Aberdeenshire councillors yesterday agreed to progress with the region’s 2016 Local Development Plan (LDP).
The document earmarks sites across Aberdeenshire which could potentially accommodate 20,000 homes across 150 towns and villages.
Head of planning at the local authority, Robert Gray, told yesterday’s meeting of the full council there would be significant challenges as the LDP is finalised on a “site by site basis”.
He added that schools and the transport network would all have to be taken into consideration as the plans are shaped.
Aboyne councillor Peter Argyle said: “This is an extremely important document and today is an extremely important stage. Not everybody will get everything they want but it has been through the process and the area committee.”
Councillors agreed to progress with the LDP along with minor amendments proposed at a previous full council meeting on January 22, 2014.