1.1 Planning for new roads

1.1.1 Consents required

A development including new public roads will require a number of permissions including at least Planning Permission and Road Construction Consent (RCC); each deals with different aspects and the granting of Planning Permission does not imply an RCC will be issued, nor vice versa. Other permissions such as Structures Approval, permits for working on the road, and permissions from third parties such as Scottish Water and SEPA are also likely to be required.

1.1.2 Planning Permission

Planning Permission may form a single application to include all the details, or may be split into two parts known as (a) Planning Permission in Principle, followed by (b) Approval of Matters Specified in the Conditions. It is more common to use the two-stage process for larger housing applications.

Guidance on applying for Planning Permission.

Additionally, the Planning Service has published a number of Supplementary Planning Guidance documents and any relevant ones should be reviewed before submitting your Planning Application.

The Council in its role as Roads Authority will advise:

  • whether the location is suitable for the type of development in relation to the local transport network infrastructure, and existing or proposed community facilities, such as shops and schools;
  • whether the proposed layout is acceptable and conforms with relevant local design guidance, including the location of car and cycle parking provision, including vehicle charging infrastructure and accessible parking bays;
  • whether the development is appropriate in the context of relevant national transport policy;
  • which elements should be included in the Travel Plan;
  • if there are significant features for consideration in the Quality Audit, such as desire-lines for pedestrian and cycle movements;
  • if there are significant features for consideration in the Road Safety Audits;
  • appropriate contributions towards mitigation on the strategic transport network;
  • whether any local mitigation is required, external to the development site.

1.1.3 Road Construction Consent

The Road Construction Consent process considers more technical aspects such as:

  • specifications, alignments, geometry and junction arrangements of the roads and paths;  
  • proposed speed limits, and traffic calming measures required to keep traffic speeds at an appropriate level;
  • form of any structures required to support or protect the roads and paths;
  • provision of road drainage, including location and types of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS);
  • proposals for future maintenance of new roads, paths, open space and SuDS features;
  • provision of road lighting;
  • location of underground services.

1.1.4 Audits and Assessments

For developments that are likely to have a significant impact on the local transport network, a Transport Assessment following the Scottish Government’s Transport Assessment Guidelines will be required at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Transport Assessment should include both a Travel Plan framework and a Quality Audit, as defined by the Designing Streets guidance. The Quality Audit may use the standard template provided by Designing Streets, but in any case will assess the routes and spaces within the site, and ensure they connect smoothly and safely with the wider walking, cycling and public transport networks. A Road Safety Audit will normally form part of the Quality Audit. 

Quality Audits, Road Safety Audits and Travel Plans may also be required for developments that do not require a Transport Assessment.

1.1.5 Mitigation of impacts on the transport network

As part of the preliminary consultations, we may identify required changes to the transport network. If these cannot be resolved through the Planning process, it may be necessary for Planning Conditions to be imposed.

Furthermore, a financial contribution may be established by means of a Section 75 agreement under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 or by a separate legal agreement with the Council.

Additionally there may be a requirement to make a contribution towards the upgrade of the strategic transport network under the Developer Contributions Framework.

Note: These webpages are for reference by developers of housing and employment sites in East Lothian. 
They provide guidance on transport infrastructure against which Planning Applications will be assessed 
and evaluated, and set out East Lothian Council's procedures regarding the construction and adoption 
of new roads in accordance with current legislation. 
These pages supersede all previous versions of our Standards for Development Roads document.

01/07/2023 Document release