Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2023

The Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2023 was adopted on 13th January 2023.

Once in every five years we are required to publish a new plan for the area, excluding the Cairngorms National Park. This is to inform and advise developers and communities on the principles that built development should follow and where it should be located.

Having been through an extensive period of consultation, including the publication of a Main Issues Report and a Proposed Local Development Plan, the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2023 was formally adopted on 13th January 2023.

The Local Development Plan 2023 has been written to accord with the National Planning Framework 3, and be consistent with the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Plan 2020.

Every year, we publish a Development Plan Scheme which sets out the programme for the delivery of the Local Development Plan.

Legislation is changing as part of the planning reforms and the Scottish Government is moving forward with the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019. As the LDP was delivered in 2023 it was prepared using the existing legislation. Transitional arrangements have been announced by the Scottish Government to manage the changeover from current to new-style LDPs. The next Local Development Plan will be prepared on a timetable that will see its adoption in or before 2027.

Following consideration by Scottish Ministers, a modification has been made to paragraph PR1.10 of the LDP 2023 to include text relating to the commercial extraction of peat, to ensure the policies of the plan accord with Scottish Planning Policy.

View the plan: 

Planning advice has been prepared to provide best practice guidance on how to meet the requirements of the Local Development Plan. Please note that Supplementary Guidance on Developer Obligations and Affordable Housing will be made available within 12 months of adoption of the Local Development Plan 2023.

The Local Development Plan (LDP) 2023 is supported by the following documents:

Preparation of the plan

There are 4 stages of the local development planning process. Each stage has substantial information produced to justify the council's position, much of which can be found on the archive page. Watch the Local Development Plan short film to find out how our local development plan has been produced:

Stage 1 - Preparation

The Main Issues Report and Draft Proposed Local Development Plan were published on 14th January 2019 and were subject to public consultation until 8th April 2019. Nearly 1200 representations were received. This information is now historical but you can view the Main Issues Report on the archive page

Issues and Actions papers were then produced which contain council officers’ responses to the issues raised during the public consultation.

Between August and September 2019 our area committees met to debate the issues raised. They agreed the actions necessary to take forward for the next stage in the process. Infrastructure Services Committee then considered any outstanding issues or inconsistencies between area views and have made recommendations on the content of the Proposed Local Development Plan to the council.

Stage 2 - Consultation 

The Proposed Local Development Plan was presented to Full Council on 5th March 2020 where local members agreed that the content of the proposed plan 2020 provides the settled view of the council on the plan they wish to see adopted in 2022. Formal consultation on the Proposed Local Development Plan (LDP) 2020 and the Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report took place between 25th May and 31st July 2020.

Stage 3 - Examination

Officers undertook completion of the summaries (known as Schedule 4s) of the representations made on the Proposed Local Development Plan. Nearly 1,400 representations were received. The representations received on the Proposed Plan can be viewed on the archive page.

On 12th March 2021, the Proposed Local Development Plan along with the 58 summaries of issues raised (Schedule 4s) were submitted to the DPEA for examination.

The examination of the proposed plan commenced on 28th June 2021 with the Report of Examination being published on 24th June 2022. The examination included consideration of any unresolved matters raised by representees. Copies of all 58 of the Schedule 4 documents and any further information requests the DPEA made can be accessed on the DPEA website.

Stage 4 - Adoption

The examination concluded in June 2022 with a set of recommendations being published in a Report of the Examination (PDF 5.21MB) on 24th June 2022. The Modified Proposed Local Development Plan that we wished to adopt was presented to Full Council on 21st September 2022 before being considered by Scottish Ministers. The Local Development Plan was then adopted on 13th January 2023.

There are a number of resources available for communities to assist community councils and members of the public to understand the Proposed Local Development Plan.

Updates on progress

You can stay up to date by viewing our regular newsletters on the Local Development Plan progress. You can also subscribe to LDP email updates by sending us an email. View LDP email subscription privacy notice (PDF 83.2KB).