Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: West Lothian Room, Lothian Chambers, Edinburgh

Contact: Louise McGeoch  Tel 01835 825005 Email:

No. Item


Minute of Meeting held on 30 May 2016 pdf icon PDF 107 KB


The Minute of Meeting of 30 May 2016 had been circulated. 



APPROVED the Minute as a correct record.



Proposed Plan Environmental Report, Habitats Regulations Appraisal and Strategic Flood Risk Assessment pdf icon PDF 262 KB


With reference to paragraph 4 of the Minute of Meeting of  30 May 2016,  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’.  Mr Clark explained that the SEA was a statutory requirement for land use plans. An SEA Environmental Report was published alongside the MIR.  Appendix 1 to the report presented an account of how the proposed plan had taken into account the mitigation suggested in that Environmental Report. It also set out an update of that Environmental Report SEA based on what the team now knew was the content of the Proposed Plan. The update concluded that the growth corridor option remained the option with the least environmental impact. A revised SEA Environmental Report would be published alongside the plan.    A Habitats Regulations Appraisal of the plan was also a statutory requirement that focused on any impacts of the plan on European Nature Conservation sites. This would be carried out prior to publication and a Record of that Appraisal would be published with the plan.  A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment was carried out in relation to the MIR and specifically with regard to the Growth Corridor Option in the MIR. The team had reviewed this and considered that its conclusions remained valid. However, the team would publish a revised Strategic Flood Risk Assessment alongside the plan that more closely reflected the content of the proposed plan.  As part of the discussions about potential amendments to the version of the plan tabled at the last committee, the team had concluded that the proposed amendments did not change the conclusions of the flood risk assessment or the strategic environmental assessment.





(a)     note  the Addendum to the Environmental Report attached as Appendix 1 to the report;


(b)     note the proposed approach to the completion of the Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) process, as it applied to Natura sites, set out in paragraphs 3.1-3.6 of the report;


(c)     delegate authority to the SESplan Project Board to approve the publication of a Revised Environmental Report and a Habitats Regulation Appraisal alongside the Proposed Plan; and


(d)     note the approach to Strategic Flood Risk Assessment.



Proposed Plan Equalities and Human Rights Impact Assessment pdf icon PDF 627 KB


With reference to paragraph 5 of the Minute of Meeting of 20 May 2016, 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.   Mr Clark explained that the Equalities and Human Rights Impact Assessment (EqHRIA) was prepared to help to ensure that SESplan did  not discriminate and that, where possible, SESplan took opportunities to promote equality as well as human rights and to foster good relations between groups.  The team had considered the draft amendments in the context of that assessment and concluded that no changes to the assessment tabled at the last meeting were necessary.



NOTED the Equalities and Human Rights Impact Assessment detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.


Proposed Plan and Action Programme pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Additional documents:


With reference to paragraph 6 of the Minute of Meeting of 20 May 2016, there had been circulated copies of a report presenting the Proposed Plan and Proposed Action Programme to the SESplan Joint Committee for consideration and approval. The Proposed Plan and Action Programme, attached as Appendices 1 and 2 to this report, include amendments seeking to address the concerns noted by the Joint Committee at its meeting on 30 May 2016.


4.1      Mr Clark briefed Members on the most significant amendments in relation to some of the concerns raised at the last committee.  He explained that in the Better Connected Place section the Levenmouth Rail Link had been given its correct status as a project that had had a full transport appraisal. It had also been moved into a column of projects which were expected to be delivered within the first 12 years of the plan. In the schedule of amendments it was recognised that two new stations would need to be shown on the relevant graphics in the plan before publication.  Unfortunately this wasn’t able to be done before the committee papers went out. The core team recognised that the Dunfermline Green Belt needed to be shown more explicitly on the graphics and again, this would be done before publication.   The text regarding East Lothian now more clearly articulated the constraints around Musselburgh and indicated more clearly that if, in the longer term, a need was recognised for new strategic growth areas, then these would be directed to the eastern end of the Long Term Growth corridors identified on the diagrams. The text concerning Blindwells had been amended to more accurately reflect members’ long term ambitions for that settlement. In addition, an East Lothian business cluster had been identified at 4 locations in East Lothian to reflect members’ concerns that the plan didn’t sufficiently express the business opportunities in East Lothian. In addition, in light of the closure of Longannet and Cockenzie the text now more explicitly recognised that these sites might have the potential for a wider range of uses in addition to their potential for providing support to the offshore renewables industry.    In light of these amendments and the other more minor and consequential amendments set out in Appendix 6, it was recommended that the committee approved the proposed plan and action programme attached at appendices 1 and 2 to the report for publication, subject to ratification of this decision by the member authorities.   The committee was  also asked to note the Housing Background Paper and the SDP2 Transport Appraisal. Mr Clark asked the committee to note that the transport appraisal had been amended since the version presented at last committee to address concerns around readability.   The committee was also asked to note the process for the approval of supporting documents for publication set out in Appendix 5 and agree the publication proposals set out in para. 4.1 - 4.4 of this report.  In addition, it was recommended that the committee agreed that editorial changes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.



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