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Stewarton development framework consultation

The Stewarton Development Framework consultation is now closed. Find out what happens next on the  proposed Local Development Plan 2 consultation page.

Local development plan 2

This is a plan which looks at the whole area and outlines whether or not specific areas are suitable for future development, what types of development they are suitable for, and how this will affect the future environment, infrastructure and economic wellbeing of these areas. 

LDP2, which brings together a range of policies and proposals on sustainability, place and environment, economy and employment, transport and infrastructure and energy and resources, has been produced to comply with the Scottish Government’s Planning legislation and will be used to inform all decisions on planning applications. 

The whole process is put to public consultation at key stages of its development.

Stay connected

To get regular updates about the progress of this consultation, visit Stay Connected and select the Stewarton Development Framework Consultations topic.

Frequently asked questions 

We have produced these frequently asked questions to explain more about the Stewarton Development Framework:

What is the Development Framework?

The Stewarton Development Framework looks at how we can improve existing services and facilities to meet existing needs and those of the immediate future.

Next, the framework sets out how the town’s development can be sustainably managed over the medium to longer term to accommodate any future growth identified through the Proposed Local Development Plan.

The Development Framework forms the basis of a more detailed strategy and action plan for the community and once adopted, will guide development for future planning applications. This work will be incorporated into LDP2 as supplementary guidance together with the Stewarton Placemaking Map (PDF 8.04Mb).

What is the purpose of the consultation?

The consultation is designed to collect views on the content of the document and the associated action plan. We are also seeking views on which actions are most important to the community and should be progressed first. We also want to hear about any actions which are not in the document and that you would like to see.

How long will the consultation last?

The consultation will be just over eight weeks long.

When will the consultation start?

The consultation will start on 23 May and run until 22 July 2022.

What is the proposed LDP2?

 The LDP2 is a statutory document that:

  • guides development within East Ayrshire
  • sets out the long term future for land use in the Council area
  • outlines how we'll ensure that growth is delivered in the right places
  • guides how the growth will take into account the needs of our local communities

The LDP consultation runs parallel to the Stewarton Development Framework consultation (23 May to 22 July 2022) and we also welcome representations on our proposed LDP2.

Where can I find LDP2?

Visit our  Local Development Plan 2 (LDP2) page to view the plan and take part in the public consultation from 23 May until 22 July 2022. 

What are the proposed land allocations in Stewarton?


  • ST-H1: Land at Draffen East: (70 units) has been taken forward from LDP1 to LDP2 on the basis that it benefits from planning permission and is currently being developed.
  • ST-H2: Kilwinning Road: A new site for housing (c.350 units), provision for the release of land for a new primary school and relevant infrastructure and community facilities. This site is indicated in LDP1 as a future growth area.

Business and industry

  • ST-B1(O): Magbiehill: A new allocation which recognises existing consents and activities in this area north of Stewarton with a small amount of room for expansion of these activities.
  • ST-B2(S): Bridgend: An allocation for business and industry uses which carries over from LDP1.
  • ST-B3(S): Rigg Street: An allocation for business and industry uses which carries over from LDP1.


  • ST-M1: Bridgend: Housing, community & business/industry: a small site which is  allocated for business and industry in LDP1.
  • ST-M2: Kilwinning Road: The existing site  of Lainshaw Primary School, which, when a new school is ready will provide opportunity for affordable/assisted living housing, community and health and social care uses to address need for affordable housing and larger health and social care facilities.

More information about these allocations

What about infrastructure constraints?

In Stewarton solutions to infrastructure issues are not simple, partly because of the complexity of land ownership, public funding and the strategic plans of different public organisations.

The report investigates and details all of the infrastructure constraints. It is intended that development in the town will follow an interlinked series of steps underpinned by a legal agreement with the relevant land owners to address the various issues.

By taking a sustainable and infrastructure-first approach to development, the report proposes the release of a limited amount of greenfield land to build a new primary school (as soon as funding can be confirmed) as part of a larger phased, residential site.

This will in turn release the site of the existing Lainshaw Primary School for health and social care services or affordable housing/assisted living and public open space infrastructure.

How can we make sure a new school is included in future developments?

The Stewarton site will be controlled by a Section 75 Legal Agreement and Masterplan so that relevant infrastructure and community facilities (including a new primary school) can be facilitated, and we can make sure the housing development can be phased in an appropriate way.

Use of Section 75 Legal Agreements are not unusual. The system has been tested and proven to work in various places, for example Milton of Leys Primary School, Inverness.

Once a Section 75 Legal Agreement has been concluded, and registered in the relevant property register against the site, there is a formal statutory process to be followed if a developer seeks to discharge or modify an obligation contained within an Agreement

This process dictates that an application needs to be made, interested parties should be notified so that representations can be made, and thereafter, the Council (as Planning Authority) would a determination on the application having regard to its planning merits.

Why can’t we have a moratorium on development in Stewarton?

We spent a long time considering the pros and cons of imposing a moratorium on building for Stewarton. At the same time it also recognised that we need to address the existing issues. We came to the conclusion that the key to finding a solution to the need for additional infrastructure development lies in earmarking a limited release of land within LDP2.

Without doing this, we could not, for example, provide a new school or a central site large enough to accommodate long term community and health needs. We are concerned that if we do not respond to housing need, and find ways of unlocking infrastructure constraints, that during examination of the Proposed Plan by the Scottish Government the Reporter would determine that there is a need to identify a site or numerous sites for housing in Stewarton.

This scenario would be very likely given the huge demand displayed by developers during the consultation process, and in such an event we would lose any control over which sites were used.

By identifying a site for housing, which also helps to address infrastructure constraints in education with related knock-on effects on other sites to address other constraints, we are recognising housing and other infrastructure needs.

We feel it is unlikely that any Reporter (Scottish Government) would find a moratorium on development acceptable because there is a requirement for infrastructure providers, including the Council and other bodies such as Scottish Water, to address demand. This means, in planning terms, a lack of infrastructure would not be an acceptable reason to stall development.

We have had a large number of submissions from developers and land owners around almost the whole settlement boundary, looking for sites to be released.

Most of the land around Stewarton is privately owned and is already under option to house developers. We do not own any land on the outskirts of the town. These developers and land owners are likely to object to their sites not being included in the Plan. The approach we have taken is based on research and evidence and promotes infrastructure first and we feel is the right approach towards limited growth.

Why are we allowing more housing?

The emerging LDP2 must allocate enough land in appropriate locations to meet housing needs over the Plan period. The draft  National Planning Framework 4 (Scottish Government) requires The Council to provide development land to accommodate 4,050 units within East Ayrshire over a 10 year period.

In terms of national policy, it is also important that we recognise and address demand across all of our settlements throughout East Ayrshire. The amount of housing land required and the locations of sites are normally one of the most contentions and debated parts of a local development plan examination. However, any objections need to be balanced with enabling the delivery of new homes which is a key policy at national level.

What else does the framework do?

 Aside from discussing larger infrastructure constraints the strategy also looks at more local actions which will help the town become a 20-minute neighbourhood (Town and Country Planning Association).

These include suggested missing links to cycle paths and safe routes to schools. All of the actions combined have been brought together to address the constraints the town is experiencing and make it a successful, sustainable place.

How will my representation be considered?

After the closing date for representations has passed all comments received will be summarised and responses prepared.

At this point, and subject to whether, following consideration, the Council makes further modifications to the Proposed Plan according to the representations received, we will pass the Proposed Plan and all associated documentation, including those representations, to Scottish Ministers for Examination.

Examination normally takes between six months and a year depending upon the complexity of the issues raised and the workload of the Department for Planning and Environmental Appeals (Scottish Government) who conduct the examination on behalf of Scottish Ministers. 

Contact Information


Planning & Economic Development
Telephone: 01563 576790