Saturday, 12 November 2011

Latest PED Agenda

Agenda here

Latest on IMFLDP Report here

Where to spend the 'Sainburys Planning Gain' Report here

Friday, 11 November 2011

Keep saying those fond farewells

Further to my last post on the latest consultation regarding the 'Inverness City Trunk Link Road - West Link', (also called 'Inverness City West Link' , also 'Phase V Southern Distributor Road)

Why not take a trawl back 10 years and have a gander at the 'extracts' below; my big problem is that the Council did not follow the same process as 10 years ago (see section I have highlighted in pink) and consult on road options as part of consultation on the HwLDP. After all, the STPR had taken place. They seem to have disconnected the consultation on the road options from the main consultation on the HwLDP - a fact I commented on in my submission to the road consultation. They are however rolling forward the housing land allocations from the ILP.

18 DECEMBER 2001


Joint Report by the Directors of Planning & Development
and Roads & Transport

At its meeting on 3 August 2000, the Roads and Transport Committee agreed that consultation on alternative routes for Phase V of the Southern Distributor Road be conducted as part of the wider consultation on the draft Inverness Local Plan and that alternative routes be tested through the TRANUS land use and transportation model. This section of the SDR will cross the river and canal and give a continuous route between the A9(T) and A82(T) around the southern periphery of the City.

The Consultative Draft of the Inverness Local Plan approved by the Area Planning Committee on 17 April 2001 included four alternative routes. Whilst the Inverness, Culloden and Ardersier Local Plan (1994) had previously reserved a line for Phase V, the Council's intention was to reassess all options and to consult as widely as possible about the merits of each, prior to identifying a preferred route for inclusion within the current Plan at the deposit stage.

First and foremost, the SDR is a distributor road and must meet its transportation objectives. The Council's priorities in this regard are to relieve congestion within the City by redistributing traffic, where possible, around its periphery. Maximum effect would be obtained by locating Phase V of the route where it would attract most traffic which would otherwise be dependent upon the existing cross-City network, whether locally generated or "through" traffic. This allows for major City Centre and riverside enhancement in accordance with the Local Plan. Application of the TRANUS model shows Routes C and D to be more effective.

The benefits of the very substantial investment in the SDR to date cannot be fully realised until the route is constructed to the A82(T). With no funds programmed at present and increasing budgetary constraints on the Council, a £31m or £40m route is unlikely to be achievable compared with one at £IOm. Further, the more expensive options become increasingly unlikely where their benefits are only marginal compared with the cheaper options. It follows also that the prospects of completing the SDR are increased with the capability to construct Phase V in two parts -which is only possible with Routes C and D -
since it would not be necessary to assemble the total project costs at the outset.


Route C be confirmed as the preferred line for Phase V of the Southern Distributor Road and that this line be identified and safeguarded in the deposit version of the Inverness Local Plan...


It is worth looking at the Report's Appendix which the summarises and responds to the representations that resulted from the consultation over 10 years back.

Land set aside for 'Route C' can be found on hatched area on the map here (takes a time to load 7.9 MB) . Written details are given as Policy 29, page 36 of ILP 'Main Text' here.

Question, what happens to the 'Safeguarding' (as below) when the ILP falls?

....Provision will be made as part of the accommodation works for the road to relocate any displaced uses within Council land at Torvean, or on land the Council will seek to secure for such purposes, including for reconfiguration of an 18-hole golf course, the rugby pitches, clubhouse and ancillary facilities associated with these activities and the rowing club, see Policy 43 below.

Policy 43

GOLF COURSE - CHARLESTON Further to Policy 29 above, approximately 55.0 ha. of land between the A82(T) and Charleston is allocated for reconfiguration of Torvean golf course, clubhouse and related parking. This land will also provide for controlled public access including the Great Glen Way, links with Craig Dunain and Torvean together with amenity planting and other habitat management consistent with the Torvean-Muirtown “Green Wedge”.

How do I know that the ILP will fall and the text will be superceded?

Take a look here at what has been sent (July 2011) to the Reporters as part of the HwLDP examination;


"Within the Adopted Inverness Local Plan [THC 10] the following material should be superseded by the HwLDP and its associated supplementary guidance."

...Chapter 2: Policies 7, 15(i), 22, 23, 29, 38(iv), 42, 46 and 70(i) as
they relate to land within the Charleston and Ness-side allocations
as delineated on Map 5 of the HwLDP...

So they seem to have retained some of the safeguarding for the Golf Course, but what about the rugby pitches, clubhouse and rowing club; not really clear there, is it?

(Does not seem to make a whole lot of sense with respect to policy 29 falling and 43 not and reference made to 29 in 43. Oh my aching head.)

Say your fond farewells now

Well, being one of the 779 respondents to the consultation I received the letter below by email just a few minutes ago:

Dear Sir / Madam,


In February, I wrote to you in connection with your comments on the Highland Council’s
proposals for the above project.

As a result of the feedback from the first consultation the number of options was increased
from 5 to 8. The 8 options have been subject to an Options Appraisal and at the Highland
Council meeting on 27th October 2011, a timetable was agreed for a Working Group of
Councillors to review the outcome of the Options Appraisal with a second public
consultation to follow.

The comments from the public consultation in December 2010 were considered during the
Options Appraisal and a summary of the main issues will be highlighted at the second
public consultation.

The dates and venues of the second public consultation are as follows:-

29 November – Daytime Exhibition in Kinmylies Church – 11am until 7pm
29 November – Evening Presentation in Inverness Sports Centre, Bught Park – 7.30pm

1 December – Daytime Exhibition in Culduthel Christian Centre – 11am until 7pm
1 December – Evening Presentation in Inverness Royal Academy – 7.30pm

I very much hope that you will attend one of the public displays and that you will find the
response to your question(s) in the details displayed.

Yours faithfully
James A Smith

We might be shown 8 options but given the circumstances (Money, views of agencies (especially regarding environmental considerations), the conclusion of the independent consultants that evaluated the proposals for the TLR as part of the STPR, the need to provide housing, the need to continue to provide road based solutions, there really only one option isn't there? There is land already set side in the adopted Inverness Local Plan.

One wonders why there has been more consultation? But more of that later.

Highland Council press release here

Inverness Courier item here

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A triumph of local nimbyism?

Extract below from, 'Pileus'

As noted in previous posts on this site development rights in the UK are nationalised – if you own a piece of land you have no right to develop it as such – merely a right to request permission to do so from a local government planning authority which purports to represent ‘the community’. As a consequence,
all land use decisions are fundamentally politicised and this typically results in the triumph of local ‘nimbyism’. More here

Yes, land use decisions are fundamentally politicised but to what end here in Scotland? Not to the triumph of local nimbyism here surely - the stats do not support that as far as I can see - so to what end?

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Governance Matters

Would you support a comprehensive review of Scottish Governance?

Scottish Environment LINK*has produced a report, 'Governance Matters; The Environment and Governance in Scotland', (Report here), and the LINK is asking for views as in:

"Do you, or your organisation, support a comprehensive review of Scottish governance?" (see final page of report for more details on how to submit response or to ask further questions)

It would be interesting to know if anyone finds parallels with the experiences that we have with the Planning system.

[Scottish Environment LINK* is the forum for Scotland's voluntary environment organisations. Its over 30 member bodies represent a wide range of environmental interests with the common goal of contributing to a more environmentally sustainable society. More here]