Saturday, 15 August 2009

Rural Homes for Rent

I came across this interesting item whilst continuing my research on the subject of affordable housing:

"The Scottish Government's Rural Homes for Rent Pilot Scheme funds additional new-build affordable housing for affordable rent in rural Scotland. Grant funding is targeted at landowners in pressured rural housing markets where registered social landlords have been constrained in meeting local housing and homelessness need.

The Scottish Government received 67 initial expressions of interest to participate in the scheme from landowners across 16 local authority areas. Following assessment for eligibility, 49 applications were shortlisted and invited to submit detailed proposals of which 25 were received.

The proposals received sought grant funding totalling over £11 million to provide a potential 166 new houses. This meant the pilot scheme was over-subscribed, and the Scottish Government could not support all applications which met its criteria within the available budget of £5 million.

The submissions have been subject to an assessment by the Scottish Government in consultation with the relevant local authorities. As a result it is supporting 12 pilot projects which require grant support of almost £5 million to provide 75 new properties for rent in rural Scotland."

Details of the successful applications are now available here:

Countdown to Highland-wide Local Development Plan Consultation

Only 2, sorry, 15 days to go to the formal consultation (but the Councillors draft is available on line).

Future of APT blog in the balance

Yes folks we are in danger of succumbing to serious, and I mean serious, fatigue! 

There is now so much information!

Large numbers of major planning applications are to be considered in the area - with one major application being resubmitted with a fresh consultation; planning appeals on major developments; the forthcoming consultation on the new Highland-wide Local Development Plan - all within the context of the bedding down of the new Scottish Planning Act.

It has become necessary to consider how we use our limited resources and one solution may be to discontinue the blog.  It may be that a blog of this kind is not an effective way of engaging with large numbers of members of the public, and will only generate 'specialist' interest. 

We have recently prepared a large postal mailing to all Chairpersons and Secretaries of Community Councils across Highland which will be followed by a mailing to our Elected Members and then our MP / MSPs.  The mailing is to enocourage maximum interest in the HwLDP consultation from the public's perspective.  The availability of the blog has been noted on this mailing and it is hoped that further interest will be generated.

So far we have 205 visitors from 8 countries to this blog with 5 followers.  To put this into perspective; my teenage daughter's blog receives  approximately 186 visitors from 17 countries with 18 followers.

What you think?
Knowledge gives us the power to present our views objectively and informatively. Are we in information overload at a time when we need to become more knowledgeable?

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

HwLDP 'Main Issues Report' Committee Draft

The following is now available on the Highland Council Web site:

Highland Wide Local Development Plan
Main Issues Report
August 2009

All Change with the Development Plan

Please see below for brief details of the latest posts on the Highland Council planning blog.

The main thing to note is the Change of dates

There has been a change to the start date of the Highland wide Local Development Main Issues Report. The consultation on the Main Issues Report officially begins on the 31st August 2009. This is later than the previous post on this blog (see below). It is also now intended to run the consultation for a longer period of 10 weeks from that date.

4th August - Architecture and Design Scotland
Malcolm met with Eric Dawson and Diarmid Lawlor of Architecture and Design Scotland to review progress with the preparation of an updated City Vision

30th July - Meetings with Scotish Government
Malcolm met with David Liddell and Stephen Hall from the Scottish Government's Duilt Environment Directorate on 30th July to discuss progress with the Main Issues Report. They had previously been sent a draft of the document to comment on, and the meeting dealt with this as well as wider issues on working with other agencies. The meeting was positive, although a number of changes were recommended. These have now been incorporated where deemed necessary into the Committee Draft version of the document which will be considered by PED Committee next week (12th August)

New Guide to the Planning System in Scotland

Just located on the Scottish Government web site:

'A Guide to the Planning System in Scotland'

"This guide is for you if you:

• want to know more about how the planning system
works; or

• want to apply for planning permission.

This short guide can’t cover every question. You can
find out where to get more information at the end of
this document."