Aberdeen City and Shire - Strategic Development Planning Authority

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Woodhill House, Westburn Road
Aberdeen, AB16 5GB
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Email: team@aberdeencityandshire-sdpa.gov.uk

SDPA commended for work on Aberdeen City and Shire Structure Plan

The Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority (SDPA) has received a prestigious commendation for outstanding performance and quality in development planning. The recognition was given for the Aberdeen City and Shire Structure Plan 2009.

The announcement was made by John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth on 11 March 2010 at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning ceremony in Edinburgh.

Within the judges report, their comments highlighted that they "were impressed with the document which represents the new breed of development plans, prepared in the spirit of the new legislation. The plan is clear, concise and focuses on priorities for the area. It was prepared using a robust project management approach that ensured the key milestones were achieved and overall delivery was well within the timescales envisaged for the new system. Through partnership working the planning authorities made efficient use of their people resources. The aspirational targets set a challenge to all parties to step up to the mark and the 'how to meet targets' sections provide a clear link to delivery via the local development plan."

The Aberdeen City and Shire SDPA's submission for the awards was based on the process of preparing the structure plan, rather than on its content. The two main themes were the way in which Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils embraced the planning reform agenda at a very early stage in the process and the way the desire for a more accessible document has led to a number of innovative decisions being taken by the SDPA.

Aberdeenshire councillor Peter Argyle, chair of the SDPA said "When we began this process back in 2007 we knew we wanted to, and had to, produce a different type of structure plan for the north-east. While the content of the plan itself is the key factor, the process that led to that is also hugely significant.

"By adopting more innovative techniques of community engagement and forming ever stronger partnerships with public and private sector colleagues, we have been able to ensure awareness of the plan was higher than ever and that priorities were more closely aligned.

"To have this recognised today by the Scottish Government at the awards ceremony should give everyone involved, at whatever stage and in whatever capacity a huge amount of satisfaction."

Vice chair, city councillor Kate Dean added: "I am delighted that the hard work and vision of all those involved in the preparation of the Aberdeen City and Shire Structure Plan has been recognised in this way.

"This commendation is testament to the visionary work carried out which sought to embrace the spirit of the new planning regulations while ensuring that as many people as possible could and would have a say in it through broad consultation and the clarity and conciseness of the document."

12 March 2010