Friday, 29 July 2011

Another request letter from HwLDP Reporters appears on Examination Page

Extract from request letter (total 7 pages) dated 29 July 2011:

The Scottish Government representation (reference 324) in relation to Policy 2 of the proposed Highland-wide Local Development Plan invites the reporters to examine whether, for each instance where the plan states that supplementary guidance is to be prepared, there is a sufficiently full and clear policy objective on which the guidance is to be based. In response to that invitation, Mr Maslin has made a preliminary examination of a number of the instances in question and requests further information.

More here

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Further Info Request from Reporters

Extract from letter dated 27 07 2011

The reporters have identified that further information, as listed below, should be
provided by the Highland Council

For each issue, the parties who made representations on that issue will be invited to
comment on your (THC's)response.

And we are supposed to keep up with this how?

You will have noticed that today has been a busy day in terms of posting; that is because I have recently received a few E newsletters and bulletins full of info.

There is an awful lot to digest and I suspect it might take all of us a while to do so.

Letter to Heads of Planning setting out SG position on applications to modify or discharge Section 75 planning agreements

Letter to Heads of Planning setting out SG position on applications to modify or discharge Section 75 planning agreements

Letter here

The Potential of Development Charges in The Scottish Planning System

The Potential of Development Charges in The Scottish Planning System

The financing of infrastructure is currently a key constraint to development and the report explores the potential of development charges to assist this situation.


This report provides the findings of a five month research study from Autumn 2010 to Spring 2011 on the potential of development charges in the Scottish Planning System;

The Communities Analytical Services team in Scottish Government commissioned the Study on behalf of the Directorate for the Built Environment;

The Study Brief sought a review of existing reporting and practice on other development charge models within and outwith Scotland. It then required a more focused look at various models for infrastructure funding which could be applicable in Scotland, with a request for the research team to try and focus in on preferred development charges models which are more likely to function well in Scotland.

The Report comes up with 10 recommendations

More here

Changing the Rules


This report analyses consultation responses to the Scottish Government proposals to change the rules that determine what type of householder development needs planning permission.

The findings of the consultation were generally supportive of the principal behind the legislation with a significant majority finding the new classes logical and workable. The majority (44 respondents from 52) felt that the granting of permission, and the new restrictions and conditions were clear and reasonable. New classes which separated enlargements from alterations/improvements were particularly welcomed as were new classes for hard standing, decking and flats. The provision of illustrations within the draft Circular was considered to be very useful in interpreting the regulations and was commented on by many in response to several of the questions within the consultation. There were concerns about some of the new definitions and concepts introduced in the draft Order and many respondents (31) provided a whole range of changes that they felt were necessary to improve the clarity, reasonableness, or application of the draft Order in their local circumstances. There were also significant concerns from some respondents (13) on whether the balance between reducing planning applications and amenity was correct. However, the overall picture was that with clearer definitions, detailed drafting changes, very good guidance and more illustrations the Order and new Classes could be sensible and workable.

More here

Renewables Route map

From Shepherd and Wedderburn E Bulletins:

Renewables Routemap – The challenges ahead

At the end of June, Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing launched an action plan to drive forward Scotland's renewables sector in the form of a Renewables Routemap. The Renewables Routemap outlines the steps which are required to take advantage of the economic potential of Scotland's rich green energy resource in order to meet the Scottish Government's world leading green energy targets... continues here

Planning and Archaeology

Planning advice note 2/2011

The new Archaeology PAN reflects 17 years of accumulated changes in the policy context, the statutory planning system, the key stakeholders and in archaeological practices. Like its 1994 predecessor (PAN 42) it provides advice to planning authorities and developers on dealing with archaeological remains. But it does so with a fresh emphasis which is proportionate to the relative value of the remains and of the developments under consideration.

This Planning Advice Note ( PAN) supersedes PAN 42 Archaeology - the Planning Process and Scheduled Monuments Procedures. It sits alongside Scottish Planning Policy (SPP)' Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP) and the Managing Change in the Historic Environment Guidance Notes' which together set out the Scottish Ministers' policies for planning and the historic environment. This PAN is intended to inform the day-to-day work of a range of local authority advisory services and other organisations that have a role in the handling of archaeological matters within the planning process. It should be noted that there are specific controls for works directly affecting monuments scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. These are set out in SHEP and managed by Historic Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

Flood Risk Management

Worth a look - Published June 2011

Extract from Ministerial foreword:

Important milestones over the past 4 years have included record levels of investment in flood
protection by local authorities, creation of a new flood forecasting service for Scotland, and
investment into research to improve our understanding of more natural approaches to
tackling flooding. In addition, a new approach to providing advance flood warnings to the
public was successfully launched earlier this year.

This guidance is another important milestone in implementing the Act and improving how we
cope with and manage floods. Delivering sustainable flood risk management sets out
statutory guidance to SEPA, local authorities and Scottish Water on fulfilling their
responsibilities under the Act and, in particular, on the steps that should be taken to manage
flooding in a sustainable manner.

This guidance should form the blueprint upon which SEPA, local authorities and Scottish
Water and any other future responsible authorities will deliver their flood risk management

Extract from main text:

Public engagement and participation needs to be ongoing and regularly refreshed, seeking to attract attention and changes in behaviour without causing undue alarm. At all times, it must be based on clear, accurate information, and presented in simple and engaging language.

In collaboration with the Scottish Flood Forum and the Insurance Industry, SEPA, and the responsible authorities should help local community groups take some responsibility for their own awareness campaigns and flood preparation.

More here

Green Networks

Extract from here

An innovative new approach to planning will guide future major development in the Highlands and in particular the Inverness and Inner Moray Firth areas. The Highland Council and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have been working to produce guidance on ‘green networks’ to complement the Highland-wide Local Development Plan.

Green networks are webs of green spaces and green corridors within and around towns and villages and the wider countryside. These help enhance an area's wildlife and quality of life for people in the area. The new guidance sets out how developers can take green networks into account in design proposals, the council’s role in assessing planning applications, and ways in which developer contributions can be sought.

More on this subject on the Scottish Government web site here

SSCI Charrette announcement; no Sandown?

Building on the SSCI Charrette Series which ran in March 2010, the Scottish Government has launched a new charrette programme, aimed at mainstreaming this approach to development in the built environment within Scottish design and planning practice.

Following the submission of 12 projects for the Mainstreaming Programme, the initial projects which have been selected to participate in the initiative are:

  • Callander: Proposer, The Callander Partnership on behalf of Callander Community Council
  • Johnstone South West: Proposer, Renfrewshire Council
  • South Carrick , Girvan: Proposer, South Ayrshire Council
Rest here


For those who may need to know:

(Planning Circular 4 - July 2011)

Dear George

From Scottish Gov web page:

Dear George

Following the publication of the latest GDP figures yesterday highlighting that the strength of the recovery in the UK remains weak, I am writing to urge the UK Government to do more to accelerate the recovery...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Northern Ireland population at 30 June 2010

Complete item here

The Northern Ireland population at 30 June 2010 is estimated to be 1.799 million people, the Statistics and Research Agency said today.
~ Thursday, 30 June 2011

This is the last official population estimate released before the publication of the first results of the 2011 Census.

In the period 2004-8, net migration accounted for 50% of population growth. With migration currently in the balance, population growth is now solely due to natural change.

Responding to the findings a Statistics and Research Agency spokesperson said: “Migration to Northern Ireland has fallen over the last three years. Last year the overall impact of migration on the total number of people living in Northern Ireland was zero. Despite that 22,500 people came to live here and 22,500 left Northern Ireland to live elsewhere. This in contrast to the years between 2004 and 2008 when there was marked population growth due to migration – when a net total of 32,000 people were added to the population.”

Corridor of Power

Missed this BBC item from January 2011

New Scottish Open host Castle Stuart Golf Links lies within a strip of land with a bloody past and, in the future, could become one of the most developed areas of the Highlands and Islands.

Known as the A96 Corridor, the strip covers several hundreds of acres stretching between Inverness and Nairn and flanked by the Moray Firth and the B9006 road.

Highland Council has produced a masterplan to guide development in the area over the next 30 years.

What has already been planned could make the corridor powerful in terms of job creation and the delivery of further education in the region.

More here