East Lothian Labour Group Leader Cllr Willie Innes has condemned the SNP opposition’s approach to the county’s Local Development Plan as grossly irresponsible after they walked out of today's council meeting to agree the draft plan.
All local authorities are required by the Scottish Government to set aside sites for future housing and business development, with East Lothian required to designate sufficient land for at least 10,000 houses to be built. Other authorities, such as SNP-run Midlothian, have allocated a much larger contingency of potential sites than East Lothian.
However, rather than trying to amend the plan, which is the product of many months of detailed work by council officials and widespread public consultation, SNP members simply walked out of the meeting when they didn't get their way.
Cllr Willie Innes said:
“The SNP Scottish Government requires us to build at least 10,000 houses by 2024. The proposals in the plan set out the minimum number of sites necessary to meet the Scottish Government's requirements and try and ensure we don’t simply have undesirable sites forced on us by planning appeals.
“SNP members have tried to pretend they can ignore the requirements of their own Government at Holyrood. Walking out of the meeting was a grossly irresponsible and, frankly, dishonest way for the opposition to behave. Far from standing up for East Lothian, they were in fact walking away from their duty as elected representatives.
"Their behaviour over the development plan proves once again that SNP members are just not up to taking the big decisions on the county’s future.”