Have your say on planning

PLANNING applications can often be a contentious issue in many a community and with that in mind Scottish Borders Council are keen to have public input in a report which will help shape a new Local Development Plan.

The planning system affects the everyday lives of Borders residents in a variety of ways. Where they live, work, shop, pursue leisure and respond to climate change are all determined by the proposals and policies driven by the council’s planning process.

Getting involved in this at the earliest possible stage allows the views of the public to be considered at the outset of the planning process. Therefore, SBC is encouraging residents across the region to have their say on a Main Issues Report for the new Local Development Plan (LDP) which - when approved will provide guidance for the determination of planning applications in the future.

The new plan will outline proposals such as land which is allocated for housing, business/industrial purposes, the extent to which settlements can be extended, regeneration opportunities and safeguarded green spaces within settlements.

It will also lay down policies relating to subjects such as quality standards for new developments, the promotion of economic development, transport issues, renewable energy, housing in the countryside and the protection of the built and natural heritage.

The issues being posed by SBC in relation to planning cover areas from Economic Development to Climate Change with questions including: do you agree with the options proposed for additional land for business and industrial use?; could some existing business and industrial use sites accommodate alternative uses?; should uses other than shops be allowed on ground floor premises within the core town centres of Hawick, Peebles, Galashiels, Melrose, Kelso, Selkirk, Jedburgh, Eyemouth and Duns?; do you agree with the areas/sites identified for regeneration and redevelopment opportunities? and do you agree with the key green spaces identified for safeguarding within Border towns?

To allow Borders residents to find out more about their planning proposals and to gauge public opinion on them, Scottish Borders Council is hosting a series of exhibitions throughout the region.

These will visit Berwickshire on Wednesday, April 18 at Gunsgreen House and Tuesday, April 24 in the council chamber, Duns.

The Main Issues Report- out for consultation from April 2-25- can also be viewed at http://www.scotborders.gov.uk/ldpmir and at all public libraries and Council contact centres.