East Lothian Council has agreed to release its Main Issues Report (MIR) for consultation at a full council meeting yesterday (Tuesday). This means that if you’re an East Lothian resident or have an interest in the future development of the area, we want to hear your views.
The MIR is the first formal stage leading to the new East Lothian Local Development Plan. Once approved, the Local Development Plan will fit in with wider strategic plans for neighbouring areas and Scotland as a whole. Consultation on the MIR will open on Monday 17 November.
The consultation document sets out possible strategies for accommodating new development such as housing, business and retail in East Lothian. These will provide a framework for the Local Development Plan against which all applications for planning permission, including proposed changes in the use of land and buildings, are assessed. The Local Development Plan has to be reviewed at least every five years to update planning policy and strategy and to find appropriate additional land for new development.
The objectives the MIR sets out are:
- to promote sustainable development
- help grow the economy, increase housing supply and reduce inequalities
- protect and enhance East Lothian’s high quality environment and special identity
- ensure adequate infrastructure capacity and appropriate use of resources.
The consultation period lasts for 12 weeks from Monday 17th November 2014 until Sunday 8th February 2015.
Views can be submitted online, by email or by post. We will also be holding public consultation events across East Lothian, which gives residents the chance to view the documents and ask questions.
Documents will be available on the council website and hard copies will be available for review at the council headquarters, John Muir House, in Haddington. Following the consultation, we will then consider all responses and use these in preparing the draft Local Development Plan.
Councillor Norman Hampshire, spokesperson for Environment said: “This is a key piece of work and has involved a huge amount of research. It’s important that as many people as possible get involved and give us their views. East Lothian is facing great change in its population, economy and way of life, which will affect all of us who live here and the towns and villages we live in.
“There are aims we have for East Lothian, such as growing our economy and addressing issues of inequality, and there are elements we must include in our Local Development Plan that are dictated by the Scottish Government’s strategy for development. For example, we must identify land for just over 10,000 new homes to meet demand.
“As well as this, the council needs to make sure that the education, transport, waste and other infrastructure can cope with these new developments.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to look at these documents, come along to our public meetings, and get involved.”
Clear options for future development can be seen in the main MIR document, which includes an explanation of each of the six cluster areas based around the education catchment areas of the main towns of Musselburgh, Tranent, Prestonpans, Haddington, North Berwick and Dunbar.
As well as the MIR, there are supporting documents including an Interim Environmental Report (IER) with site assessments and a transportation appraisal.
Consultation events will take place in the following towns:
- 17 Nov – Musselburgh, Brunton Hall
- 20 Nov – Prestonpans, Community Centre
- 25 Nov – Haddington, Town House
- 2 Dec – Dunbar, Castle Social Club
- 4 Dec – North Berwick, Community Centre
- 8 Dec – Tranent, Fraser Centre
More details, including times and how to let us know you’re coming along, will be available on the council website.
It is estimated that a Proposed Local Development Plan will be published by October 2015, taking into account submissions made during the MIR consultation.
Issued by Pauline Bristow, Communications Officer, East Lothian Council