for West Lothian along with the Strategic Development Plan (SDP) for Edinburgh and South-east Scotland. The West Lothian Local Development Plan replaces the existing West Lothian Local Plan 2009 with immediate effect.

Click on the Adoption page for more information


The West Lothian Local Development Plan was adopted on 4 September 2018.

If you have any queries relating to the Local Development Plan, or just want to provide feedback and comments on our service, please email the Development Planning team. You can also write to us at Development Planning, Planning and Economic Development, West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, West Lothian EH54 6FF or phone 01506 280000.