A 20-year plan for the development of a large swathe of Fife, Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders has been thrown out by Scottish government ministers.
The new SESPlan, the strategic development planning authority for the Edinburgh and south east Scotland region, was to provide a planning framework for the area, offering guidance for Fife Council when approving or refusing planning permission.
Devised by Fife Council and other south-east Scotland local authorities, SESPlan 2 was submitted to the government for approval in June 2017.
However, following a lengthy examination ministers rejected the 400-page plan, stating they were not satisfied with its transport strategy.
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Fife Council interim chief officer for planning, Pam Ewen, said: “This is very disappointing news for Fife as a huge amount of work has gone into preparing the plan and it has already taken a considerable amount of time for the ministers to reach this decision, following an independent examination.
“We now need to review the reasons given for rejection and the implications.
“We will continue to work with SESPlan member authorities as we consider our next steps.”
The delay in approving SESPlan 2 has caused frustration, with claims communities where large residential developments are proposed are being impacted.
In Aberdour a large housing development was approved on appeal by a Scottish Government reporter using the existing development plan, which was written in 2007 and is considered out date.
Councils were advised on Thursday afternoon that the draft Edinburgh city region strategic development plan, which includes the area around Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Levenmouth, had been sent back.
The reasons given for rejection of the plan were that the ministers were not satisfied it had been informed by an adequate and timely transport appraisal, it did not take sufficient account of the relationship between land use and transport and that they did not support the use of supplementary guidance to resolve the issue.
A letter from government chief planner John McNairney said: “I recognise that the authorities will have significant concerns about the implications of this decision for planning in their areas.
“I can assure you that the Scottish Government continues to support a plan-led system and that we are committed to working with you to address the implications of this decision with respect to future local development plans across the area.”