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Strategic Development Plan (SDP2)

A Strategic Development Plan is a statutory planning document which is prepared or updated every five years and covers a twenty year time period. It communicates strategic level and cross-boundary planning policy, and applies national policy and guidance from the Scottish Government. It is used to inform the Local Development Plans prepared by each of the Member Authorities in the region.

All representations made on the Proposed Plan are available to view via the SESplan consultation portal

You can find out more on the timetable for progressing SDP2 by visiting the SESplan website.

SESplan is the Strategic Development Planning Authority for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland region and comprising the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, West Lothian and the southern half of Fife councils.

In October 2016, SESplan published the second Proposed Strategic Development Plan  for consultation. The period for making representations ended in November 2016.

SESplan's second proposed Strategic Development Plan was submitted to Scottish Ministers for examination on 26 June 2017.

On 20 July 2018 the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) completed its examination and submitted a report to Scottish Ministers.

On 16 May 2019 SESplan was advised that the Proposed Strategic Development Plan (SDP 2) had been rejected by the Scottish Ministers under Section 13 (1) of the Planning Act.

The decision letter pdf icon SDP 2 Rejection Letter from Scottish Ministers [176kb] advises that the Plan had failed to satisfy Ministers that it had been informed by an adequate and timely Transport Appraisal and had not taken sufficient account of the relationship between land use and transport. It further advises that the use of supplementary guidance as a mechanism to resolve this issue had been considered but had not been supported my Ministers.

Once the SESplan Authorities have considered the reasons for the decision and the implications for strategic planning in the SESplan area their response will be posted here.

In the meantime the Proposed Plan and all supporting documents continue to be available for download from the SESplan website

For information: The Planning (Scotland) Bill

The Planning (Scotland) Bill which was introduced to Parliament on 4 December 2017 is central to a package of measures intended to strengthen the planning system's contribution to inclusive growth and empowering communities. The Bill sets out a series of proposed high level changes to the overall framework under which planning operates. Of particular significance are proposals to streamline the development plan system by replacing the duty to prepare strategic development plans and refocusing work at this scale so that it can support wider regional partnership working. Specifically, the Planning Bill removes the requirement for strategic development plans but at the same time introduces a power to direct authorities to provide information, collaboratively if appropriate, to assist in preparation of the NPF and which will form part of the development plan. 

The Scottish Parliament passed the Planning (Scotland) Bill on 20 June 2019. There follows a four-week period for legal objections to be raised. If none are raised or four weeks pass, it is anticipated that the Bill will receive Royal Assent shortly thereafter. 

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

Alternatively, you can contact a member of the SESplan team directly by sending an email to or phone 01506 282883.

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