3. An important strand of the modernisation of the Scottish planning system introduced by the Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) was the replacement of structure plans by strategic development plans ( SDPs). Section 2 of the 2006 Act introduced a new section 4(1) into the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (the 1997 Act) which allowed Ministers to designate groups of planning authorities as strategic development planning authorities ( SDPAs), tasked with preparing and reviewing SDPs. Scottish Ministers designated the following four such groupings in the SDPA Designation Orders 2008 which came into force on 25 June 2008:
1. East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire Councils;
2. Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils;
3. Angus, Dundee City, Fife and Perth & Kinross Councils;
4. City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian Councils.
4. Section 5(1) of the 1997 Act, (as introduced by section 2 of the 2006 Act) required the SDPAs to submit proposed SDP area boundaries to Scottish Ministers within 3 months of designation. Scottish Ministers issued guidance on appropriate plan boundaries in Planning Circular 2/2008, which indicated that widely drawn boundaries that matched local authority boundaries were likely to be the simplest solution, with the exception of national park areas which were expected to be excluded. The SDPAs' submissions were all duly received and are available to view on the Scottish Government's website 1. All the SDPAs carried out some form of consultation on their proposals and the outcome of these consultations are included in the submissions.
5. Section 5(3) of the 1997 Act, (as introduced by section 2 of the 2006 Act) allows Scottish Ministers to make a determination as to the boundaries of strategic development plan ( SDP) areas.