Consultation begins on future growth in Edinburgh and South East Scotland

Press release issued by SESplan to highlight the start of the consultation on their Main Issues Report.

Residents and interest groups living in Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland are being asked for their views on the challenges of future population growth including the need for more housing, infrastructure and protecting the environment.

Over the next 20 years the predicted population growth in the region is 18 per cent with the number of households growing by 25 per cent. This will raise some challenging debates including on any effect on green belts and countryside in the area.

The consultation on SESplan’s Main Issues Report, which runs from Tuesday, 21 July to Wednesday, 30 September, is the first stage in the preparation of the region’s second Strategic Development Plan, which will aim to accommodate future need and demand in a manner that will support the economy and investment.

Cllr Ian Perry, Chair of the SESplan Committee, said: “The Main Issues Report sets out the most important challenges Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland is facing such as population growth, housing shortages and protecting the environment. It is a consultation document and gives the opportunity for scrutiny, and feedback, on how best to plan for the future. We need to question preconceived ideas, explore new ones and investigate imaginative solutions to the challenges posed by the region's success."

“I would encourage everyone interested in shaping the future of the region to take the opportunity to tell us which option you think will best plan for future growth. It is crucial that we hear views from across all the local authority areas in South East Scotland to ensure that the Strategic Development Plan has been scrutinised and informed by the as wide an audience as possible."

The same SESplan partner local authorities are also aiming to secure £1bn to support growth, under ambitious plans announced in April. The authorities will work together to develop a deal with the Scottish and UK Governments which could go some way to meeting the challenges faced. A proposition is being developed which seeks to use investment in infrastructure to improve productivity and growth as well as to reduce inequality.

The purpose of SESplan is to create a Strategic Development Plan, a planning document covering the whole of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland region. It is an important planning document as it is used to inform the Local Development Plan for each local authority area. It focuses on long-term strategic level planning matters which cross local authority boundaries such as housing, economic growth, green networks and infrastructure.

For further inforation on the consultation and local events in the region go to the SESplan website, follow @SESplan on Twitter, visit the SESplan Facebook page, email contactus@sesplan.gov.uk or call 01506 282883 during office hours. Residents can have their say via SESplan's consultation portal.

Further information

  • SESplan, the Strategic Development Planning Authority for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region, has been preparing a Main Issues Report as a forerunner to the second Strategic Development Plan.
  • The Main Issues Report is a planning consultation document and not a plan or blueprint.  It is a document which sets out the main challenges the region faces in the coming years and provides a series of options and asks questions on how best to deal with them.
  • The responses to the Main Issues Report will form the basis for preparation of the next Strategic Development Plan.
  • The Strategic Development Plan is a planning document which sits above Local Development Plans which are prepared by individual Councils.  It focuses on cross-boundary planning issues including housing, economic growth, green networks and infrastructure, but it is not about allocating individual sites.
  • The SESplan City Region covers the Council areas of City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, the southern half of Fife, Midlothian, the Scottish Borders and West Lothian. 
  • All Councils in the region are currently preparing their first Local Development Plans.  These plans are following the direction set in the first Strategic Development Plan, approved by Scottish Ministers in 2013.  The second Strategic Development Plan, once in place (predicted late 2017/ early 2018), will influence the next round of Local Development Plans in each Council area. 
  • While it may seem early to be producing the Main Issues Report, it is necessary to do this to keep the Plan up to date.  Legislation requires a new Plan to be submitted to the Scottish Government within four years of approval of the first plan, in this instance by June 2017.
  • The Main Issues Report sets out some complex challenges facing the region and asks some difficult questions and it is important the public and all those with an interest are engaged in the process.
  • The next stage for the Main Issues Report will be its consideration for ratification by the six authorities in the Region.  Subject to the completion of this process, the consultation on the Main Issues Report will run from 21 July to 30 September 2015.

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