East Lothian Council (ELC) is currently working on a draft for its latest Local Development Plan which is the document that will set the framework for planning decisions over the next ten years. Planning matters are complex, can be contentious and communities often feel that their voice and views are not heard. At this point in the process ELC is looking for our views across a wide range of issues and has presented some of the main challenges it faces in balancing the needs of communities and the requirements of Government policies.
Its consultation document ‘Key Challenges for Local Development Plan 2’ includes Housing, Local Economy, Town Centres, Infrastructure and Local Living, Energy Efficiency and Generation.
Local Authorities are now required to integrate environmental considerations in their planning process and the ‘Key Challenges’ consultation is concerned with how Council decisions can encourage healthier lifestyles, address the climate emergency and nature crisis. This consultation is an opportunity for us to put forward our concerns and suggestions as to how they may be addressed. The Sustaining Dunbar Board is preparing a response which will be informed by your views if you can submit them to us. It is not necessary to complete the entire questionnaire and you can concentrate on your priorities.
We will circulate our draft to Sustaining Dunbar members in mid August and ask you to respond by the end of the month.
If you would like to submit a response on your own behalf then here is the link to their Evidence Report Public Consultation and the survey response form. Responses need to be submitted by 17th September.
ELC is also seeking responses to its Tree and Woodland Strategy and here are the relevant links: Quick Survey for Tree and Woodland Survey for East Lothian This consultation has now been extended to 31st August.
Separately from this, we are collaborating with the Dunbar Community Council and Dunbar Trades Association to develop a Local Place Plan which will also inform the Local Development Plan.
We think that these invitations are an important opportunity to enter into dialogue with the Council and hopefully to influence their decision-making process. The need to revitalise local democracy is urgent. If we put forward our views and they are not considered then we can demand to know the reasons why.