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Examination Report and Post Examination Modifications

The principal Report of Examination was issued on 11 December 2017 (augmented with an additional Report of Examination dealing with a single site issue issued on 8 January 2018).

These reports, which detail the Reporters' conclusions and recommendations for each of the issues arising from the unresolved representations can be viewed at: Scottish Government West Lothian Local Development Plan

Reporter's Recommendations documents:

NB: The DPEA has alerted the council to erroneous tables on pages 72 and 87 of the Examination Report. These should be disregarded and the corrected versions should be substituted, which can be found by pdf icon clicking this link [283kb].

Report of Examination - Issue 4U

It was subsequently brought to the attention of the DPEA that one of the representations (Issue 4U relating to a proposed housing site at Sibbald's Brae Bathgate) had been omitted from the plan submission and the Reporters appointed to carry out the examination intimated that they would examine that issue and submit a report to the council, dealing solely with that issue. This was received by the council on 08 January 2018 and no modification was made to the plan.

The recommendations contained in the Examination Report are largely binding on planning authorities and they may only depart from the recommendations in very specific defined circumstances. These are set out in Regulation 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Grounds for declining to follow recommendations) (Scotland) Regulations 2009 and Section 19(11) of the Act.

At a meeting of the Council Executive on 22 March 2018, West Lothian Council resolved to accept all of the modifications recommended in the Report of Examination, and, furthermore, agreed to adopt the Local Development Plan (as modified). 

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. 

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.