I am posting; with the author's permission of course, comments on the Main Issues Report as they are sent through to me. Here is a view from somewhere in Ross-shire
"I would like to comment on this document which is in my view completely unsatisfactory. It completely fails to address the key issues of sustainable development, climate change or peak oil. In fact I question the whole basis of this plan and must ask you please to completely reconsider it. To give three key reasons:
First, it is a complete nonsense to call a plan ‘local’ if it is to cover a third of Scotland, an area larger than Belgium. At the least, a full Structure Plan should be produced for this vast area.
Second, the whole plan lacks a 21st c. vision for the area and seems stuck in 1970s thinking. It seems to revolve around creating a large urban / suburban sprawl along the A96, completely dependent on road and air transport and destroying excellent agricultural land in the process. There are very few proposals for anywhere else. This will suck people and resources out of the areas of Highland further away from Inverness, which need investment and support much more than Inverness does. In fact the key benefit of the plan seems to be to pour more money into the pockets of a few wealthy individuals at the expense of the Highlands as a whole.
Third, I am very disappointed at the failure of the plan to raise standards for energy conservation, actively promote adequate community facilities, green spaces, allotments etc., or to tackle the need for modern, efficient public transport and e-communications networks. Overall I feel that the Council has failed to take this exercise seriously enough and that the Highlands could suffer for years ahead as a result.
Please take these comments as a formal, personal response to the current public consultation process"