Planning Services consultations
Planning Services is involved in a wide range of initiatives through which the policies and aspirations of the development plan are consulted on then delivered.
Typically, these projects involve partnerships with other key public and private sector agencies whereby resources, statutory powers and expertise are brought together in pursuit of common objectives, including for example, the delivery of key infrastructure to help support appropriate development in West Lothian.
West Lothian Council adopted the West Lothian Local Development Plan on 4 September 2018 after Scottish Ministers confirmed the council could do so.
It is a specific requirement of the Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006 that within three months of the date of adoption of a Local Development Plan (LDP) that a local planning authority must publish an Action Programme to accompany it and set out how it proposes to implement the plan to which it relates.
The Action Programme must contain a list of actions required to deliver the plan's policies and proposals; identify the appropriate parties or organisations that are required to carry out the action(s); and provide an indicative timescale for completing these actions.
In preparing the Action Programme the council is required to consult and consider the views of the Scottish Ministers, key agencies and those parties specified by name in the document and at a meeting of the council's Development and Transport Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel (PDSP) on 4 September 2018, it was agreed to publish the draft Action Programme for the purposes of a targeted consultation with these parties. The consultation will be carried out over a four-week period commencing on Thursday 15 November and ending on Thursday 13 December 2018.
Representations will then be considered, responded to and reported to the Council Executive at the earliest opportunity. It will be noted that this could potentially give rise to revisions being made to the Action Programme.
Once the Action Programme has secured the agreement of the Council Executive it will be formally submitted to Scottish Ministers.
Planning legislation gives local authorities enforcement powers to deal with a range of unauthorised land use activities. These generally involve the failure to obtain planning consent in advance of carrying out works or changes of use on land or to property, or failure to comply with a condition of a planning consent. However, the powers also extend into actions which give rise to a loss of amenity and limited powers are available to the planning authority to deal with land or property which is being kept in an untidy or derelict state and is resulting in a loss of amenity to the area.
The council is required, under section 158A of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, to produce and distribute an enforcement charter, which sets out:
- a statement of the authority's policies for taking enforcement action;
- an account of how members of the public are to bring any suspected breach of planning control to the attention of the council;
- how any complaint to the authority over a suspected breach is to be made; and
- the council's procedures for dealing with any such complaint.
West Lothian Council has launched a six-week consultation on the revised Enforcement Charter and welcomes comments from members of the public, Community Councils and our partner services within the Council before 5th July 2018.
Should you wish to submit comments in regards to the consultation document please complete the survey below:
New Development in the Countryside Planning Guidance Consultation
It was agreed at a meeting of the Development and Transport Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel on 5 December 2017 to consult on revised New Development in the Countryside Planning Guidance.
The current Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) on this subject supports the adopted West Lothian Local Plan 2009 but will require to be replaced when the new West Lothian Local Development Plan (LDP) is adopted, anticipated later in 2018.
New Supplementary Guidance (SG) is produced by the council in order to explain how particular development plan policies should be applied in practice.
The West Lothian Local Development Plan Proposed Plan identifies the circumstances where an exception can be made to an otherwise general policy of restraint in relation to development in the countryside. These are primarily where development can help to support the rural economy and where there is an evidenced and justifiable locational need. The SG seeks to maintain the need to safeguard the character and amenity of the countryside, protect the landscape and the most productive farmland while ensuring that any new development that is legitimised is well integrated into its surroundings, is visually and aesthetically attractive and is designed on environmental sustainability principles.
This new SG has had regard to and is compliant with all relevant national planning policies which are set out in the Strategic Development Plan and the policies of the new LDP in relation to rural development. Once approved it is intended that it will form part of the statutory supplementary guidance supporting the LDP. The current guidance will not however be formally withdrawn until the new guidance has been reported to Scottish Ministers and confirmed as statutory.
It was agreed at a meeting of the Development and Transport Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel on 3rd April 2017 to consult on Draft Planning Guidelines (PG) on The Vennel, Linlithgow. The council recognises the importance and sensitivity of the site which lies in close proximity to Linlithgow Palace and loch and has therefore chosen to extend the consultation period from 6 to 9 weeks.
There has been ongoing redevelopment, renovation and enhancement of large properties in central Linlithgow over the last decade. The imminent opening of the new partnership centre at the County Buildings and the transfer of partnership services to this building will result in a number of properties in and around The Vennel becoming surplus to requirements. This presents a rare opportunity to consider some of the urban design issues in The Vennel area through investment opportunities.
The purpose of this planning guidance is to set out the considerations which will guide and influence the future development of the area and identify the detailed criteria upon which the council, as planning authority, would assess any forthcoming proposals. To guide redevelopment of this complex site the proposed planning guidance provides an Urban Design Framework which sets the design parameters for an anticipated masterplan which would demonstrate how new development would improve and regenerate The Vennel area. Amendments to the planning guidance may be required following consultation with interested parties. Approval of the guidance will allow for the marketing and, in time, re-development of the site. The planning guidance provided is without prejudice to any further comments and decisions that may be made by the council on any formal consideration of a planning application to develop the site.
It was agreed at a meeting of the Development and Transport Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel on 6 February 2017 to consult on updated Supplementary Guidance (SG) on flooding and the water environment. The guidance has been prepared to update and refresh the council's current Supplementary Planning Guidance 'West Lothian Flood Risk and Drainage' adopted in 2008.
Flooding can have a detrimental impact on people, businesses and the environment. West Lothian Council is committed to reducing the vulnerability of existing and future developments to flooding. Through the planning system, we will aim to prevent development that would have a significant probability of being affected by flooding or would increase the probability of flooding elsewhere.
Scottish Planning Policy states the planning system should promote:
- a precautionary approach to flood risk from all sources, including coastal, water course (fluvial), surface water (pluvial), groundwater, reservoirs and drainage systems (sewers and culverts), taking account of the predicted effects of climate change;
- flood avoidance: by safeguarding flood storage and conveying capacity, and locating development away from functional flood plains and medium to high risk areas;
- flood reduction: assessing flood risk and, where appropriate, undertaking natural and structural flood management measures, including flood protection, restoring natural features and characteristics, enhancing flood storage capacity, avoiding the construction of new culverts and opening existing culverts where possible; and
- avoidance of increased surface water flooding through requirements for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) and minimising the area of impermeable surface.
This Supplementary Guidance on flooding and the water environment has been produced by the council in order to explain how particular development plan policies should be applied in practice (in particular, policies EMG1, EMG2, and EMG3 of the emerging West Lothian Local Development Plan).
It was agreed at a meeting of the Development and Transport Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel on 3 April 2017 to consult on updated Supplementary Guidance (SG) on Air Quality.
Policy EMG 4 of the emerging Local Development Plan requires developers, where appropriate, to provide additional information on the impact of their proposed development on air quality. This Supplementary Guidance on Air Quality has been produced by the council in order to explain how particular development plan policies should be applied in practice.
The supplementary guidance on air quality provides information on:
- When an air quality assessment is likely to be required.
- What should be included in an air quality impact assessment.
- Mitigations of air quality impacts.
West Lothian Council is committed to ensuring that health based air quality standards are achieved to protect the health of our citizens. The council has a responsibility through the planning system to ensure no new pollution hotspots are created or no significant new human exposure is introduced where there could be existing poor air quality.
Air quality across West Lothian is generally very good in that pollutant concentrations are within the health based air quality objectives at most locations. At locations where regular exceedances of the Scottish air quality objectives are known to occur and human exposure is present, the council is required to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).
To date, three AQMA have been declared in West Lothian. These are located in Broxburn, Linlithgow and Newton. Road traffic emissions are the main source of pollution in Broxburn and Linlithgow. In Newton domestic combustion contributes a significant proportion of particulate emissions.
It was agreed at a meeting of the Development and Transport Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel on 26 October 2015 to consult on revised Residential Development Planning Guidance.
Residential Development Planning Guidance
Supplementary Guidance (SG) is produced by the council in order to explain how particular development plan policies should be applied in practice. This particular SG seeks to ensure a consistent application of policy and to provide a design framework for all who are involved in the provision of new residential development within West Lothian: it brings together all the elements that help contribute towards cohesive housing layout design. It promotes and encourages high quality and innovative housing developments that are visually attractive, well integrated into their surroundings, designed on environmental sustainability principles and which offer a good standard of amenity to new and future occupants while also protecting the amenity of existing residents.
The current RDG (and companion guidance on small scale residential development) are being refreshed and consolidated, principally to ensure that they reflect and are consistent with the latest Scottish Government policy guidance, but also to enable references to legislation and supporting documents to be updated. Once approved they will form part of the statutory supplementary guidance supporting the West Lothian Local Development Plan (LDP).
It was agreed at a meeting of the Development and Transport Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel on 26 October 2015 to consult on Place-Based Green Network Guidance.
West Lothian Place-Based Green Networks Guidance
Green Networks are concerned with linking up areas of open space across West Lothian. Central to the concept are the principles of "connectivity" and "multi-functionality" i.e.; green networks link people and places, but also provide habitat networks for species movement and can all be provided on one site. They help the delivery of high quality sustainable places and more efficient use of land as well as supporting the long term Central Scotland Green Network concept.
Local Biodiversity Sites (LBS) are also important contributions to the wider green network and there are approximately 130 in West Lothian, though most are along riparian corridors which form the remaining parts of West Lothian undisturbed by human activity.
In this context, following an audit and field survey by the British Geological Survey, the 50 most important Local Geodiversity Sites (LGS) in West Lothian are listed in this draft Green Network Supplementary Guidance and on which comments are sought. Once approved the guidance will form part of the statutory supplementary guidance supporting the West Lothian Local Development Plan (LDP).