Saturday, 2 October 2010

Public confidence in the development plan process as elections approach

Remember this?

15 AUGUST 2007

'This paper seeks Committee approval for the current programme of Development Plan work, in line with priorities set out in the Programme for Administration.

The programme for Administration sets out as clear priorities the preparation of a Highland Development Plan and three Local Development Plans.

The Highland wide Development Plan will deliver a consistent and strategic approach to development management across the area. In addition, it will set the statutory context for the delivery of the A96 Corridor, help to build public confidence in the development plan process and ensure that community and development interest retain their faith in a plan-led system and provide a landuse context to ongoing Community Planning work. The delivery of this Development Plan will tie in well with the ongoing preparation of the second National Planning Framework by the Scottish Executive.

Highland Council chose to determine a major Planning Application at East Inverness in advance of the consultation on and examination and adoption of the Proposed Highland-wide Local Development Plan where the tables of conformity prepared for the planning application stated:

"...the application as presently drafted does not accord with the approved development plan. It is a definite departure"

"...The use mix proposed in the current application differs from that supported within this (A96 Corridor) supplementary guidance"

Members of the PEDC had been asked to agree in August via the Recommendation in part iii of ped-59-10 that:

“…proposals in the A96 corridor which have a measure of adopted Local Plan support (in full or in part) may be determined in advance of the Local Development Plan Examination in line with updated guidance in the Proposed Plan;

The report to the full council noted:

'The proposals are contrary to the adopted Inverness Local Plan. However, the HwLDP Proposed Plan, approved by PED on 11 August 2010, now forms the most important material consideration regarding policy and the development framework for this site. Any permission must therefore accord with the HwLDP policy and framework with regard to phasing and infrastructure provision.
' Click here

In my view consideration of the planning application has pre-empted the full planning process.
Parties will have had no opportunity to challenge, through the Development Plan process, the basis on which land is being allocated prior to consideration of this planning application
The development for this area will be shaped by a consent given in advance of the completion of the development plan process.

The period for this Council administration is fast coming to an end. How many more applications will we see determined ahead of the Highland-wide Local Development Plan being fully consulted on, examined and adopted? How much faith will we have in a so called plan led system?


Letter in the Inverness Courier from the Chair of Westhill CC here

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

"Getting the best from our land": Consultation

"Consultation on Scotland’s first Land Use Strategy, and your views are vital to its success."

More than 80 per cent of Scotland’s people live in urban areas, yet only 6 per cent of our land

is urban; this leads to a high monetary value being placed on urban land.1 Despite the fact
that relatively few of us live in rural areas or earn our income directly from the land, we all
depend on the goods and services which the land provides. Wherever we live, we have an
interest in what happens to the land.

The characteristics of the land vary greatly around the country, with variations in soil type,
slope, altitude, accessibility, climate and more – this influences what can be done with the
land and has important implications for land use. In agriculture, for example, these variations
result in our having only relatively small areas of prime agricultural land (mostly in the East)
and a very large proportion of our land which is significantly constrained in the way it can be

Responding to this consultation

The Scottish Government is consulting on this draft Land Use Strategy and is inviting early
written (by post or email) responses by 30 November 2010. Responses will be accepted until
17 December 2010, when the consultation closes, but cannot be accepted after this date.