The main planning document in Orkney is the Orkney Local Development Plan (the plan), which provides the policy framework and land allocations for dealing with planning applications efficiently and with certainty. All decisions on planning applications require that an appropriate balance is struck between the relevant development plan policies and other material considerations.
Supplementary Guidance (SG) is produced for given policy areas and subjects where a specific requirement is highlighted within the plan. It is the purpose of supplementary guidance to provide further information, policy and advice on complex planning matters and seeks to expand upon the core policies or land allocations in the plan. Supplementary guidance is always subject to full public consultation and is submitted to the Scottish Government prior to adoption. Once adopted, supplementary guidance has statutory weight in the determination of planning applications and forms part of the plan.
Planning Policy Advice (PPA) is prepared to provide further information and advice on policies and issues where a specific requirement to produce supplementary guidance has not been set out within the plan. Many Development Briefs for land allocations are set at this level, along with the majority of advice and information that is prepared for members of the public and Development Management. PPA is always subject to full public consultation and council approval prior to adoption and publication. Once adopted, PPA is a material planning consideration although it does not bear the same weight as the plan itself.
Development Management Guidance (DMG) is produced to provide advice on technical issues and the interpretation of given policies where a need arises. It is the intention of DMG to ensure a consistency of approach and to highlight the original intention/spirit of a policy where there is any ambiguity. DMG is also produced for less-complex land allocations to ensure a coordinated approach to development can be achieved - Conservation Area Appraisals and Conservation Statements are also set at this level within Orkney. Whilst DMG is not subject to public consultation, it is approved by Council prior to adoption and publication. As such, DMG is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications, which is considered to be the standing advice of the Development and Marine Planning policy team.