Masterplans and Urban Design Frameworks

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Urban Design Frameworks (UDF)

The Stromness Urban Design Framework and the Kirkwall Urban Design Frameworks are the current approved frameworks. The Urban Design Framework process is a strategic mechanism for the management development and growth pressures in an effective way. The process of review or to complete a new UDF will commence with research and information gathering on the location’s history, its urban form and character, the socio-economic profile and what are the future development and infrastructure pressures. Integral to the process is full public and stakeholder engagement so as to gather ideas and thoughts and also to provide opportunities for stakeholders to influence outcomes.

The end document is adopted by the Council as Supplementary Guidance meaning it has statutory weight (the same weight as the adopted Orkney Local Development Plan) when determining planning applications within the defined urban area. An adopted UDF will look to address the future development and infrastructure requirements for a 10 to 20 year period; and will inform the drafting of future development plans and development briefs.


Presently, the Council has adopted Masterplans for Dounby, Finstown and St Margaret Hope. They have weight in the determination of planning applications within each of these areas. These Masterplans will be reviewed and updated, if required throughout the lifetime of the Orkney Local Development Plan 2017.

A Masterplan considers a wider area than an individual site and would potentially include multiple sites, public realm and infrastructure improvements. This wider area could be a village, a parish, an island or a neighbourhood within a larger settlement. Development pressures (such as housing or industry) and development constraints (such as flooding issues or the requirement for new infrastructure) would have been identified for the area that require full investigated so as to set development criteria for future changes and development that focuses on good design outcomes. The Masterplan process involves public and stakeholder engagement to facilitate fact finding as well as to allow for stakeholders to influence outcomes.

The Council are the lead organisation in the process and would look for partnership working within the community (a Community Council or a Development Trust) or with a landowner or developer.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535


Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS