Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Dean of Guild Room, City Chambers, Edinburgh

Contact: Louise McGeoch, Clerk to the SESplan Joint Committee  Tel: 01835 825005 Email:

No. Item


Order of Business and Any Urgent Matters


The Convener advised that although there were no changes to the order of business or urgent matters to be considered, in relation to items 6 – 8 on the agenda no decisions would be taken at the meeting today in light of issues which would be raised later in the meeting


Matters Arising


With reference to paragraph 2 of the Minute of 21 March 2016, the SDP Manager advised that all member Councils had ratified the decisions relating to finance and governance by 17 May 2016. 






Minute of the Meeting held on 21 March 2016 pdf icon PDF 87 KB


The Minute of Meeting of 21 March 2016 had been circulated. 



APPROVED the Minute as a correct record.



Proposed Plan Environmental Report and Habitats Regulations pdf icon PDF 267 KB


There had been circulated copies of a report by the SDP Manager presenting an update on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (Environmental Report) and an explanation of the proposed approach to ensuring that the plan complied with the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended), a process known as the ‘Habitats Regulations Appraisal’. The report also set out the approach to Strategic Flood Risk Assessment.  It was noted that the Growth Corridor option remained the option with the fewest negative environmental impacts.Councillor Hampshire advised that while there were still some issues he was content with those identified in the report.



AGREED to defer approval.



Proposed Plan Equalities and Human Rights Impact Assessment pdf icon PDF 624 KB


There had been circulated copies of a report by the SDP Manager presenting the Equalities and Human Rights Impact Assessment relating to the preparation of the Proposed Plan for consideration by the Joint Committee.  Members raised no concerns regarding this paper.



AGREED to defer approval.


Proposed Plan and Action Programme pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Additional documents:


There had been circulated copies of a report by the SDP Manager presenting the Proposed Plan and Proposed Action Programme to the SESplan Joint Committee for consideration and approval.  The Proposed Plan and Proposed Action Programme were attached as Appendices 1 and 2 to the report. A number of technical assessments had informed MIR2 and the Proposed Plan.  The Housing Background Paper and the Transport Appraisal for SDP2 were attached as Appendices 3 and 4. Appendix 5 summarised the approach to the approval of the Proposed Plan and all supporting documents for publication.  Following a presentation by SESplan officers on the main aspects of the Plan the Convener thanked officers for their work on the documents.  In response to a comment on the colours on some of the maps it was agreed that these would be looked at again.


6.1       The Convener then invited Councillor Hampshire to outline the concerns of East Lothian Council regarding the Plan, as contained in Appendix 1.  Councillor Hampshire advised that these concerns covered 10 main areas as follows:-


·                Concern regarding any further development in the Musselburgh area and that there be no further development above that currently planned

·                Greater recognition of the importance of the City Bypass to all Council areas and the implications for economic development if it was not brought up to standard.  A stronger input was needed from Transport Scotland as junction improvements alone would not resolve the issues

·                With regard to major developments in East Lothian linked to cross boundary developments, more detail regarding these projects was required.  There was no mention of suggested  development options for the former Cockenzie Power Station site

·                A clearer indication of the developments at Queen Margaret University, which was a major City Region Deal scheme, needed to be included

·                The rural economy in East Lothian did not have a strong enough profile, including the importance of food and drink

·                The importance of the growing fishing community needed to be recognised

·                The potential role of Dunbar in servicing off-shore wind farms in the Forth Estuary was not included

·                Economic development needed to be wider than the city, not just including transport links into the city as everyone did not need to travel there for employment

·                Quarry site at Dunbar cement works needed to be identified as a brownfield site and masterplans should be made before the cement works became redundant

·                Town centres needed to be mixed use and the site for 6000 houses at Blindwells needed economic and retail developments


John Bury, on behalf of the Project Board, advised that some of these concerns were common to all Members and that he considered that it would be possible to address these issues in the Plan. Councillor Laird commented on similar issues in Fife including the Longannet site and the Rosyth Waterfront.  The other Members confirmed they had no additional issues.


6.2       With regard to the Action programme contained in Appendix 2 it was noted that this was a much more focussed document with the number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Finance - Monitoring, Unaudited Accounts 2015-16 and Annual Audit Plan pdf icon PDF 2 MB


There had been circulated copies of a report by the SDP Manager presenting a budget monitoring report for the year to 31 March 2016; the SESplan Unaudited Accounts for 2015/ 2016; and the Annual Audit Plan for consideration by the Joint Committee.  It was noted that total costs in the year were £289,643 compared to the budget of £300,874. There was an overspend of £1,491 on Fixed Costs and an underspend of £11,231 on Variable Costs.





(a)     note the budget monitoring report contained in Appendix 1 to the report;


(b)     note the Unaudited Accounts 2015 / 2016 as set out in Appendix 2 to the report;


(c)     hereby give 14 days’ notice that the Unaudited Accounts 2015 / 2016 would be made available on the SESplan website from the 14 June 2016 for a 30 day period; and


(d)     note the Annual Audit Plan contained in Appendix 3to the report.



Annual Housing Update 2015 pdf icon PDF 778 KB


There had been circulated copies of a report by the SDP Manager presenting the SESplan Housing Update 2015 to the SESplan Joint Committee for consideration and noting.  The SDP Manager advised that the Housing Update 2016 would be presented to the Joint Committee in November 2016, subject to the completion of member authorities’ housing land audits 2016. In accord with the SDP2 Action Programme, Homes for Scotland and other housing interests would be consulted in the preparation of future updates. It was noted that there was more than sufficient land with planning support for housing across the SESplan area that was free of constraints to meet the five year housing land requirement in full.  The Convener highlighted the comment that there wasnot a consistent approach by reporters to the issue of prematurity and suggested that the Board consider this and report back to a future meeting.



NOTED the SESplan Annual Housing Update 2015, attached as Appendix 1 to the report.





Agreed that an early date be set for the Joint Committee to meet to continue consideration of the Plan.



Scottish Borders Council

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