Strategic Development Plan (SDP) [ NB: Ceased to have effect from 13 February 2023]
The SDP was a statutory planning document and had been a component of the development plan. It communicated strategic level and cross-boundary planning policy and applied national policy and guidance from the Scottish Government.
The SDP for Edinburgh and South East Scotland informed the Local Development Plans prepared by each of the Member Authorities in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland region which included West Lothian. The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 however removed the need for the preparation of Strategic Development Plans and the adoption and publication of National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) on 13 February 2023 was the trigger for all strategic development plans and any supplementary guidance issued in connection with them to cease to have effect.
Strategic planning matters are now set out in the National Planning Framework 4 (opens new window)
The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 has also introduced the concept of Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) to provide a spatial representation of the key regional land use issues requiring to be addressed across a region identifying strategic development needs and priorities.
Although non-statutory in nature (they do not form part of the development plan and will not have a status in planning decisions), they must nevertheless be taken account of when a new LDP is being prepared.
West Lothian Council has worked collaboratively with a collective of former SESplan local authorities to prepare an Interim Regional Spatial Strategy for Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region (opens new window) and it was submitted to Scottish Government towards the end of 2021.
If you have any questions relating to Development Planning issues or just want to provide feedback and comments on our service, please email the Development Planning & Environment team at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens new window) . You can also write to us at Development Planning & Environment, West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, West Lothian EH54 6FF.
In West Lothian the Strategic Development Plan (SDP) was prepared by SESPlan. It embraced the administrative areas of the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, the Scottish Borders, South Fife and West Lothian. It was approved (with modifications) by Scottish Ministers on the 27 June 2013.
- Approved Strategic Development Plan for Edinburgh and South East Scotland, June 2013 (opens new window)
The Housing Land Supplementary Guidance was formally adopted by all member authorities on 28 October 2014 and became part of the SDP.
In October 2016 SESplan published a Second proposed Strategic Development Plan (opens new window) (SDP2) for consultation which was subsequently submitted to Scottish Ministers for examination on 26 June 2017.
On 20 July 2018 the Scottish Government Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) completed the examination and submitted a report to Scottish Ministers. The Report can be downloaded from the DPEA website (opens new window) .
On 16 May 2019 SESplan was advised that the Proposed Strategic Development Plan (SDP2) had been rejected by the Scottish Ministers under Section 13 (1) of the Planning Act. The SDP2 decision letter from Scottish Ministers advised that the Plan had failed to satisfy Ministers that it had been informed by an adequate and timely Transport Appraisal and had not taken sufficient account of the relationship between land use and transport. It further advised that the use of supplementary guidance as a mechanism to resolve this issue had been considered but had not been supported my Ministers. This can be downloaded from the Scottish Government website (opens new window) .
The SESplan Authorities considered this decision and two documents setting out their position are provided for information.
The Planning (Scotland) Bill (opens new window) which was introduced to Parliament on 4 December 2017 is central to a package of measures intended to strengthen the planning system's contribution to inclusive growth and empowering communities. The Bill sets out a series of proposed high level changes to the overall framework under which planning operates. Of particular significance are proposals to streamline the development plan system by replacing the duty to prepare strategic development plans and refocusing work at this scale so that it can support wider regional partnership working. Specifically, the Planning Bill removes the requirement for strategic development plans but at the same time introduces a power to direct authorities to provide information, collaboratively if appropriate, to assist in preparation of the NPF and which will form part of the development plan.
The Scottish Parliament passed the Planning (Scotland) Bill (now Act) on 20 June 2019 and it received Royal Assent on 29 July 2019.
This page was last updated: 13 February 2023