Aberdeenshire Council is taking a “time-critical” development plan online, in order to meet Scottish Government deadlines.
An eight-week online consultation on the region’s proposed local development plan 2020 (LDP) will take place from Monday.
Once every five years the council is required to publish a new LDP to inform people of the principles on which new homes, retail and leisure developments should follow and where they should be located.
In Aberdeenshire, new housing opportunities have been identified across the region, including sites at Banchory, Fetterangus, Newburgh and Turriff among others.
In lieu of the nine planned drop-in events, the council is now proposing to engage with stakeholders, including community councils, by way of electronic means such as virtual drop-ins, Q&A sessions and a 24-hour virtual live chat platform.
Chairman of the council’s infrastructure services committee Peter Argyle said: “Given normal circumstances, we wouldn’t consider doing a solely electronic consultation on a matter of such importance as this.
“However, it is time-critical and we do need to get this consultation completed so we can everything off to the Reporter’s Unit and get through to the examination in public.
“Clearly it will be challenging for people without access to the internet or access to a computer and that is something we will be addressing as best we can.”
There is also the option of having the LDP read aloud when opened online to make it as accessible as possible.