Friday, 23 April 2010

Charrette Update

"The SSCI Charrette Series has been designed to provide new potential models of good practice for sustainable development, and will illustrate that high-quality, sustainable places can be delivered across the whole of Scotland."

"Three projects have been identified by the Scottish Government for inclusion in the Charrette Series from the eleven exemplars that were recognised as working towards 'Creating a Scottish Sustainable Community'. The selected projects are:

* Grandhome & Whitestripes
* Ladyfield
* Lochgelly

"Following the conclusion of the charrettes on-site, specific deliverables for each landowner will be identified, and a book will be published in early summer 2010, providing a detailed explanation of the processes and outcomes of the charrette series. The book will explore the challenges of development in Scotland in the post-war era and introduce the three sites as case studies for sustainable development in Scotland."

For more information click here

"...the Scottish government shelled out a reported £200,000 to import the expertise of Duany’s practice, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company." For more information on that story click here

What the people thought of the Charrette here

Mr Duany has also responded to some critics of the Lochgelly development click here

APTSec has noted a comment regarding Tornagrain on the Central Fife Times click here

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Village proposals

Hi folks

News on the front page of the 'Nairnshire Telegraph' this week - regarding development proposals for Croy village - may have implications, not only for Croy, but for other villages in the A96 Corridor as well.

First, have a look at these statements from the Main Issues Report (MIR) for the Highland-wide Plan Local Development Plan (MIR here):

Developer Contributions in the A96 Corridor

An important part of the A96 Corridor Framework is the developer contributions protocol. This identifies how the infrastructure improvements we require (including the improvements to the A96, the provision of schools and other facilities and the environmental improvements) will be funded by the private and the public sector. We remain committed to ensuring that a developer contributions protocol exists for the A96 Corridor, and this will be an essential part of any policy set out within the Proposed Plan when it is prepared.
There are a number of issues with the levels of these developer contributions however, not least the changed economic conditions and the need to more fully engage with our partner agencies like Transport Scotland. We are reviewing the developer contributions protocols to ensure that the delivery of infrastructure remains key to all development, and this work will inform the preparation of the proposed plan. The preferred option is: prepare a policy in our Proposed Plan which states that all of the development proposed in the expansion areas across the corridor will contribute to a revised developer contributions protocol. The A96 Corridor Developer Contributions protocol will be an essential requirement for the development proposals in the A96 Corridor; and ensure that these developer contribution requirements are reflected in the investment plans of the Council and other infrastructure providers.

Smaller Settlements in the A96 Corridor

The A96 Corridor Framework highlights that there is scope for expansion of the smaller settlements of Auldearn, Culloden Moor, Croy, Ardersier and Cawdor in the corridor as part of our long term development strategy. A number of sites identified in the existing Local Plans remain available for housing or business development. The main pressure for development is at Cawdor, where there are proposals being drawn up for the expansion of the village. In other villages like Ardersier the emphasis is very much on local regeneration and enhancement of community facilities. The role of these, and indeed any other proposals that come forward, must
be considered as part of the development strategy and included within the Proposed Plan where appropriate.

'...preferred option...' (for small settlements)

identify the potential for growth of the smaller villages in the A96 Corridor areas set out in the A96 Framework; and

identify the appropriate scale of development that may be expected in these areas

No 'reasonable alternatives' were identified with respect to this preferred option (despite the fact that Government Circular 1 2009, para 43, states with respect to an MIR that:

"...must also contain one or more reasonable alternative sets of proposals.")

try taking a look at the A96 Growth Corridor Development Framework (A96 GCDF) - pages 33, 34, 35 and 36 (click here for document on THC web site)

The map on page 33 indicates 5 'development zones' in the A96 Corridor and appears to show that all the villages mentioned as 'Smaller Settlements in the Corridor in the MIR' (and many other areas as well) fall within what is described as a 'Central Development Zone'.

WRT the tables on pages 35 and 36 of the A96 GCDF:

The table on page 35 appears to show some 1885 units in the 'Central Zone' for the 30 years between 2011 and 2041 (although the table on page 40 gives 1955 units in the 'Central Zone' and the Scotia submission for Croy uses this 1955 figure). All development appears to be residential.

If there was an equivalent amount of development in each of the 5 named villages and no development anywhere else in this 'C Zone' then 1885/5= 377 houses in total in each place or roughly 12.5 houses per annum for 30 years (or approx 13 pa if 1955) Croy's 'share' over 10 years would be 130.

Scotia Homes' 'Representation Summary' requests that:

"The allocation in South West Croy should be phased to identify approximately 200 houses in the short term (2011-2016)"

However this appears to be contradicted by a statement at 6.9 of their submission:

"This may allow for up to 200 residential units delivered over a ten year period."

It is also worth remembering that when the public consultation took place on the A96 Corridor Masterplan in 2007 - before the recomendation to 'approve' it - the maps shown on the handout for the exhibition stated, "Limited expansion of Culloden Moor, Croy, Ardersier, Cawdor and Auldearn is also planned within the Corridor" and page 1 noted a population of 1000-2000 for the villages. At an occupancy of 2.1 this means only 952 units at the 2000 population figure, not 1955 units.

Pages 33 and 34 of the A96 GCDF also include statements about infrastructure delivery mechanisms for these 'Zones'.

The' Infrastructure Costs and Allocations' table on page 36 shows a figure of 29.1%/23.62m against Central for 'A96 dualling and by-passes' (A96 costs to be shared equally between public at private). This fact is referred to in the Scotia submission:

"The A96 Corridor Framework identifies significant costs associated with the provision of infrastructure in the Central area, of which Croy forms a part, and the delivery of sufficient effective housing land in the short term, medium and long term will be required to satisfy the potential requirements. "

So, just what will the Proposed Plan consider to be the 'appropriate scale' of development for these villages now? What is considered the right balance of growth?

More on this topic to follow.

(See also post on blog 01/01/2010 re Scotia Homes Ltd submission to the HwLDP for development at Croy village).

Monday, 19 April 2010

Candidate quizing

I had hoped to give out information on a couple of events planned to allow the voting public to quiz the election candidates . Since APTSec has just found out that the Inverness Chamber of Commerce pre-election debate will not take place there is now only one event that I know of which affords an opportunity to question the candidates.

This details of this event are:

7.30 on Monday May 3 at Hilton Church


Each candidate will get only 3 minutes to set out their environmental agenda and then it is over to the public to ask questions on environmental matters.

For more details please e mail and I will forward your enquiry.

Does anyone have any details of other events which provide opportunities to quiz the candidates on (a) different topic(s)?