Taking the long view on economy

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The SESplan (Strategic Development Planning Authority for Edinburgh and South East Scotland) Joint Committee is set to consider the second Proposed Strategic Development Plan at the end of the month.

The plan will be discussed in a public meeting at the City Chambers, Edinburgh on Monday, May 30, from 2pm.

The Edinburgh International Festival launch day event takes place on August 7th Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

The Edinburgh International Festival launch day event takes place on August 7th Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

SESplan’s role is to prepare and maintain an up-to-date Strategic Development Plan for the area which takes a long term view on how the area will change. The purpose of the plan is to assess cross-boundary issues between the six member authorities. Issues include housing, transport, employment, infrastructure and energy.

The current Strategic Development Plan was approved in June 2013.

Councillor Stuart Bell, convener of the SESplan Joint Committee and Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for economic development, said: “The Proposed Strategic Development Plan sets out an ambitious vision to guide growth in the South East Scotland region over the next twenty years.

“The plan is designed to support a strong and growing economy across the region. It proposes a city region which is easy to move around using sustainable public transport, walking and cycling. It proposes a city region where homes to meet the needs of our growing and changing population are built in the right locations and in ways which contribute to and improve the environment.

“It also sets out how the vision can be delivered and how we can ensure that the region continues to be the best place to live and work in Scotland.”

The proposed plan covers the council areas of City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, the Scottish Borders and the southern half of Fife.

It sets policy covering a range of issues, such as the amount of houses to be built in each area, the types of transport infrastructure required, where there is a priority for greenspace, where key employment sites are located and where there are regionally important walking and cycling routes.

Using feedback received during the Main Issues Report consultation, which ran last year, the proposed plan has been prepared in partnership with the local authority members of SESplan.

At this ‘proposed’ stage, the plan is effectively a draft but one which represents the settled view of SESplan and the councils.

Should the plan be approved by the SESplan Joint Committee next week, the six member authorities will then be asked to ratify the proposed plan and a six-week consultation will commence, likely to be in September 2016.

This ‘Period for Representations’ enables anyone with an interest in the proposed plan to suggest amendments.

More details on how to comment on the Proposed Strategic Development Plan will be available on the SESplan website (www.sesplan.gov.uk) in due course.

Following the Period of Representations, the proposed plan and the amendments which are suggested will be sent to the Scottish Government for examination. It is anticipated that the Proposed Strategic Development Plan will replace the current SESplan Strategic Development Plan by June 2018.