Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Frequently Asked Questions

These questions and answers are updated frequently to take account of the current questions that members of the public are asking Development and Marine Planning.

What is a Development Plan?

How will the Development Plan affect me?

Why do we have to have a Development Plan for Orkney?

How often does the Council have to write a new Development Plan?

How long will it take until we have a new Development Plan for Orkney?

When will the new Plan come into force and take over from the existing Orkney Local Plan?

Who decides what land is allocated for development, in the New Development Plan for Orkney?

Who will write the policies of the new Development Plan for Orkney?

How can I as a member of the public get involved with the production of the Development Plan and have my say?

What is a Development Plan?

A Development Plan sets out the land use policies and priorities for a region. This is done through maps showing existing allocations and proposed allocations, along with a series of policies. It can cover development such as housing, industrial, schools, hospitals, renewable energy and new infrastructure, roads and sewerage treatment. A Development Plan also has to protect and enhance the natural and historic heritage and improve the quality of builtform.

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How will the Development Plan affect me?

If you live, work or socialise in an area covered by a Development Plan then it will affect you. Do you want to build a new house or extension or renovate your own house? Does your community need a new facility such as a school or playground? Does the company that you work for need a new office? Are you a rural business that requires accommodation for workers? If the answer is yes then you need to get involved in the process.

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Why do we have to have a Development Plan for Orkney?

Through the Planning etc Scotland Act 2006, Orkney Islands Council is required by law to process a Development Plan for Orkney. For more information please look at the Scottish Government website, available from 'Related Sites' further down this page.

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How often does the Council have to write a new Development Plan?

The Council has to constantly review the Development Plan to make sure that it is fit for purpose and update it when required. If there is no requirement for updates then a new Development Plan has been produced every 5 years.

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How long will it take until we have a new Development Plan for Orkney?

It is estimated that we will a new Local Development Plan for Orkney early in 2017. These will be the new planning documents for planning application decision making in the County. Until then the existing Orkney Local Development Plan, adopted in April 2014, will be used to make planning application decisions.

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When will the new Plan come into force and take over from the existing Orkney Local Plan?

The new Development Plan will come into force when it has been approved by the Council Elected Members after it has gone through all the stages that are detailed in the Development Plan Scheme. Until then the existing Orkney Local Plan is the main planning document that is used to make decision on planning applications.

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Who decides what land is allocated for development, in the New Development Plan for Orkney?

Land allocation will be decided with input from a number of planning stakeholders in conjunction with the Development Plans Team. These stakeholders could be:

  • Members of the Public.
  • Elected Members.
  • Community Councils.
  • Scottish Water.
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
  • Historic Scotland.
  • Scottish Natural Heritage.
  • Environmental Health at Orkney Islands Council.
  • Roads Authority and Transportation at Orkney Islands Council.
  • Scottish Government.

At all stages in the development of a new Plan there is always an opportunity for members of the public to have their say.

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Who will write the policies of the new Development Plan for Orkney?

Planning policies will be decided with input from a number of planning stakeholders in conjunction with the Development Plans Team. The stakeholders are the same as the question above.

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How can I as a member of the public get involved with the production of the Development Plan and have my say?

The Development Plan Scheme that is available on the Council website shows you in the Work Programme Appendix when members of the public can get involved in the Development Plan and have their say. At each stage there will be an opportunity for members of the public to review the current documents and write in or email with their thoughts and ideas. Alternatively just email or call 01856873535 during working hours if you require further advice here.

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