Planning (Scotland) Act 2019

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 came into force on 25 July 2019 and introduced a number of changes to development planning in Scotland. These include the abolition of Strategic Development Plans, a new requirement to prepare Regional Spatial Strategies, and changes to the Local Development Plan preparation process. 

Prior to the new Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, SESplan prepared a replacement Strategic Development Plan (SDP2). The examination of this plan concluded in July 2018 and following this, Scottish Ministers decided to reject SDP2. As there is now no provision within the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 for Strategic Development Plans, no further work will be undertaken on SDP2. 


Early in 2020, the Scottish Government issued a “call for ideas” for projects, policies or sites which could be considered in terms of national significance for its emerging National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) - a long term plan for Scotland which will set out where development and infrastructure is needed to support sustainable and inclusive growth up to 2050. The former Cockenzie site is already designated a National Development under NPF3. The Scottish Government recently published a Position Statement which gathers together the submitted ideas, and signposts potential high level themes for NPF4.

The council is promoting National Development status for the wider area around the former Cockenzie Power Station site, including Blindwells, to support ambitions for sustainable inclusive growth and an emerging vision for the area to be an influential, innovative, healthy and carbon neutral place. In May 2020, the area was proposed to the Scottish Government for inclusion in NPF4 on that basis. We are now submitting a further response, in partnership with Blindwells developers Hargreaves and Taylor Wimpey, plus many wider partner agencies, all of whom are committed to working together on the proposed ClimatEvolution zone for the whole area which would ensure that all development would be sustainable and for the benefit of communities The response to the Scottish Government will highlight how our high-level aims for the area fit with the government’s stated themes for NPF4, namely:

  • net zero emissions
  • building resilient communities
  • a growing economy that supports wellbeing
  • building better, greener places, and;
  • enabling delivery

The consultation responses submitted during the 'call for ideas' will help to advance the Scottish Government’s thinking as they work towards a draft NPF4 for consultation in Autumn 2021.

You can find view the Scottish Government's latest position statement on NPF4 on their website

Regional Spatial Strategies

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 requires Local Planning Authorities to prepare a Regional Spatial Strategy, the geographical area of which will be defined by those planning authorities who contribute towards each RSS. For East Lothian and South East Scotland, the Regional Spatial Strategy is likely to be based (in part) upon SDP2 as that plan, although not progressed due to transport related issues, remains relevant to the future and development of the South East Scotland area.

Local Development Plan 2 (LDP2)

The next Local Development Plan for East Lothian (LDP2) is in the early stages of preparation. This involves information gathering, research, and engaging with the public, key agencies, developers, land owners and other interested parties.