Preparation of Local Development Plan

The Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (as amended) requires Local Planning Authorities to prepare, publish and maintain an up to date Local Development Plan (LDP) for their respective district. The East Lothian Local Development Plan (LDP) 2018 sets out the over-arching strategy for growth across the East Lothian area. It provides a vision for how our communities will grow and develop in the future, and identifies key locations for growth and sets out policies to ensure future development is sustainable. The LDP 2018 sets out where new development should and should not occur, including housing, education, economic and retail development, new transport links, and other infrastructure. The LDP 2018 is the up to date policy position for East Lothian and decisions on planning applications will be made in accordance with this plan. 

The LDP 2018 has been through various stages of preparation. These are set out in more detail below.

Stage 1 - Main Issues Report (MIR)

The Main Issues Report (MIR) was the first stage in the preparation of a new Local Development Plan (LDP).  It was a key document in terms of early effective engagement on the plan and is the principal opportunity within the plan preparation process for productively involving and consulting the community and stakeholders on the content of the plan.

The MIR  concentrated on the key changes that had occurred since the previous plan and focused on East Lothian’s ideas for future development. The MIR identified  a preferred option and a reasonable alternative, and is informed by a sound evidence base. The MIR was also important for aligning development planning with Strategic Environmental Assessment. More information on the MIR can be found on the video shown below.


A Main Issues Report consultation document was produced that set out possible strategies for accommodating new development such as housing, business and retail in East Lothian. Consultation on this ran from Mon 17th Nov 2014 to Sun 8th Feb 2015. Following the consultation, the Council has considered all responses and these have informed the preparation of the Proposed Local Development Plan.

Around 1000 responses were received to the Main Issues Report consultation. A summary document (Local Development Plan Main Issues Report & Interim Environmental Report Consultation Feedback: Summaries and Key Messages - April 2015) has been produced and is available to view or download.  This document sets out the nature of consultation and engagement work carried out and the consultation findings (including the findings of the consultation workshop events in Dec 2014, as well as formal responses). 

Appendix 1 of the report contains more detailed summaries of the comments received.  This has been broken down by topic area to reflect the MIR questions (27 parts in total) and these are also available to view or download.  

Appendix 2 contains details of responses to the Interim Environmental Report. These are available to view or download (Appendix 2 Part 1 and Appendix 2 Part 2).

Appendices 3 to 7 containing other relevant information can also be viewed or downloaded.

An Addendum covers three additional responses not addressed in the original report and can also be viewed or downloaded.

Stage 2 - Preparation of the Proposed Local Development Plan

Having had regard to the representations received on the Main Issues Report, Section 18 of the Act requires the planning authority to prepare and publish a Proposed Local Development Plan. A draft Proposed Plan was prepared and subsequently approved by council on 17 November 2015 which allowed further technical analysis of sites to be undertaken in the preparation of the final Proposed Plan.

A council meeting was held on the 6th September 2016 where the proposed Local Development Plan was approved.

View the agenda, reports and minutes  of the council meeting on the 6th September 2016.

Stage 3 - Submission of proposed Local Development Plan for Examination by Scottish Ministers

The council received a total of 441 submissions from individuals or organisations during the period when the plan was published for representation from 19th September 2016 to 7th November 2016. There were in total 34 unresolved issues raised within these submissions. Each representation was numbered, listed and summarised, and a statement was made that explained why the council had not modified the plan in respect of each representation. This information was provided using a form prescribed by Schedule 4 of the Development Planning (Scotland) Regulations 2008, known as Schedule 4s, of which there were 34 in total. 

At a meeting of East Lothian Council on the 28th March 2017, the council considered all the representations made to the Proposed Plan in detail and decided to make no modifications. The proposed Local Development Plan together with all supporitng documents, representations and Schedule 4 forms was submitted to Scottish Ministers for Examination on 4th May 2017. It was anticipated that the examination should be completed within 6 – 9 months.

Meeting of East Lothian Council 28th March 2017 - agenda, reports and minutes

Proposed LDP documents submitted for Examination in Public

Schedule 4 forms and representations