Wednesday, 12 January 2011

NICE Work - Locals get involved in Nairn

"Following Highland Council’s publication of a draft Development Brief for that part of the town centre site for which the Council is responsible adjacent to the properties now owned by the Co-op, local Nairn residents have formed a group to look at options for the redevelopment of this King Street town centre site (more on NICE web site here).

APTSec was keen to find out how any plans that may be produced through this this new local initiative would sit within the Proposed Highland-wide Local Development Plan so I fired off a quick mail to the Development Plans Team on 21 December:

I recently forwarded my responses to the Highland-wide Local Development Proposed Plan but, even with a consultation period of 10 weeks available, found it extremely difficult to prepare a response for all the sections upon which I would like to have commented.

I note that page 156 of this Proposed Plan is a list of ‘Future Development Briefs’ and the list includes:

Nairn Town Centre - 2010/2011 - Provides an overall framework for the development of the town centre and sets out guidelines on design and other standards expected by the Planning Authority

Section 26, Page 47, Appendix 6.3 of the Proposed Plan refers to ‘Supplementary Guidance’ but I am finding it difficult to understand the statements made in this section and how they would specifically relate to the development briefs listed.

I would like to ask:

1 Given that the section 26 (noted above) states:

However, where guidance is intended to be statutory i.e. part of the Plan and used to assist decision making on planning applications, the main principles or context for the guidance must be established within the Plan itself.

Further work will be undertaken on whether the guidance will be statutory or non-statutory going forward and all statutory guidance will be presented for consultation at the Proposed Plan stage. Comments are invited on the suggested proposals for supplementary guidance.

Is it, for example, the intention of the council to establish one of the development briefs that the council has presented for consultation in Nairn as statutory guidance?

If one of these development briefs is to be established as statutory guidance did the consultation period on the brief run concurrently with that of the consultation on the HwLDP itself?

Would the statements made in Section 26 militate against any alternative development brief being prepared and presented and incorporated into the HwLDP?

Thank you for your assistance

More questions than answers?

APTSec has been having more than a little difficulty accessing the information that I feel is necessary for me to put together a response to the latest consultation on the Inverness City West Link and I seem to be finding more questions than answers so I've sent a request to the council:

Would it be possible for you to update the web site as soon as it practically possible - but certainly in time to help respondents formulate their consultation response - with some additional information to further inform the consultation process

1 Could you please state what type of road needs to be constructed e.g. a Bypass, a distributor road.

2 How wide this road need to be and what additional features may need to be provided e. g. pavements, traffic calming methods, crossing points

3 Would it be possible to show access points for walkers to existing features such as the canal or the Bught park?

4 Could you make available the minutes of the meetings that have taken place where the 90 odd options had been whittled down to five

5 Could you provide a list of the options that have been discounted with brief reasons why.

6 Is it possible at this stage to inform the public via this web site as to the likely impact on the sports centre stadium , rugby pitches, canal, Bught park, Ness Islands, Floral Hall etc of each of the options?

7 Could you publish minutes of the meetings that have been held with the public including questions that have been raised and the answers that have been provided for them

8 Give an idea as to what the criteria are that the new 5 options will be judged against.

9 Provide some historical reference regarding the emergence of the requirement for a road at this location.

10 Provide some detail as to the development plan support for the road network in this area

11 Indicate whether the various reports presented in relation to this road as part of the Strategic Transport Projects Review have been or will be taken into consideration

I make these suggestions since I believe that by providing this information the local authority will enhance the consultation process and make it more satisfying for participants.

Could the information also be made available at service points?

Just off to check the Highland Council web site