Friday, 6 May 2011

Loch Lomond Theme Park

Extract from 'Urban Realm'

Glaswegian entrepreneur Wayne Gardner-Young has set his sights on the bonnie banks for his latest venture, a £100m theme park.

Incorporating zip slides, treehouses and a spa the park is claimed, will work with the existing nature and setting of the famed National Park setting.

The attraction would be built alongside its own hotel, caravan park and holiday lodges.

Gardner-Young told the Herald: “Negotiations are continuing, so I don’t want to be exact. I will say it will be situated right on the shores of Loch Lomond and there is little doubt this will happen.”

Backing up this belief Young added: “I deal with planning boards all over Scotland, and it is amazing how proactive the planners at the park authority are. They are very business-minded and, if you ask me, a breath of fresh air. It is exactly what the area needs.” The project remains in the pre-planning application stage and could take five years to develop.

More here and here

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A few pounds to spare?

From THC web pages - (thanks to APT regular for link)Link


All Development Plans are available for purchase. The price of each plan and how to order is detailed below.

All prices are inclusive of postage unless otherwise stated.

The Highland Structure Plan (March 2001)

  • printed copy - £20
  • CD-ROM (pdf) - free

Local Plans

Charges are applicable only to Deposit Draft plans and all versions thereafter.

  • Badenoch and Strathspey Local Plan (September 1997)
    • printed copy - £15
    • CD-ROM (pdf) - free
  • Caithness Local Plan (September 2002)
    • printed copy - £15
    • CD-ROM (pdf) - free
  • Inverness Local Plan (March 2006)
    • printed copy - £20
    • CD-ROM (pdf) - free
  • Nairnshire Local Plan (December 2000)
    • printed copy - £15
    • CD-ROM (pdf) - free
  • Ross & Cromarty East Local Plan (February 2007)
    • printed copy - £40
    • CD-ROM (pdf) - free
  • Sutherland Local Plan (June 2010)
    • printed copy - £40
    • CD-ROM (pdf) - free
  • South & East Sutherland Local Plan (May 2000)
    • printed copy - £15
    • CD-ROM (pdf) - free
  • West Highland and Islands (covering Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh)
    (September 2010)
    • printed copy - £60 + £20 postage & packing
    • CD-ROM (pdf) - free
  • Wester Ross Local Plan (June 2006)
    • printed copy - £40
    • CD-ROM (pdf) - free

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Inverness Airport Business Park; press interest continues but what are the facts?

Press interest in the IABP, here are a few facts so you can come to your own opinion.

IABP - what the Highland Council has stated:

Fact 1

Minutes of Meeting of the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Planning Applications Committee commenced at 10 am on site at Inverness Airport, Dalcross and thereafter continued in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness on Tuesday 19 January 2010 at 11.15 am.

(Extract from item 3)

The Principal Planner, Mr K McCorquodale, began by drawing members attention to paragraph 7.49 of the report which stated that the Council did not have a financial interest in the development. He explained that the Council had lent the applicant £1.25 million to assist with building the Airport Link Road, a project jointly funded by the applicant, HIE, the Council and substantial EU funds. This loan, and the arrangements for its repayment, would, however be unaffected by the Committee’s decision on the planning application for the business park, be it to grant or to refuse permission. The Council accordingly had no financial interest in the application.

Fact 2

Report by Head of Planning and Building Standards

7.49 For the avoidance of doubt it is also important to state that the Council does not have a financial interest in this application.

4.2 The Council received nine timeous objections to the application...

4.1 The application was advertised under Section 34 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 and under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999 on 28 March 2008, with a consultation period of 28 days. Subsequently it was advertised as a departure to the adopted Inverness Local Plan on 23 May 2008 with a consultation period of 21 days.

7.4 The application was advertised as a departure to the Development Plan. This was undertaken because the application sets out a fifty year development framework which is in excess of the 5 – 10 year time horizon of the adopted Inverness Local Plan. The boundaries of the site incorporated land highlighted for future expansion.

Fact 3

Report by Director of Planning and Development (PED11/11)


The Inverness Airport Business Park (IABP) Limited company was established in May 2005 and is a joint venture between Highlands and Islands Airports Limited, Moray Estates and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Inverness Airport Business Park Ltd issued Loan Stock of £1.175m to the Council to reflect the cost incurred by the Council in building the new access road to the airport from the A96. The repayment of this Loan Stock will allow the Council to recover its costs in constructing the road, albeit over a period of time. The Council is currently represented on Inverness Airport Business Park Ltd. Board of Directors by Councillor David Henderson, with the Director of Planning and Development attending in an advisory capacity. This provides the Council with the ability to closely monitor the financial situation of the IABP Ltd.

Under the Loan Stock Agreement, Inverness Airport Business Park Ltd. is required to repay 50% of the loan stock to the Council in May 2010 and the remaining 50% in May 2015. However, the Loan Stock Agreement gives the company an option to defer payments if they believe the repayment would have a prejudicial impact on their business proposals for the Business Park. In this regard the company opted to defer the first repayment of £587.5k due to be received by the Council in May 2010. The Council was notified of the deferment in accordance with the terms of the Loan Stock Agreement. The Finance Service undertook a review of the company’s draft Annual Accounts for 2008/09 and 2009/10 which confirmed that if repayment had been made in May 2010 it would have had a prejudicial effect on the business proposals.

Under the deferment arrangements, the 2010 repayment now becomes payable to the Council in May 2015 unless independent reviews of the Company’s accounts indicate the deferred amount can be paid earlier. The company has no option but to repay the loan stock if these independent reviews provide an opinion that the repayment can be made without prejudicing the development.

Fact 4

What the Scottish Government states:

Planning Advice Notes provide advice and information on technical planning matters. As part of the modernisation of the planning system, the intention to scale back the amount of planning advice issued by the Government was announced in October 2008. The Planning Advice Note series is being retained but some PANs will be withdrawn and others will be merged and updated. This will result in an overall reduction in the number of PANs and an increased focus on technical planning matters.

PAN 82 Local Authority Interest Developments

It is almost inevitable that conflicts of interests can sometimes be perceived to arise when a planning authority is considering future development. That is simply a normal consequence of being a local authority with a range of duties and responsibilities, and having been elected to act in the best interests of their communities. The key to resolving any possible or perceived conflict of interests in future development comes down to ensuring that a full, thorough and open planning assessment is carried out in the same way as it would be for any other private development proposal.

There are different ways in which local authorities might have an “interest” in a
development, and therefore stand to benefit in some way from development
proceeding. For example:

• Where the council, as well as being the planning authority, is also the
• Where the council is the landowner, and so would gain a capital receipt for
sale or lease of its land.
• Where the authority is working in partnership with other bodies.
• Where the authority is likely, in future, to enter into a contract or be a future
operator in relation to the development.
• Where the developer is financially supported or sponsored by the local

The Town and Country Planning (Notification of Applications) (Scotland) Direction 2007 (see Scottish Executive Development Department Planning Circular 5/2007) sets out circumstances in which planning authorities must notify Scottish Ministers where they intend to grant planning permission. This allows Scottish Ministers to consider whether there are reasons for them to intervene by calling in planning applications for their own determination. In relation to local authority interest developments, before granting consent planning authorities must notify Ministers where the proposed development:

• would be contrary to the development plan for the area; or

• has been the subject of a substantial body of objections.

“Contrary to the development plan for the area”

In many cases, deciding whether or not a proposed development is in accordance with the plan will be straightforward. It will clearly be out of accord with the plan if the development conflicts with a specific land allocation or designation. But it might not be so certain where a proposal is being assessed against more general or criteria-based policies, or where it is actively supported by some policies of the development plan but perhaps does not sit perfectly
with other policies.

The planning authority is best placed to balance the range of policies and proposals and decide whether a proposal does or does not accord with the development plan, and is obliged to do so as part of its assessment of any planning application. In terms of this criterion for notifying Ministers, the only judgement to be made is whether or not the proposal constitutes a departure from the development plan; it should not be influenced by material considerations.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Yatterbox: what is your MP saying?

Just click here for Yatterbox

From their web site:

About Yatterbox

  • Following all content from Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, RSS feeds, Hansard and obtaining data from the API of The Guardian.
  • Building a historical record of the live social media output of all Members of Parliament.
  • Allowing users to interact and re-distribute content through their own social networks.

After several months of hard work, the Yatterbox team are delighted to present you with, a website which brings together all the social media output of all UK Members of Parliament.

The site is intended to make Politics in the United Kingdom more accessible and accountable to members of the public and does this by making everything said online by important UK politicians visible in a single place. was first envisioned by staff and students at the University of York during the 2010 UK General Election. is expanding its features in the near future. Stay tuned for further updates and for more information contact us via