Aberdeenshire’s Proposed Local Development Plan published last Friday is now available for public comment until May 8.
It represents the “settled view” of the council and identifies sites for development and the policies to be used when making decisions on planning applications.
During the six week consultation period, communities, developers and other interested parties have a chance to have their say.
A series of drop-in events will be held in communities across the area and a dedicated online portal has been set up to allow people to take part easily.
Communities can come along to speak to planners and find out more about future development in their area.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Planning and Building Standards, Robert Gray, said: “You may ask where and when more houses or businesses will be built in your area and whether the vision for your area is right for your community.
“I’d encourage anyone with an interest to come along to our sessions, discuss the proposed local development plan with the policy team and find out how to make their views known, or see the extensive information we’ve posted online.”
The plan will ultimately govern what will and will not be granted planning permission in the future.
The format of the proposed plan is different from the current Local Development Plan, with much more detail contained within it rather than in its associated supplementary guidance.
The proposed plan uses the theme of “Shaping Aberdeenshire” and contains the vision Aberdeenshire Council is promoting for its six administrative areas.
Detailed policies cover topics including “Shaping business development,” “Shaping development in the countryside” and “Shaping places”.
A more rigorous approach to mitigating and adapting to climate change issues has been included, in line with suggestions made in the 2013 Main Issues Report.
It is considered there is ample housing and business land in the plan to meet needs for the next five years, and the five years beyond that.
Settlement statements are usually the part of the plan attracting the most comment. These set out a vision for each town and village in the area and those areas where development should be allowed.
Representations from the consultation that cannot be resolved will be submitted to a Local Development Plan Examination, presided over by an independent Scottish Government-appointed Reporter.
By the end of 2016, Aberdeenshire should have an adopted an up-to-date new Local Development Plan.
Drop-in consultation events begin on April 14 - to find out where your nearest is, or for more information, visit the Aberdeenshire Council website: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk
To take part in the consultation online, you can visit the dedicated page on the Aberdeenshire Council website: http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/planning/plans_policies/MakeyourviewsKnown.asp